I loathe Christmas Day to start with but yesterday was a record-book downer with the site blocked by Google (and flagged as a trouble spot by Firefox) for about 13 or 14 hours because of some malevolent Kazakhstan-based predator who sent out a trojan missile on 12.24 that manifested in God knows how many dozens or hundreds of websites. I begged three tech-support guys with my ISP Softlayer for any constructive help in the wee hours of 12.25, and they all said “sorry but it’s your problem — we just provide the bandwidth.”
The Godzilla trojan infected my ad server, it was finally determined. The only way to remove the Google block was to remove the ads and disable the ad server and then inform Google that I’d done this. They finally removed the block late yesterday afternoon. The ad server is being scrubbed and cleaned as we speak. The ads will presumably return before the day is out.
It didn’t feel awful to be out of business for a day. It just felt like…nothing. Stalled, neutered. I knew the problem would be remedied and over by sometime today.
So after sweating it out for 8 or 9 hours (plus a four-hour sleep break) I roused myself, picked up some Indian takeout and chilled at my girlfriend’s home. For the most part that meant suffering through a DVD screening of Brave. I’ve experienced moments of satisfaction and even uplift from the best Pixar films, but nothing suffocates my spirit like a glossy, connect-the-dots mainstream animated feature (i.e., big-name actors doing the voicing) looking to sell an empowerment fable about a young person being tested and fulfilling his/her destiny. I half-liked the big cowardly bear but it went no further. Every exaggerated expression and every gut-slam visual or aural effect felt like a tiny cyanide capsule. Give me a sword to hold as I jump into the wolf pit.
There is a certain Chicago life form who yesterday cheered Hollywood Elsewhere’s temporary misfortune. Exchanging blows in comment threads or on Twitter is part of the normal rough and tumble. But when you’ve been sidelined, most non-scumbags understand the basic Marquess of Queensberry about hostilties ceasing until you step back in, blah blah. But this is what we all love about the web, right? Mixing it up with halitosis creeps we’d cross a street to avoid if they were approaching, tossing this or that grenade and feeling low and filthy for the effort.