• Daniel Ethan Finneran

Finneran's Wake - Ep. #2

ITEM#1 - BIG TECH CENSORSHIP


President Donald J. Trump, long the bête noire of the “Big Tech Bros”, was first temporarily, and is now permanently banned from the most prominent and well-trafficked social media sites on which, among other things, we gather our daily news, connect with our distant friends, and generally fritter away our precious time. These are the platforms (namely, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) of which, throughout the course of his tumultuous and now receding presidency, Trump made such constant and, to the lasting frustration of his many temperate supporters, controversial use.


For months prior to this, his formal expulsion from the world of tech, of which these three large companies made so startling an announcement, he time and again provoked their collective wrath. None more, perhaps, than that of Twitter, the devilishly-addictive company led by the bearded, blue-eyed, rather monotonous Jack Dorsey, with whose penchant for “flagging” misleading information and “contextualizing” outlandish claims, the loose-lipped president was forever at odds. Yielding perhaps to the relentless demands of the exasperated progressives among whom he works, or fearing the continuation of the naughty claims of which Trump was so reckless an author, Dorsey decided that the President was treated too leniently for far too long a time.


The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, or, as is the case, the tweet that barred Trump’s future access to Twitter, was sent during the riot by which the Capitol Building was overcome. It was during that terrible event, an afternoon of unrest and bloodshed by which every American soul is scarred, that President Trump’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended. The rationale for so drastic a measure was to prevent the President from sowing further discord, and from exacerbating an already bad situation, which was, if one can believe, frighteningly susceptible to becoming worse. Failing to conform to the Protean terms of use that the company had recently listed, and ignoring the insufferable “warnings” and “fact checks” with which his many tweets were tagged, President Trump was later slapped with a “life-time” ban.


His extremely popular account, through which his every whim was communicated, and his frantic impulses fed, was officially deactivated two days after the event. Facebook and YouTube, of which he personally makes less frequent use, followed the example of their younger cousin, Twitter. Easing off the fraught language of perpetuity, out of which, once entangled, one can seldom remove himself, they decided an “indefinite” suspension of his accounts to be more appropriately tailored to the offense. Other companies, including Snapchat, Reddit, Twitch, and Shopify have followed the others’ lead.




ITEM #2 - PARLER INCAPACITATED


In the wake of President Trump’s shocking Twitter cancellation, a move over which—mostly on the airwaves of that very site—Democrats celebrated, and Republicans mourned, the microblogging site, Parler was also effectively cancelled.


Like the loquacious heretic excommunicated from his church, the opinionated congregant, always mumbling in the rear, sent from the house in which he was so unwelcomingly preserved, Parler was cast out of the technological temple. It now finds itself alone, abandoned to its fate and stripped of those friends upon whom it could never fully rely, searching for its footing in a web-less wilderness. Like a modern Martin Luther or a jilted Jan Hus, Parler was sent away from Amazon Web Services, that mighty cathedral of cloud storage and computer data from which, unknowingly, the vast majority of us receive our internet nourishment, and the world and its governments receive their light.


The justification for Amazon’s action, so cursory, it seems, given the uncertainties by which the dark origin and ghastly development of the riot remain surrounded, is that Parler was a promulgator of that call to violence from which, sadly, our Congress suffered. Seeking a safe haven about which their opinions might be more freely bandied, and tasting the bitter herb of censorship by which their lips were being shut, patrons of Parler found in this newly-created site a place unfettered by Twitter’s heavy restrictions. Mind you, these were restrictions by which they felt themselves disproportionately bound.


Parler was formed as an alternative “platform” in the truer sense of the word, a freer space more congenial to the American spirit from which none would be excluded, and by which none would be judged. It just so happened, perhaps because of its novelty, but probably for its laudable and, as it turns out, naïve commitment to the freedom of speech and the liberty of expression, that many of the President’s supporters fled there.


Doubtless, among the site’s ten million users, malign actors found their way into the crowd. Having done so, they seem to have conjured up the plan to infiltrate the Capitol Building, suspend the Electoral College certification process, intimidate all those by whom they might be opposed and, most gruesomely of all, depart with a Vice Presidential scalp.


But it’s now become clear that Parler isn’t unique in having played host to these dastardly conversations. Many of those responsible for the assault on our republic discussed their plans rather unabashedly on Facebook and Twitter as well. One would think, having observed the papal bull issued by Amazon Web Services, by which Parler was cast out of its holy, empyrean “cloud”, Facebook and Twitter would be damned just the same



ITEM #3 - PRESIDENT TRUMP IMPEACHED


In the House of Representatives on Wednesday, exactly one week in advance of day on which, formally, and to the great jubilation of those by whom he’s opposed, his tenure will expire, President Trump was impeached.


Normally, the impeachment of a president by whom some alleged misdeed has been committed or, for that matter, of any sitting public official at whom the Congress has come to look askance, is preceded by a lengthy and thorough investigation. A special counsel is roused from the quiet tranquility of his slumber, a group of attorneys is enticed to scrutinize the case, and the public is convinced of the propriety of the move, and assured of its salutary ramifications.


These, of course, are abnormal times. All of those above-mentioned superfluities were, unsurprisingly, abandoned in the heat of the moment, and those meddlesome customs of law for which, given the circumstance, we haven’t any time, were cast aside in favor of a quick vote. The article of impeachment on which the House of Representatives voted was but one. It accused the president, in light of his actions on the 6th of January, of “willful incitement of insurrection”.


Confident in the majority onto which, as we enter the new year after a grueling election season, it’s been given the opportunity to hold, the Democrat Party voted unanimously for the measure. Ten Republicans, undaunted by a lame-duck President’s ire, joined its side. All said, the vote was 232 in favor, and 197 opposed to this single article of impeachment. When it reconvenes, the Senate, the superior body of our bicameral legislature, will take up the issue.


Questions over this article’s legitimacy must be left to the legal scholars, a class of deeply-learned men and women to whose Constitutional expertise, we must now defer. For those questions which concern its propriety, the pundit is the definitive figure to whom we’ll eagerly turn our attention. We’ll await at his feet a dispassionate answer.

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