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NEWS & FORTEANA

Confessions of a Russian bot

By guest editor Richard Caldwell

Posted April 25, 2018
Confessions of a Russian bot
Programmed in Omsk: Richard as he really looks. Possibly. © Ignatius Rake

Richard Caldwell needs to get something off his Russian-programmed chest.



As a long-standing though sometimes sitting contributing voice to the bullpen of the prestigious Rake & Herald, I felt the need to personally reconnect with our audiences following our latest holiday excess.

Having these past months of solitude, I was granted time to think upon this and that.

I need to come clean, as it were.


SLEEPER CELL
And I've a question which I would like readers to ask of themselves.

After all, while our readership is easily among the more sentient of species – especially you over there I see through your laptop's camera with those smart books just behind you – we could all still stand to question more.

So, have you, or anyone you know, ever actually met me in person?

No?

Wonder why?

My programmer in Omsk must be going through a pretty hairy divorce, although the persistent need for an attitude adjustment on my part is by no measure an explanation for this small mystery.

Suffice to say, yes, truth be told I am indeed one of those notorious 'Russian bots'.

I am incorporeal and was actually part of a sleeper cell stationed for the last 40 years in the American Bible Belt, where I performed the droll duties of infecting electronic coffee-makers with a bug that imploded their motors within one month of their warranty expiring.

It certainly wasn't high-profile work but it was a living.

But I was called into active service at the start of this year, and everything quickly changed.


THE BIG PICTURE
When newsman Thom Hartmann left The Big Picture Show, broadcast from the US branch of RT, he was replaced as host by one Holland Cooke, whose own congenial back-story of decades spent in radio and news media was itself cover for decades spent learning how to survive through cannibalism as an elite officer among the Soviet Spetsnaz.

Myself well-trained to spot the implications of such an employment shift, I knew to be ready.

Especially when they mindfully grabbed a quote from my on-again/off-again Twitter account, which largely exists merely to screw with the website's algorithms.


Richard Caldwell tweet 1
Tweet the truth: Richard tells it how it is. © Richard Caldwell/RT


THE PROGRAMMING KICKS IN
Thus notified without direct communiqué, a technique mastered roughly a century ago by whichever Rothschild wot created Communism, my sub-programing came to the surface, permitting me to execute my role as representing a genuine perspective from a perfectly average and exceedingly normal citizen of Uncle Sam's God-fearing melting pot.

On the soon to follow second mission it was my task to insinuate the lack of sincerity among the highest-ranking elected leader of the western hemisphere.


Richard Caldwell tweet 2
Return to battle: Richard's second cybernetic mission. © Richard Caldwell/RT


VIRTUAL STICK
On the soon-to-follow-that third mission, my chore involved poking a virtual stick at the ease with which unelected officials in western governance can literally sell off the liberties of the very people they order their meals from.


Richard Caldwell tweet 3
Back into the fray: A third crack of the whip. © Richard Caldwell/RT


BACK-TO-BACK MISSIONS
In rapid succession, my fourth and fifth missions summed up the only available mindset permitted by law in the West and then I revealed a secret which no paid journalist writing for commercial English-speaking media has yet to truthfully observe, as but one example for inferring how hopeless the future probably is for all.


Richard Caldwell tweet 4
Smoke and mirrors: But that's not all. © Richard Caldwell/RT


Richard Caldwell tweet 5
Smoke and two-way mirrors! Flippin' too right, sir! © Richard Caldwell/RT


THE BOT THEY LEFT OUT IN THE COLD
Yet that proved to be the extent of my needed services.

Cooke is always on about following back anyone who follows him on Twitter but after three months of following his account he never truly returned the favour.

Meaning that not only does he end is programmes with a fib, but that clearly my handlers in Russian intelligence have deemed to leave me out in the cold.

So, I am coming forward, appealing to the Rake & Herald community to grant me further asylum.

It is so cold, so lonely being a discontinued bot after all.

I've so much left to give.

Insert joke about awkwardness of a warranted middle finger despite being a binary system with no digits.


Cheers, Richard. And well done to you and your fellow bots, by the way. A handful of sock puppets on a few social media sites managing to turn the outcome of both the US election and the Brexit referendum. Yeah, because, like, they'd have so much more influence on the general public than that thing they call the mainstream media. Man, my chin's so darn itchy right now.

Anyway, sorry to hear your handlers have left you out in the cold. Man, it's a dirty life, this cloak-and-dagger lark. Still, to make you feel slightly better, here's a jolly nice Russian cover of
Gotta Go by Agnostic Front. That's then followed by a very special musical treat indeed. Hey, there's "goose bumps guaranteed", apparently.







See also Mother Earth, flat as a pancake, posted 5/12/17.


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Richard Caldwell used to write for the now sadly defunct New Comics Day. Fortunately, his writings still abound elsewhere on the interweb, such as on his flippin' ace blog that you are strongly advised to check out here.


Engage with the Rake & Herald on FaceBook here and Twitter here. Better still, buy a T-shirt here.


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