iOS 9, Obergefell, sweet tea, Jeeves, and ad blocking...

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If you aren't reading about it, maybe you should. But then again, maybe not. Ad blocking, that is. Apple's new iOS 9 allows ad blocking which, everyone's saying, will be profoundly disruptive for internet as we know it. I've read some on the subject and get it that Apple, Google, and FB are in a war to the death. Believing in competition, I don't mind. The only hope for education is public school systems having to face competition, but that's the whole point of the Democratic Party—to keep teachers from facing competition for our tax dollars. Everything else about Democrats is window dressing. Take a look at any crowd shots at their national convention and you'll see every last person there is your high school guidance counselor or social studies teacher.

Last night three pastors from three churches and one elder were discussing our policy going forward in the post-Obergefell world and we found ourselves wishing some one state—just one, puhleese!—would refuse to allow homosexual marriage so our people could do destination weddings there. It would sort of be like the old days when people flew to Las Vegas to get married and divorced because Nevada's marriage and divorce laws were so bad. But opposite: this state would host destination wedding because its marriage laws are so good simply by denying SCOTUS's usurpation of "we the people's" Constitution.

True story: back in the first church I served, the Nominating Committee nominated a woman for the eldership...

(Yes, I worked with women elders and pastors for about ten years in the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA).) Shortly after the nominations were announced, a respectable older woman who served on the session called and said there was something sensitive I should know. She told me the people in the bars downtown were laughing at our church because this woman who had been nominated for elder was living with a man without benefit of marriage. "Seriously," I asked the woman elder? "Yes seriously," she answered. (There was a pretty good reason I didn't know she and her husband weren't married.)

After the call, I talked with the nominee and asked if what I'd been told was true? She said it was, so I explained that this was bringing reproach to the Name of Jesus Christ in the bars downtown and she needed to remedy the situation.

She assured me she would and I didn't ask how.

A couple weeks later I was visiting an older woman of my other congregation (I served two churches in a yoked parish) who lived out in the country. The visit was pleasant, but as I was leaving the woman stopped me and said, "Oh, Pastor Bayly; about Jane and my son—everything's OK now."

I'd forgotten her son was the man the elder nominee was living with so it took me a second to catch on to what was being said. When I got up to speed, I looked at my parishioner and asked, "How was it taken care of?"

She said, "you remember Jane and John1 were gone last weekend? They flew out to Las Vegas and did it."

"Did what?' I asked.

"They took care of it. They got married," she answered. Shortly after a new woman elder was serving on the church's session.

Now you'll remember competition between states for the marriage business of Christians and God-fearers was the subject line I was pursuing? Fat chance of that since the entire purpose of SCOTUS the past fifty years or so has been the homogenization of these United States. I'm surprised SCOTUS hasn't banned sweet tea from the deep South, but maybe it's a secret I wasn't supposed to tell?

You'll remember competition between Apple, Google, and FB for ad business was the subject line we were pursuing when we started in on competition with public schools and competition between states for the marriage license business. What about ad blocking?

Jeeves ironed Bertie's newspaper so his hands wouldn't get smeared with ink, but Bertie didn't cut the ads from the page because the ads drove Bertie crazy—say, for instance, covering up the text of the news, popping off the page onto the front of his bathrobe, screeching at him while he was trying (not) to think, sending the entire newspaper up in flames for fifteen seconds while a video played five inches from his face, and so on.

In other words, whether on tablets, laptops, or smartphones, today's ads are so bad that I side with ad blockers all the way and have used them for years. For this reason, I think the most profound things I've read on Apple's iOS 9 ad blocking both appeared on John Gruber's Daring Fireball. Gruber quotes Khoi Vinh:

I’ve been kind of neutral on all of the hubbub around Apple’s new ad blocking technology in iOS 9. But then just this morning I tried to read this New York Times article on my iPad — not just any article, but one that’s specifically about reactions to Apple’s introduction of ad blocking in iOS 9.

In maybe the sweetest bit of irony that ad blocking advocates could ever hope for, the article itself, as it was served to me, was so beset by a crippling ad position across the top of the page that I could not scroll it.

Gruber then comments, "You can’t make this stuff up."

Nope, you can't. It's been years since I promised myself never to buy or read the New York Times.

A few inches further down the page, Gruber asks:

Are we fighting ads, or are we fighting garbage?

And he concludes: 

Good advertising goes down easy.

  • 1. Not their real names.
Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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