The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes, the blossom embraces the bee. But, soon, says a whisper “Arise, arise! Tomorrow belongs to me.” – German folk song “Tomorrow Belongs To Me,” adapted by John Kander.
From what I perceive, TikTok is not an app intended for me. The younger we are, the more juvenile we act, which is also known as “duh…” To me, TikTok is the home-game version of Jackass.
And if you get that joke, you, too, are too old for TikTok. It appears the members of the legislature of the state of Montana also are too old for TikTok. They just banned the use of the app throughout the state.
OK, a lot of state legislatures have done far worse stuff over the past, oh, two weeks. Are you listening, you bigoted Tennessee crackers? Probably not. However, there are understandable reasons for wanting to ban this product. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company named ByteDance, which calls Red China its home. Technically, it exists at the government’s pleasure. TikTok strip-mines personal information so effectively you’d think they were owned by Google or Facebook. That makes TikTok as great a security risk as, well, Google and Facebook, and that is not good.
As red-blooded Americans we believe that the totalitarian Chinese government receives a tactical benefit from watching teenagers scarf up large curd cottage cheese drenched in Bush Light Apple served to them in plastic baseball caps. I’ll save the kids the trouble: American teenagers pledge allegiance to Wackyland.
But I belong to America’s largest political organization, The Paranoid Party. TikTok clearly is a risk to our security. The fact that it’s Chinese in origin doesn’t necessarily make it more dangerous, no more than all 21-year-old right-wing Air National Guardsmen are security risks. Sure, at least one is, but why take the risk?
But when I quiet down that buzzing in my head, I can hear the crack of the whip. If the state of Montana can ban an app and somehow get it removed from all online app stores who do business in Montana, what if the state of Wisconsin decides to ban food apps and websites that promote the use of yellow-colored margarine?
I am not being facetious. The sale of yellow-colored margarine was banned in Wisconsin for decades. If you drove or were driven (as I was) up U.S. 41 from Illinois to Wisconsin back in the 1960s, you would see signs advertising “Last Chance For Oleo” as you neared the border. For those who get confused by snack cookies, “oleo” is margarine, and yellow-colored margarine was banned in Wisconsin from 1881 until 1967. If, like TikTok, this sounds stupid please remember it was the law of the state for 86 years.
OK. I’ll site something more contemporary. Let’s say there are apps that can, intentionally or not, help a woman get an abortion. That’s illegal in Idaho, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky (evidently, you can’t even shoot the fetus), West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. That’s the Jeopardy answer to the question “Name 15 states that have a Jihad to shove a national religion down our throats.” And, yes, I’m including those states that have a six-week ban as most women don’t even know they’re pregnant within that time frame.
If you think that’s a good idea, why the hell did you make it past my byline?
Were this policy of banning software and online content, which was just legalized in Montana, to be upheld those states who as a matter of policy regard women as nothing more than baby-machine chattel could and likely would will take similar action against those sites and apps that could possibly start a woman on the path to getting an abortion. Abortion aside, this would remove volumes of critical information from the ether.
If evenly enforced (I know; that’s unAmerican), then which electronic institutions would quickly be suppressed? Oh, gee. How about Instagram, Duck Duck Go, all medical schools, many encyclopedia-like sites, and so on.
Including Google. Including Facebook. Including whatever the hell comes up behind them.
Beware the crack of the whip, as seen Friday in Montana. After all, you can always count on the Religious Right to throw the baby out with the bathwater.