The latest Internet Thing, aka the Thing the Internet is doing, is now Gamestop. It is important to know about Gamestop, what it means, who the players are. The Internet was split into several groups by this subject: those who understood the financial transactions involved, those who did not but felt compelled to say something about it, those who memed or riffed off it, and those who were unaware of it entirely. Which group are you?

The last group, the most ignorant, is probably the most happy, since they tend to be too busy to get caught up in the Internet Thing of the moment. They do not feel out of touch. It’s just another world with its own peculiar fascinations and they are content to let it all play out on its own, since it doesn’t matter.

The second group interests me - those who feel like they have to say something about it, because it’s Happening and it is the Thing.
There’s a lot of wit on Twitter, and a lot of pithy insights and newly-minted aphorisms. But when there is a Thing everyone has to address, it distorts the information stream somewhat, simply because all the clever and indispensable people have to let everyone know they know about the Thing, even if it’s to express a late-stage meta-observation that suggests they knew about the Thing before you did.

Twitter turned the entire world into the Algonquin Roundtable, and I don’t say that as a compliment. I always thought the Roundtable would be rather tiresome on an average day - the working journalist who had to turn in copy every day would be a bit annoyed with the writers who sloshed back to their desks and pecked out fifty words before taking a nap, then getting a cup of coffee from the Automat, then looking at the typewriter again, shrugging, and deciding to go have a drink if anyone else is up for it.

Worst would be the days when someone got off a really good line, and someone else tried to piggyback on it, but it fell flat, and then the person groused about it and nursed resentments and left early.

Anyway, Daughter made a remark today about trying to buy a portion of a share of Gamestock, and how the trade was rejected. I messaged her a bit a grief for this and said I cannot even begin to muster the energy to explain this one to Mom over dinner when she asks if I heard from you.

Now, I know why she did it. Not to make a buck, but just to be part of history. Part of the Thing. Someone brings up Gamestop, you can say "I bought in, got 1/30th a share!" and all of a sudden you're someone who was part of the Thing instead of an observer. Makes a difference, right away.

It was easy to explain it to Wife, who was in financial services for a while. The shorting a stock part she got right away.

It was the why anyone cares part that took some doing, and the why on earth is Daughter buying a portion?

"To be part of it."

"Part of what?"

"The Internet Thing."


That's the great dividing line in the culture, isn't it? And by "culture" I mean the atomized, disconnected opinions of people marinating in a consensual delusion.

This week's utterly random selection from the Museum of Paris website. Really: I just click and save, so I'm not pulling out big impressive pieces. It's the little pieces that flesh out a collection.

Oh, they loved this guy.

Interesting. Again with the electricity: "The lightning of heaven, which hath delivered the scepter of tyrants."

Huh? No, can’t be right. Massage it a little, and eventually you get the epitaph uttered by Jacques Turgot:

He snatched the lightning from the sky and the scepter from tyrants.

Well, let's just say he helped.








This is Butte. But it’s only part of Butte. Why? There aren’t any rules to this, and it’s my site, so Nyah. Also, Butte requires more than one pass, even under our new 20+ rule. This is a particular neighborhood downtown, and area that had its rise long ago.

It’s Platinum and Main. They have a street called Platinum.

“The owner was a hefty man, yes. That was his desk over there on the left side of the building. Why do you ask?”


The pride of the immigrant:

So I guess.

A solid block of commerce. Scandia Hall.

Montana History site:

The Scandinavian Brotherhood, organized at the Silver Bow County courthouse in 1889, endeavored to unify Scandinavians through fellowship, promote high standards of citizenship, and “fulfill a vacancy in the social world.” Butte No. 1, the mother lodge, built this ornately embellished three-story meeting hall with residential and commercial space in 1898. It was the first lodge hall built by this national organization.

Still here.

Playing on local pride:

But was it any good? I’m sure it was. Cold, any beer will do.


Previously cited site:

By 1919, the Brotherhood had become the Scandinavian Fraternity and counted women among its members. Intensive rehabilitation during the 1990s has restored much of the building’s 1890s elegance. This grand landmark, the neighborhood’s only fraternal hall, features an unusual arch motif repeated in the third-story windows, centerpiece, and in miniature along the parapet.




One of those buildings that look permanently hungover.

No one’s gone out on that balcony in a long while.

Hold on, hold on - that was then! Look at it now!

It’s better!

It’s the Pay-An-TACK-It, right?

Owsley’s? Yes. There were a few Owsley buildings in town, put up by William Owsley. He was also the mayor for a while.


Fascinating palimpsest:

Local historians have no doubt explained everything. Not sure it’s worth it here.

C’mon, Jerr.

Another blasted, faded presence from another time. Almost another civilization, you think. Sometimes.

Shearer was the Union leader, “Sheep” was his nick, and this was his office!

No, of course not.

It hasn’t faded like the others. Wonder what they used for paint.


Wonder what the red joint smelled like inside. Mouse droppings? Grain dust? Mold? Dead water?

You know the place on the right is a serious drinkery for serious drinkers. The whole picture looks drunk.

I’ll go back some day. It’s worth repeated visits.

That will do! I hope. More Main Streets await - well, three. Remember the order of things: main streets, then restaurants, then Motels when the days of the open road begin. Enjoy, and I'll see you around.




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