Back in July 2020 I wrote a long winded Facebook post about why TikTok was basically a virus that you gladly implanted into your life, and why it should be deleted immediately. The post came with a lot of reactions such as “I don’t care”, “I like the dances!”, and other completely checked out replies. A few people seemed concerned, but I’d be curious as to how many actually deleted the app from their devices. That post is forever lost when I deleted my old Facebook account, hence why it’s not linked here.
I wrote that diatribe a few days before it hit more mainstream media. I read a lot of security and tech blogs, which is where this info I was sharing was initially disclosed. Basically some guy reverse engineered the app and dug around it’s source code to look into what it was doing. The gist is that it’s run by the Chinese Government, the app collects everything about you it possibly can, has tons of very concerning back-doors into your device, and now… there’s more.
You seriously need to delete this app. And I’m going to tell you why.
It’s the second time in my life I’ve been scared as all hell, yet excited for the future when it came to my career. The first time was in late October 2009. I was working at Primus Telecom where I was totally kicking butt in their tech support department. On one overcast late September evening I met an old colleague [Jessica] for a drink to “catch up”. As our second drink came to the table, as too did a man that looked as if he’d be a shoe-in for a role as “nightclub security”, only instead of “SECURITY” on his shirt, it read “RUN BGP”. Truthfully, it could have also read “RTFM ID10T” as both would have been predictable should you know Scott Silzer.
Jessica introduced Scott as her colleague, as he sat down and said “So Paul, do you like your job?”… “uhh, ya, why?”… “Well, you see.. would you like to talk about a new job?”… “umm.. not really”. Scott gets up and talks to Purdy (the _best_ bartender in the world, I’ll add) “get him another one”. A fresh beer arrives. “Paul, now that you have another beer, let’s talk about your new job”. This wasn’t a question, it was a demand. From an intimidating man. The kind of man you just hand your ID to without question. “Ok, what about it?”. This started something…..
“NO!!!!!!” they cried. A whole 4 people cared, and I’m most certainly being generous with that number. I’m not sure anyone would care, and if they do, why? The thing is, I see myself as someone who took a lot of pleasure and joy out of playing music; getting the chance to do that in front of a crowd was just that pleasure on an elevated level. I’m a 39 year old dude who’s been doing this DJ thing for some 26 odd years of my life, and I’m not even “over the hill”. DJing is engrained into my very being as a person and has shaped a considerable part of my life, despite the fact I always saw it as a hobby. There was a time when I was being flown into the USA on a regular basis to play shows to progressively bigger and more insane crowds. Any DJ who’s been there will attest there’s a certain magic felt when you tear down a room of 3500 to pieces ever so meticulously; a crowd like that shall never be wasted. And, there was a time where I’d be on the lineup where absolutely nobody cared (not even me). Funny how everything comes full circle. But, my time is done and that’s OK.
Maybe you’ve been there, I certainly have. For a couple years in my early 20’s I had my credit cards maxed out, a couple bucks in the bank, and a shitty job that was paying me $1000/month base + extra as we did gigs. We were doing well for a while, until the owner decided his affair was more important than the business, and suddenly the “extras” dried up. The $1000/mo was something I’d have to beg him for in the last hours of the 30th of the month so I could pay the minimums on my credit cards. Debt piled up within a few months and suddenly I was poor. I managed to find myself a new job paying $30k/year, but it was a 2.5 hour commute each way by public transit – the only thing I could afford as my car was broken and I literally had nothing left. I was living on little more than ramen and what my mom would leave for me as leftovers.
I hated her at the time for not lending me money just to buy a bus pass promising I’d pay her as soon as I got my first cheque. Instead she made me sell one of the only things I owed that had any value to scrape together literally the last few bucks to get myself to work. That was a really shitty 2 weeks until I had just enough to buy myself some lunch. The thing was – I had it easy compared to most. Oh, the lesson that she taught me. Hated her then, SO grateful for her lessons now.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you know who Joe Rogan is. You know, the guy who did Fear Factor, is a big proponent of the UFC, has done some (pretty crappy) standup comedy, and his most notable achievement of hosting the highest listened to podcast in the world? Ya, him. Maybe you’re an avid listener, heard a few episodes, or never heard a thing, but you should know he’s shaping the world around us every few days.
Me? I used to listen to him from time-to-time, but certainly not anymore and frankly I fear the time I’d waste if I did tune in. I’ll write this article instead – most certainly a better use of my day.
It was some 25 years ago when I was just some kid in my early teens. I got hooked on electronic music and as I got to know more about it, would marvel at some the DJs. I hadn’t the slightest clue what was going on, but did I ever want to be in control of the music. I didn’t know any DJ names, and buying records wasn’t exactly a task where I could just beg my parents to drive me to the mall so I could pick them up. Honestly, I didn’t have a clue where I’d even go about buying a record as opposed to a CD. That is until my 16th birthday.
That year I came to Toronto with my then girlfriend. She knew even less about this mythical rave scene than I did, and my knowledge was juvenile at best. It was at Numb clothing that I saw my first records, a small little rack with maybe 80 or so on them – a very meager selection, but I gazed. I believe they ended up giving us the names of a few other places to check out for more selection and remember walking aimlessly around the city streets looking for these places. We left the city later that evening, and I was proudly carrying 3 records I’d bought. I was hooked.