All but the first of these contain hundreds of posts and graphics, the most abbreviated text occurring (obviously) in Facebook. None of these is a "Here's what I had for lunch just now" kind of blog. They all get embroiled in matters large and small. They do differ. Following are brief descriptions of each one and up-to-date access information.

After a variety of Internet-related adventures, Gloves Off was my first definitely blog-type blog. Training wheels you might say. It consisted of a handful of longish essays, of which all but one are now missing. The clunkiness of the software is what convinced me to get more serious about my next attempt.

Complete InstaPunk Weekly Archives Listing

 

InstaPunk.com lasted ten years. It's enormous -- why I'll be covering its particulars later on this page. It is now archived in full at the Wayback Machine and almost all of its posts are available at the link above. Much more to come about InstaPunk scope and content though.

 

 

Deerhound Diary

 

An ongoing journal of life in the country with a feisty, loving wife, a revolving pack of fabulous dogs and cats, and thoughts from that vantage point on many things, still including politics, movies, music, sports, and other matters of moment -- but also puppy hijinks, the day to day mysteries of cats feral to exotic, and the birds, deer, groundhogs, trees, and gardens that keep us vital. You know. Hummingbirds, goldfinches, red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, cardinals, willows, aspens, bamboo thickets, oak and gum trees, azaleas and a rose trellis older than I am. And of, of course, deerhounds.

 

DD's more leisurely posting pace has accumulated more than 500 posts that are still available at "rflaird.com" and "Deerhound Diary." It also includes links to other online works I've done over the years. It's being superseded these days by other pursuits, but it is still updated from time to time. Here's the address. Posts my month/year are linked in left hand column.

 

 

You can suppress your inner punk with the smell of cut grass and roses, but what's under the surface will come out again eventually. InstaPunk Rules was a safety valve, an outlet for the lingering steam heat of InstaPunk.com. For a good while it replaced Deerhound Diary as my principal blog, and both its focus and tone are different. There's much more music and video content and a frequent return to the slashing style of Instapunk's harsher voices.

 

There is some coverage, not a lot but some, of the Trump campaign and the legal challenges to Obama and Hillary Clinton. That's when I started having technical issues with the blog. These coincided,coincidentally or not, with my long postponed decision to become active on Facebook. During the same time period, YouTube became quite aggressive about reuse of its videos and began removing them erratically from blog sites like this one.

 

After a long, irritating interval of increasingly frequent site shutdowns during post creation and editing, InstaPunk Rules finally reached the point where accessing it via the main page URL resulted in almost immediate shutdown followed by repeated messages that the software was trying, and failing, to reboot. When I returned to a slightly revised presence at Deerhound Diary.

 

Instapunk Rules is no longer being updated. It cannot be accessed via its old "ip.rflaird.com" address. But its content is all still there and most of it directly and painlessly available.

 

There are two easy ways to get to what the site admin tells me is more than a thousand posts (I think it's really half that). 1) Enter "ip.rflaird.com" followed by a character space and then a search term or phrase, like Bernie Sanders or television. If any posts contain the search term, you will be shown a list of them at the site. Clicking on one will give you access to the rest of the site via the dated links in the left hand column. 2) Enter a specific date year or month after typing "ip.rflaird.com/", like 2015 or May2016. This approach will give you all the  posts in the specified timeframe and will function normally from there on.

 

The site goes squirrelly sometime in late 2017. If you encounter error messages, just shut the site down and start over with an earlier date.

 

Obviously, I think there's some worthwhile content at InstaPunk Rules, particularly in light of its role, along with Shuteye Nation, Instapunk.com, and Deerhound Diary, of chronicling the beginning of the 21st century in the USA, just as Shuteye Town 1999 chronicled the last gasp of the 20th century. 

 

In 2000, you could still do pretty much anything you wanted on the Internet, post anything, borrow anything, talk about anything however critically or even obscenely you wanted to. Now, less than twenty years in, what was supposed to be free, was in fact expressly designed to be free, is policed by those same designers to prevent infringement on the rights of the Owners, whoever they are, and more and more, they're allowed to punish you in ways both direct and indirect for your opinions, arguments, language, and tone. Posting while looking over your shoulder has become the New Normal, to use one of their favorite terms.

 

Instapunk Rules is part of this history. You might find some of it entertaining or edifying.

Facebook. For a veteran blogger, FB is like posting with both hands tied behind your back. You can post only one graphic (or a hard to control cluster slapped together by algorithm), and Aurocorrect is a vivid, intrusive mischiefmaker. Understandable. The designers don't want members to be bloggers. That's what blogs are for. And the software assumes that with such a massive audience, posters probably have trouble spelling their own names, which may be true, but Autocorrect is a hammer not a scalpel.

 

I've been a regular there for several years now. I've been suspended three times, first for a day, and then twice for a week. Said something that offended someone, the powers that be informed me. I didn't try to fight City Hall. I have other vehicles of expression.

 

Having refused obstinately to join Twitter, I have nevertheless become fairly Twitter-like in my Facebook posts over the years, briefer and briefer as an introducer of relevant topical content. There is definitely a role for FB to play in creating a kind of macro-diary of the entire population. Where they risk slaying the golden goose is in their growing attempts to police boundaries of individual diaries based on content deemed either good or ungood (or doubleplusungood) as the supposedly wiser heads see it.

 

What's interesting about FB in the context of this site is that it has a very long if not selectively available memory. Everything I've written/posted at Facebook is still there. You just have to keep scrolling. A very very good way to check up on who was right and who was wrong in the realtime sequence of events. Because individual entries are necessarily short, it's a great way to cover a lot of time in not much time. You could think of it as a crib sheet of the past few years.

 

A funny postscript to the FB experience. The powers that be are happy to bring your own past with them to your attention. They bring up memories of one or two years ago, to the day of course, and help you re-post them. They also want to SELL you your own posted pictures of the past year or the year before that. I bought one of those. Got a nice 80-page hardbound book in return, including the best permanent version I'm likely to own of a couple family weddings that year. Very cool.

 

Now here's the funny part. Both parts of FB's business with your past violate their own "community standards." The regular memory prompts I get and, quite hilariously, the coffee table memory book I bought contain exactly the sort of material -- in some cases the exact same material -- I got suspended for, from politically incorrect ideas in the memories to nudity and politically incorrect graphics in the book.

 

So the left hand doesn't always know what the other left hand is doing. But I've had a pretty good idea what I was doing with Facebook. As with other of my pursuits, I don't aspire to FB fame. It gets you banned faster. I prefer to be able to keep saying what I really think. I have quite a few "friends," just not nearly so many that I'm worth worrying about. I say it and move along, with a nothing to see here wink. Why you might enjoy taking a cruise through my "page."

 

 

And now... Back to InstaPunk.

You sit down to blog on your multimedia PC. The country is at war, the economy is robust, there have been no terror attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11, and the President is hated and ridiculed by the mainstream press.

 

10 years later you stand up from your iPad and decide you need to try something different. The country is at war, the economy is in its sixth year of zero-to-pitiful growth, there have been multiple fatal terror attacks on U.S. soil, and the President is admired and adored by the mainstream press.

 

Not that you blogged about these things all the time, but you did blog about them a lot, and who could know at quitting time that a lot of minds had been slowly changing over the past decade while you were feeling like a voice in the wilderness?

 

I wasn't in despair. I was just frustrated and mostly tired. Why? Time for a closer look at the blog called InstaPunk.com and the scope of the effort that went into it.

 

 

The sample above illustrates the multimedia design approach of the InstaPunk blog. The graphic shown was, in the original, a gif animation employing light effects. The audio button if clicked would have played fitting music, in this case probably an excerpt from a Mozart requiem. The green text indicates a hyperlink to source data. Including words, four media.

 

The next exhibit will show a complete 10 year list of InstaPunk’s weekly file archive. Each entry contains approximately 5-7 posts adding up to a sampled average of 6,000 to 8,000 words a week. Math says that’s 3,000+ posts, 3.5+ million words, and 3 ,000++++ graphics in total, including many Google and YouTube pickups but also a great many of the site’s own photos, Photoshops, and animations. In the terms of this site, the 10-year output of InstaPunk is also equivalent to 10 Boomer Bibles, in volume if nothing else.

 

Comparatively, full time newspaper columnists write three 600 to 800 word columns a week generally, for an estimated annual output of just over 100,000 words.

 

So how can we visualize the 10 years of the site? By looking at the Weekly Archive. The Compleat Weekly Archive.

It's all real. You can read each entry with a magnifying glass.

Is that 3.5 million words defending George Bush and attacking Barack Obama? Hardly. No. It's a portrait in real time of the formative years of the 21st century in America. Image copyright issues aside (in a few select instances), the following is a list of topics written about at InstaPunk for which the posts add up to a book (min 100 pgs) each.

 

Movies and TV (domestic and foreign, old and recent)

Climate Change (hearkening back to a first essay in 1997 to 2014)

Music (appreciations & thoughts about rock, jazz, R&B, classical, icons, etc)

Literature (writers, books, fiction, poetry, obits, recommendations, reviews)

Automobiles (from Bugatti and Hispano to Roadrunner and Jaguar, personal)

Sports & Media (baseball, football, B-ball, hockey, golf, stars, teams, issues)

The Olympics (enough posts for a book of its own, a funny one)

Evolution (the age-old debate still raging, IP participating)

Ancient Cultures/Archaeology (Gobekli Tepe to Polynesian cannibals, etc)

Economics/Business vis a vis Politics (including econ of taxes and reparations)

Israel, Jews & Anti-Semitism (and related issues)

Popular Culture (from reality shows to high fashion and instant celebrity)

Philosophy, Religion & Ayn Rand (a war in print between me and her acolytes)

News Media and Celebrity Punditry (serious and funny too)

Dogs and Cats

 

Thus far, InstaPunk has given rise to three books in print, The Indictment: An Obama Diary, (P)Articles of InstaPunk, XOFF News, and part of a fourth, Sighthounds & Other Strangers.

 

The words are there, available through the Wayback Machine (highlighted above), and many of the graphics are, though there are also many missing pictures and music videos. Time marches on. Why there's a Wayback Machine and an Amazon printing press. Stuff can be and is being rescued for the permanent record.

 

Nothing to stop you, though, from hauling out your magnifying glass and grabbing some posts for your own perusal.

 

 

The Boomer Bible, Book of They, Ch. 9, beginning at the 7th verse

Because  we're not interested in being liked,
8 Whether they like it or not.
9 We're interested in leaving a record,
10 For the ones who will come later,
11 The ones who will have to start over,
12 When they have finished rotting everything to pieces.