Friday, 1PM: I leave work early. I have to set up for the gun show early because the only time my mechanic has for the alignment rack for the next week and a half is friday afternoon and I am in need of an alignment to keep my Michelin Defender's in a nice predictable wear pattern.
My loadout this weekend includes a whole bunch of the usual stuff, Colts, Sigs, HK's, Glock's a few Springfields and four Daniel Defense rifles and an FN SLP Mk 1. I haul over a few used guns that I just took on trade too, a Tavor 556 LH and a Mossberg 500 that I got for $100 off someone wanting to trade it towards a new Glock 23. Four trips with the hand truck gets everything in before the rain starts.
I have reserved two tables but I have enough merchandise to cover three. The exhibitor tells me tables went up so two tables cost me $160 for the weekend and I consider it a small expense to view the express train to hell that is the gun culture.
45 minutes flies by as I set up my table just the way I want it and I get to Lenny's to get my alignment done. He's been doing an alignment for me no charge for the past 3 years after I told him NOT
to buy an old Browning shotgun he fell in love with on gunbroker. He wanted to use it for upland hunting, sporting clays, skeet and anything moving through the air killing. It was an old gun that had FIXED barrel chokes - Full and Full. I told him RUN LIKE HELL. He said my advice saved him from a $1500 mistake and the least he can do is keep my car on the road no charge. He gets my car set up on his $80,000 hunter alignment rack and finds my toe in is way out of spec. He spends a few minutes banging around with a wrench and everything is all good. As he's doing that, since I know he won't take my money - I walk to the 7-11 across the street and grab him a tall boy of Rolling Rock. His week is so shitty that he shotguns it faster than Brett Kavanaugh circa 1982. Time to head home. I'm halfway there when the phone rings ring ring
FC: Go for FC
1: Hey FC, it's Captain Bob. How's it going?
FC: Good! I got your stuff fixed and ready to go on my desk.
1: I can be there in 15 minutes!
FC: I'll turn around, see you in 15.
Captain Bob is a four stripe left seat pilot for Delta on the triple. We love talking airplanes and guns. He's had me tune up an old 220 he wants to use at a class he's taking at FLETC later this year. Like a good pilot, he believes in a comprehensive pre flight inspection. And since his type rating says B777 and not P220, he wanted someone to make sure he's not taking a dud to class. All I did to it was give it a visual, clean and lube and although it probably didn't need it - it had a 20 year old recoil spring so I installed a new one just as a precaution.
I get back to my desk and get his gun ready, cleared and slide locked back as he walks in the door. He just got home from running a 777LR to Johannesburg and back and is very pleased to see his old 220 ready to roll. I take my glasses off and point out he's got a little bit of slide peening in a few spots but just keep it lubricated and it's normal wear and tear since he does not shoot it much.
He asks me if I have any 300 blackout ammo, I pull a case of 220gr OTM off the shelf. I tell him $450 on the ammo and the pistol inspection and recoil spring is on the house and he's having none of it. Hands me five crisp hundos and tells me to keep it. Just as I'm tucking the cash into my desk drawer, my door opens up and since I'm not wearing my glasses - I see a blurry silhouette of.....is that wonder woman? HUGE TITS on a small frame. I can't tell what's going on.
Lady: Hey FC, it's Lisa. I was just getting my wedding dress altered next door and wanted to say hi!
FC: Oh hey! I'm not wearing my glasses so I have no idea what's happening!
Lisa: See you tomorrow!
FC: I'l be there! So anyways Bob, that was strange. I am normally not used to having my door flung open by halfway attractive women.....
Bob: Neither am I! You should see some of the FA's on the J'burg route!
We have a laugh. Some more airplane talk about the old 72's and I tell him about the time I greased it in the box on the A320. Turns out he flew A320's as well as boeings and we revel in the differences in both the airplanes. I really like the Airbus design and their workflow even though Boeing guys love to hate it. He's happy with his 220 and we pull chocks.
I head home, throw a ribeye on the grill and go to bed early. I've got a busy day in the morning.
Saturday morning I wake up at 7AM and look at my to do list. Shit shower and shave. The gun show closes at 5. Lisa's wedding is at 6. The venue is at the lake 39 minutes from the VFW hall. I have a plan. I will leave STRAIGHT to the venue from the gun show and I'll put on dress clothes below the belt. After all, how often do you look at another man's pants? I throw on an HK black NO COMPROMISE Polo shirt untucked with a black alligator belt and Canali navy slacks with my new Allen Edmonds boulevards in black. Socks by Brumell and boxers by Fruit of the Loom. I walk into the VFW hall with a non iron Lauren white spread collar shirt, Ted Baker tie and Canali jacket slung over my shoulder. Nobody notices the pitter patter sound of leather soles on the concrete as the show starts coming to life.
It's 8:55. Lets get this show on the road.
The loudspeaker crackles and lets everyone in the hall know the doors are about to open up and asks us to check all our guns for ammo and zip ties. I get my table ready and pull out my 4473's on clipboards and check my pens. FFL in frame is standing up on the table, everything is tagged and tied. There will be no discharge of firearms at my table as a result.
9AM: Show opens. It's dead. Deader than dead. Like, life support dead. Typically there is a line from the entryway of the hall and around the building to get into the show every time.
This is not the show of years ago. This summer has been atrocious. I talked to the promoter and lots of vendors did not reserve tables for this and the next show. The numbers are way down.
Some people start to trickle in but it's not a good sign.
9:30AM: A fellow walks up and asks me if I have a Sig 226 TACOPS with TB in stock. I don't but vendors do. He drove 2 hours to this show to try and find one since his local place did not have it. They're on contract with sig and refuses to order one from distribution to make him happy and Sig has no idea when they're going to make more out of New Hampshire. Well, thanks to Ron Cohen making 26 SKU's for every single pistol - that's what you get.
9:41AM: Fellow wearing an INFOWARS shirt molests way too much merchandise on my table than I'm comfortable with. I shoot a knowing eye roll to Noah over at the next table. He's a 27 year old jewish gold bullion dealer from Long Island that votes libertarian and laughs at all my jokes. He adjusts his RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT banner hanging off the edge of his table as I wait for Finger McBangerson here to go away so I can wipe down all my stuff.
10:23AM: Guy walks up to me and he says he's looking for a shotgun for competition. I point him towards the SLP at the end of the table.
10:24AM: Older fellow walks up to me and says he's looking for a gun for his wife as he lifts up a Colt Commander. I tell him that will definitely kill his wife. Guy looking at the SLP cracks up laughing. Older guy looks at me mortified. Then he gets the joke. Asks me about suitability of a steel framed colt commander for her. I say probably not a good first choice. Perhaps you should send her to an NRA basic pistol class.
10:39AM: Guy asks me what's the best I'll do on a Glock 17L. I tell him the tag is already priced more than fair. He asks if he can buy it with cash if he can get a discount. I'm like let me see. I ask him if he's got a state CWL. He says yes. I take off $20. He says it's a deal, hands me a stack of money, current CWL and a California drivers license.
FC: Do you have residency in this state?
1: No, I'm here visiting for work
FC: And you want me to sell you a gun with a California drivers license and no residency?
1: DUDE! KEEP IT DOWN! Do you have any idea what would happen if people found out I didn't live here?
FC: YES I DO! They wouldn't be a party to you breaking the law!
I hand him all his shit back and tell him to get on the next flight to Fresno.
12:01 PM: Lunchtime. I pick up my sammich from Jersey mikes and nobody fails to interrupt me to throw money at me. This is not a very good sign.
12:16 PM: I am scarfing down the last of my sandwich as Infowars shirt guy comes back around. We chat a bit about 1911's and he eventually tries to convince me that I need to buy the water filter that Alex Jones is selling to keep us from turning homosexual. I tell him now I'm not gay, but look at these shoes. I pull my left hock up and put a nice shiny new Allen Edmonds boulevard on the table. He seems to recoil in horror. As he walks away, I tell him he didn't even notice that I had them straight laced! They're fabulous!
Nobody understands my humor.
12:33 PM: The vendor to the left of me is selling clothing offensive to the left. MAGA hats, anti snowflake shirts, ISIS hunting permit graphic tees, etc. I debate calling one of my guys and having "MAKE 45ACP GREAT AGAIN" hats made up. I call up r_shackleford
and he thinks this is genius. We trade witty banter back and forth for a few minutes.
12:49 PM: The vendor in front of me is a gigantic pawn shop with 16 tables. There's a woman trying to sell them a rifle, and not succeeding at all. Sam looks over at me and points and says to her "you know, he buys guns too!"
FUCK YOU SAM.
FUCK YOU LONG.
FUCK YOU HARD.
The hambeast approaches and thrusts a rifle in my face. "WE BUILT IT CUSTOM" she says. "I NEED MONEY FOR CHEMO" she says. The barrel says 223 Wylde. The lower says Aero Precision. The price tag says $1500 OBO. I tell her she'd be lucky if she got HALF that in this economy. She complains that they really need the money and her two demon spawn that are traveling with her seem to be tired of her getting the same speech from every vendor in the hall.
NO YOUR GODDAMN HOMEBUILT 223 WYLDE AR15 IS NOT WORTH $1500
It's not even worth $750
It's worth MAYBE the same price as a new PSA rifle - $350, $450 tops if you threw in the little girl.
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The lady looks at me like a truck stop rapist and inevitably proclaims that SHE KNOWS WHAT SHE'S GOT. Words fail me. I shake my head as she walks away with her demon spawn and I shoot a look back at sam and mouth very carefully YOU FUCKER back at him. Sam cracks up laughing.
1:12PM: I'm asked if that's a Dead Air Sandman on my table. I say yes. Guy asks to look at it and explains to his friend that it's a DAA Sandman and talks about the mounting system.
FC: You know your stuff.
1: Yeah I just bought one.
FC: I'm the only DAA dealer around here, you don't look familiar. Who'd you get it from?
1: Silencershop. Used the kiosk at a dealer in another city 1.5 hours away
FC: Uh, I stock the sandman and would have made you a deal. Why'd you do go through them if you don't mind my asking?
1: Well it was a timesaver.
FC: How's that? I mean that place I know is an hour and a half away without traffic, so you made a trip there to do your stuff - then back. That's 3 hours. Then another 3 hours after your stamps clear - so that's 6 hours in a car total. I can call the PD, make an appointment for you to roll your prints and you're done in 15 minutes. Photos at CVS are another 15 minutes. How is 6 hours a timesaver instead of 30 minutes?
1: Well I just knew that if I had to make more than one stop I'd never do it, so it was spend 6 hours in a car and get it done in one shot or spend 15 minutes doing fingerprints or photos and being too lazy to do the other one and never sending in the paperwork. So this was the better choice for me.
FC: Uh. Okay?
1: Why don't you have a kiosk?
FC: I'm not paying $9000 for something that's going to save you time and cost me money and then have to deal with being tech support and having a device in my place of business that compresses my own margins. We're down to making $50 on a can from making $350. This isn't a position I'm interested in taking.
1: Well, sucks to be you. I'm buying all my cans from silencershop now!
FC: Enjoy your 6 hour drive.
1:30 PM: Man walks up with an old stainless combat commander colt. Series 70. No original box and sights. Looks well used.
Thinks I’m crazy when I say I won’t give him $1000 on trade.
1:39 PM: Guy comes back. Guy wants me to put a can on his 1917 eddystone that is not threaded. He asks what he can get for $150
1:45 PM: Lady picks up a Trijicon RMR and asks to turn it on. I shove a battery in it and turn it on.
1: This is a laser sight right?
FC: This is an RMR from Trijicon and RMR stands for Ruggedized Miniature Reflex sight - it uses a laser of sorts and projects it onto this lens here....
1: THIS COSTS $500? AND IT DOES NOT EVEN PUT IT ON THE TARGET?
FC: Well if you just look through the lens here you can see the red dot projected onto the glass.....
1: I CAN BUY A $30 LASER POINTER AND DUCT TAPE IT TO MY GUN AND I'D BE $470 CHEAPER AND IT WOULD PUT THE LASER ON THE BAD GUY! WHAT IS THIS GARBAGE YOU'RE TRYING TO SELL?
She walks away. My mouth is agape.
2:15PM: Old guy walks up and points at a Glock 34 I have on the table. MY FRIEND BOUGHT A GLOCK IN 89 WITH NYPD AND SHOT HIMSELF HOLSTERING IT. I DONT TRUST THE DAMN THINGS and shuffles away without me having time for a rebuttal
2:21PM: Someone walks up asking me if I want to buy a used les Baer Comanche. I tell him I buy when I can make money. I look at it. It’s clean.
He wants $1600. Street is about $1600, that's all the money. Street the gun sells for about $1799 NEW, which means I can buy it for less than $1600 new. I tell him this. He looks at me like Elizabeth Warren looks at Brett Kavanaugh and shuffles away. I shake my head as I notice a familiar face walk up. I can't place it. He looks at some guns.
2:25PM: I'm asked if I have a card from the familiar stranger. I reach down into my wallet and fish one out, I hand it to him and he smiles at me. It finally clicks.
FC: Dr Livingstone, I presume.
Doc: I haven't seen you in years, how have you been?
(The doc is FC's old therapist. He can't say hi to me walking around due to HIPAA but if I open a dialogue, it's okay)
FC: Eh, same old shit different day. I uh made some mistakes a few weeks ago and I thought of you.
Doc: Oh really? How so.
FC: Well uh. You remember that day when I told you to go back to the Office of the Bursar at UCLA and ask for a refund on your $125,000 post graduate education because it was nothing but academic detritus?
Doc: Well, I hadn't thought about it for a few years but it sounds like something you would say.
FC: It was right after you told me that I used 3 different quotes from 3 different academics in a span of less than 5 minutes to answer your question. You said that I intellectualize as a defense because I don't like getting close to people. I said you're full of shit. You asked me do I even know what intellectualize means? I said of course I know what it means, what do you think I'm some kind of idiot? Then you sat there grinning like a Cheshire cat at the thought of making me eat my own words.
Doc: Haha. Now, that sounds familiar. I remember that.
FC: Well I don't know how many patients are willing to say it but you were right and I was wrong.
Doc: I don't get much pleasure in hearing that, but did you learn anything about yourself?
FC: It took a few years to realize you may have been right all along but yeah.
Doc: Then what does it matter who's right or wrong as long as you learned something?
FC: Hmm. That's not bad. How's business?
Doc: Full appointment book and not taking new patients.
FC: I guess you could say it's........a little crazy?
Doc: I missed your humor. Tell me about this Glock 45...
I show him a few different guns and crack jokes about disgruntled patients. He says he'll think about arming himself what with crime and mentally unstable people being growth sectors in this post-trump apocalyptic nightmare. I tell him to be fore warned is to be fore armed. He seems reticent, but I can only lead the horse to water. I can't make him drink.
2:51PM: Fellow walks up.
1: I need a colt ladysmith. Do you have one?
FC: the colt or the ladysmith?
1: The colt ladysmith
FC: is it a colt or a smith?
FC: which model?
1: the ladysmith!
FC: I know but I need to know what model. They put that on a bunch of different guns
1: it’s the one with writing on the side of the gun. It says. LADY SMITH on it. You know the one
I realize the strongest case for repealing the second amendment is spending a day talking to people at the gun show.
3PM: Two hours left to go! The end is in sight! I haven't sold a single fucking gun yet!
3:02 PM: Man walks up. Hey do you have the new Sig 925?
FC: You mean 365?
1: No the 925
FC: Sig does not make a 925
1: Yes they do, it's the new one.
FC: The 365?
1: No! The 925!
FC: Can you show me a picture?
1: It's the one on the magazine.
FC: Most of sigs guns have magazines.
1: I mean the one in print. It's on the cover.
FC: The cover of the periodical you mean?
1: Yeah! You know the new one!
FC: Well if it's on the cover, it should be easy to find on google. Can you show me a picture?
1: There's nothing coming up on google for the Sig 925
FC: Maybe perhaps its because it's the sig 365?
1: I'm telling you it's not that. It's the new one they just came out with. It's the 925.
FC: Care to make a wager?
FC: If you bring me a photo I can try to narrow it down.
1: I'll find the magazine at home and bring it in tomorrow.
3:12: Numismatist neighbor Noah asks me a question
Noah: Hey! What's a hi point?
FC: A cry for help!
Noah: No I mean price wise?
FC: Like $100, they're garbage guns.
Me and Noah start talking. I am moving more and more libertarian every day. He's the treasurer of his local LP chapter in Suffolk county. For a jewish kid from Riverhead, we sure have a lot in common. We get into an animated debate on the virtues of Kelo v New London in that it was a shitty position for the town of New London to take Susette Kelo's house for redevelopment under eminent domain. If they wanted to redevelop it, for the government to use eminent domain is a government run amok. As a libertarian, he hates government overreaching - as someone who also hates that sort of thing, we are in very vocal agreeance.
The tshirt vendor is listening to us debate the merits of the case and how the SCOTUS created a TERRIBLE precedent regarding government using the takings clause and when we finish he asks us a question.
TShirtGuy: How the fuck do you two know so much about a supreme court case?
Noah: Well, when you went to college and you're an economics and pre law major....
FC: Let me make it simple. WE ARE NERDS!
Everyone has a laugh.
TShirtGuy: Speaking of funny, check this out! He holds up a shirt.
It says in big print on the front: the the reason gun shows exist is so women can know what it’s like for when they drag men to the mall
3:13 PM: I get in an argument with the republican candidate for office of something or other on gun laws. He is stupid and he is going to lose.
3:23 PM: A nice lady walks up. She looks familiar. She looks at some guns and feels up a 226 and remarks how well she likes how it handles.
FC: You're Bernice, aren't you?
Bernice: Why yes I am! You do not look familiar. How do I know you?
FC: You're still working at the courthouse right?
Bernice: That's right!
FC: Judge Snyder, right?
Bernice: No! He moved up to the appellate circuit last month it's...
FC: Judge Reinhold! That's right, one of his JA's called me to buy a gun last month. I forgot Christine told me, you're right.
Bernice: Holy crap, you have an incredible memory. When was the last time you were in front of Judge Snyder?
FC: Four years ago. I was the one that filed the motion citing the big lebowski.
Bernice: OH MY GOD THAT WAS YOU? I remember that!
FC: Yeah and I had to go dumpster diving to get my phone back.
Shit, was that really 4 years ago? Fuck.
We talk more about guns and stuff. She loves her old West German 226. I tell her that if she really wants to have some fun, she should ask Judge Snyder to tag along on his next range day. About two years ago, the judge called me up asking for some advice. He's Tet offensive era USMC and wanted a new toy to reach out and touch someone and was dead set on getting a new SR25.
I talked him out of it because SR25's are stupid expensive. I knew of another dealer that had a T&E 20" SR25 that they were looking to unload cheap and I told him that with the amount of money he'd save going to the T&E gun versus the new one - the delta would more than cover a Nightforce NXS, rings and mounting and that would save him money and be a good performer. I'm friends with his daughter on facebook and they both looked like they had a lot of fun ringing the gong at the gun club.
Bernice is impressed. Too bad she's not my type, we'd get along fantastically if I was 15 years older.
4 PM: 60 minutes left to this shit show.
4:04PM: The loudspeaker crackles. ATTENTION ATTENTION: BRETT KAVANAUGH HAS JUST BEEN CONFIRMED TO THE SUPREME COURT.
The proletariat rejoices and hooting and hollering typically reserved for the LSU game breaks out in the hall.
ALSO WILL THE RED JEEP PARKED IN THE FIRE LANE PLEASE MOVE - YOU ARE BLOCKING THE BBQ GUY FROM LEAVING. RED JEEP. MOVE OR YOU WILL BE TOWED.
4:11 PM: Guy walks up in civvies.
1: I wanna buy this but I’m not a state resident
FC: well what’s your deal? Give me some more to work with.
1: I’m from Texas but I’m in the military
FC: if you got your orders - PCS to any base in this state says you’re a state resident, but if you don't - I can't help you. I know a lot of guys don't travel around with their orders....
JUST AS I SAY THAT the guy pulls out a wad of hundreds out of his pocket and his PCS paperwork, signed, rubber stamped and billeted.
THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.
I give him the clipboard as I look at his paperwork. No blank spaces, approved change of station to Barksdale AFB, address reads base housing, everything is in order for the young airman.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT. THIS IS AMAZING.
Forms done correct on the first swing.
I AM WAITING FOR THE OTHER SHOE TO DROP.
I call in the transaction and they tell me that the national system is down. NO IDEA WHEN IT'S GOING TO BE BACK UP.
I tell the USAF that the system is down and we can't do anything. He takes my card and hands me money and says just call him when it's ready to be picked up. Huh. Okay, he's cool with that. His girlfriend lives over here so he's back here every weekend. Done! I mark up the paperwork with some notes.
4:23 PM: One guy just walked up and told me that he had no idea HK made rifles. Apparently made a bunch of rifles a few years ago and stamped glocks name on them for Glock. Since Glock can't be found out to be making rifles. This captures the attention of another guy who asks me if my Glocks on the table have fluted firing pins. I tell him they do not make fluted firing pins. That makes no sense. He says yes they do make sense. They're fluted so they shoot underwater.
4:28 PM: Noah's table has someone in front of it debating buying some gold. As they delve into the discussion of gold and FIAT currency, I hear the following.
1: Bitcoin is a webpage. It’s like buying stock. Bitcoin issues shares and it dilutes so the price goes down.
Noah: I don't think that's how it works.
1: You’re basically buying a part of a big webpage
FC: This is like listening to someone try to explain that pi is exactly 3.
Noah: What's wrong with you?
FC: I am the Anthony Bourdain of the gun world. I eat, I drink and I yell at idiots.
4:45 PM It's getting close to show close, I need to get ready for the wedding. I grab my Lauren shirt that thankfully is non iron and just dressy enough to work and just casual enough to be worn without a tie if you need to and whip off my HK polo. I put on the shirt and tuck it in as I notice a lovely couple walk up out of the corner of my eye. Its Jim and Jane, Jane is a pharmacist that works at the hospital and Jim is a Gastroenterology resident at the hospital too. They buy lots of guns from me. I finish tucking in my shirt as we talk shop.
Jim wants 6 cans, 3 handgun and 3 rifle and wants to know what his options are. I rattle off all the options I would look at and I write some down on a legal pad for Jane to show him on the computer when he gets home. We talk 762 vs 556, 45 vs 9mm and direct thread vs QD for about 10 minutes as I tie off my blue Ted Baker tie into a Pratt knot. The apex of the tie just touches my belt buckle. Length is right on the money, and I didn't even have a mirror. Jane approves of my knot and color selection. Go me.
4:55 PM: Fabulousness achieved, I call back in and find out national system is still down. FUCK. Well this is gonna have to wait till tomorrow. I shove Airman Cecil O'Malley's paperwork under the table and start stowing stuff since the show is about to close.
4:59 PM: Table is covered up and FC is walking out the door as the announcement crackles over the loudspeaker. THE SHOW IS CLOSED. PLEASE LEAVE THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR.
5:01 PM: On the way to the wedding! I stop at Target along the way because I've forgotten to get a card. I find one that says "It was meant to brie" on the front. It has some greeting card herpes, aka glitter on it but I have no time to be picky. As I'm in line to checkout I write something cheeky.
"I always said love was cheesy and I camembert it sometimes.....Love, FC"
The cashier scans it, I plug my amex into the card reader as I slip in a yard in there and seal up the envelope and slide it into my jacket pocket.
The ride to the lake breaks every speed limit in two counties.
5:45PM: I arrive 15 minutes before the ceremony is about to begin and the parking staff puts me in the back lot. I hike over to the open bar and get a fresca. I'm supposed to behave myself, so FC quit drinking and is just chilling with a fresca as he scans the room.
I know NOBODY at this wedding except the bride, groom and MAYBE the bride's massage therapist. Nope. I know nobody here. Awwwkward. I behave myself and sip on a fresca as the wedding starts. She gets married. She says yes. He says yes. FC is an ordained minister and can step up and marry someone in case there's an emergency but my services will not be needed at this wedding because things are going smoother than a cold filtered miller genuine draft. It's all good. The DJ announces the new couple and they walk down the aisle together as husband and wife for the first time. The music starts playing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNEgUPKxk7A
ITS HEAVY D AND THE BOYZ! I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO A WEDDING WHERE THEY PLAY THE COUPLE OFF TO HEAVY D! I mention this to the people sitting next to me and they're like it's just like hitch!
I'm like what?
They go on to explain to me that it's a movie. Starring Will Smith. Huh. Didn't see that one.
5:45 PM: The open bar and the food is coming out. I look around and I definitely do not know ANYBODY HERE. I need to eat and go home. I grab a plate of cocktail shrimp and some lobster sliders and sit down at a picnic table away from the crowd. I don't even notice a busty brunette with cleavage showing also sitting at the table staring at her phone across from me until she says hi.
(I scarf down a lobster slider. Munch munch)
1: So how do you know the lovely couple?
FC: Well she was a friend of a friend and next thing you know I'm showing up to the Christmas party and the wedding. Then Seth is showing up and then they're getting married. You?
1: I work with Lisa, I'm a flight attendant. But I've been out of work for a few months. We had this thing at work. It's called a fume event. I happens when well uh how do I say?
FC: Contaminated bleed air via the pneumatic air conditioning kit - or PACK - gets into the cabin, causing all sorts of respiratory irritation and all sorts of other things for the crew. You're on the 320, right?
1: The airbus? Yeah. Me and Lise are also on the....
FC: 321 and the 319. Yeah, I'm familiar with the technology.
1: You're a pilot.
FC: Not exactly. I just know airplanes really well.
1: So you're an aerospace engineer.
FC: I wouldn't go that far. Hahaha. That's stretching it. A lot.
1: Let me get this right. You're friends with Lisa and Seth, you know airplanes, you're the only one at this wedding actually wearing a suit......
FC: To be fair, it's Louisiana in October. We're lucky most of the folks here aren't wearing Mossy Oak and Realtree.
1: Hahahahahhah! You must live in Baton Rouge!
FC: I do.
1: Me too! What part of the city? I live in (names neighborhood)
FC: I'm over in (neighborhood next to her)
1: OH MY GOD! That's 10 minutes from my house! So anyways, you're smart, you're funny, where have you been all my life? I'm Ally.
FC: I'm Will.
1: You wanna get dinner together? I literally do not know anyone else here and I was thinking about leaving before I met you.
FC: Uh sure. Lemme just top this fresca off.
1: I'll join you.
6:15 We're told by the bartenders to grab a ceremonial wedding tervis tumbler with a patch commemorating the happy couple's nuptials hermetically sealed inside. They didn't want a bunch of red solo cups going to the dumpster so they decided to ball out. I walk up to the table where there's literally 200 tumblers in varying colors to choose from and I grab a random one as Ally grabs one too. We head to the bar, she fills her with vodka and sprite. I top off with ginger ale because I'm staying sober and I have to drive 45 minutes back to casa de FC in BTR.
She asks me how I know so much about airplanes, I tell her it's been a lifelong obsession and I've done some ground school on the 320 and the 737 and I much prefer the 320. I ask her what's tough about her job and she tells me that most people don't know they only get paid when the doors close. I say yeah, block time is a real bitch sometimes. She looks at me like I'm crazy. I'm like what? She's like HOW DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BLOCK TIME? I told you, I know airplanes. We chat some more as the crowd gets drunker and drunker and more ridiculous on the dance floor. Someone requested Strokin' by Clarence Carter and the DJ ACTUALLY PLAYED IT. Goddamnit Lisa! HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A DO NOT PLAY LIST? Wow.
7:10 PM We find some seats for dinner as the buffet opens up, I pile a bunch of chicken marsala and beef wellington on my plate and we head back to the table. She's only a few years older than me and cannot believe that I am single. She asks if I've tried tinder. I tell her the tinder story about me being stuffed into the back of a police car and it is met with raucous laughter.
1: So, do you dance?
FC: I do a lot of things, but I don't dance. Baton Rouge is the city that rhythm forgot.
1: I don't really dance either. As a matter of fact, I'm perfectly content to people watch all night with you here by my side.
Her hand ran down to touch mine. It had a ring on it.
FC: What does your husband think about that?
Next thing I know, Lisa and Seth have dropped by the table to say hello. They're taking pictures with everyone and we can't continue the conversation we were just having. Lisa dives in to hug Ally, Seth gives me a handshake, sips my drink and asks why there isn't any bourbon in that tumbler.
FC: Gotta behave myself. Long drive back home.
Ally: OH MY GOD LISA! Will is FANTASTIC! Where have you been keeping him? He's funny, he's amazing and he looks hot in a suit! If I wasn't married, he'd be the perfect guy!
(We're cut off by Lisa, she looks at me sternly.)
Lisa: WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Lisa: Yesterday! When I was getting my wedding dress fitted! You called me a half attractive woman.....
FC: It's not a normal occurrence! Most of the women who open my door are total heifers! For real! Take the compliment!
Lisa cracks up, and Seth who has had a few drinks laughs so hard that he damn near falls over. You can hear the cackle of his laugh carry across the lake. The best man props him back up and they all have a laugh. The wedding planner slides in and tells the bride that her cake has been outside of refrigeration for an hour and 15 minutes now and is structurally deficient. They need to cut it now before it collapses in upon itself like a black hole. Lisa grabs Ally, Seth grabs me and the rest of the table follows. We're now part of the wedding cake cutting crew.
7:15 PM: The entourage all takes their Instagram positions as Lisa cuts into her structurally deficient cake and Seth resists the urge to do anything cheeky and fun with frosting. It's cute, everyone toasts the newlyweds.
7:20 PM: I pull Lisa aside privately and I ask her - what the fuck is Ally's deal? "If I wasn't married he'd be the perfect guy?" WHO THE FUCK SAYS THAT? A married woman? At a wedding? To a guy she JUST MET?
Lisa: Look, I have no idea how her marriage is going or what her deal is. But just because there's a goalie doesn't mean you can't score.
FC: WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?
Lisa: It means that maybe, if she's throwing herself at you......you should catch her. I gotta go throw the bouquet. Brb.
7:25 Lisa goes to throw her bouquet and Ally has found me and is back at my side.
1: Where were we? I was just saying to Lisa that I was wondering where a guy like you has been all my life? You are awesome.
FC: I am awesome, and you are married.
1: Yeah, I know. Come on, I really want you......I mean I really want you......to go photobooth with me. Come on, it'll be fun.
She grabs my arm and drags me to the photobooth and she puts ridiculous hats and stuff on me. I'm like no, I've been looking ridiculous enough from birth. i'm good. She literally begs me with puppy dog eyes and does that thing where she shows cleavage.
FC: Isn't this like against one of the ten commandments? Thou shalt not......photobooth with another man's wife?
1: Hmm. Yeah, I guess. You're really sweet though. If I was single, I'd be all over you right now.
FC: Who says that? Really?
1: So, answer me this. You're not an engineer. You're not a pilot. What do you do?
FC: Gun dealer.
1: So if I had something like an AR15 that needed some work, you'd be the guy to call?
FC: Maybe, depending on what you needed - there's a lot of things where I'll just tell you flat out what you're trying to do is uneconomical and a bad idea.
1: Well, I'd really like it if you could check out some of my equipment sometime.
FC, internal monologue: WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE
FC, external monologue: Bring it by the gun show this weekend and I'll see what I can do.
I crack an uneasy smile as she gets up to go use the bathroom. I decide it's time to get the fuck out of here.
8:11 Making my escape plan proves to be a little tougher than I expected. The parking at the venue at the lake is dark and unlit and I have to navigate my way back to my car in the dark using the light from my phone. I reach into my jacket and I realize that their card is still inside. Fuck. I gotta go back. I turn around and head back to the gift table and I use some ninja recon skills I picked up in catholic school to make sure Ally is nowhere nearby. The coast is clear. I walk up to the little birdcage they have for cards, drop mine in confidently and get ready to turn on my heel and leave. I start making my way back to the parking lot when Seth is just walking out of the bathroom next to the gift table.
1: Hey man, you heading home?
FC: I am now, forgot to drop off your card.
1: Ally thought you left without saying goodbye to her, so she asked me for your number. I gave it to her.
FC: Oh dear lord.
FC: Did you hear that woman? "If I was single, you'd be the perfect guy!" Those words are not in a vocabulary of any married woman I know.
1: Dude, you just gotta chill out and go with the flow man. It's not your marriage. If she wants a piece of you, cut her off a slice.
FC: Are you serious?
1: When I met Lisa, she was still married to Freddie. Look at us now, 7 years later and we're happy. You want to be happy, don't you?
FC: Yeah but....
1: No but's! Go storm the castle! I gotta go, but I'll catch you at the afterparty tomorrow night! You going?
FC: Yeah at your house right?
1: Yeah, what time the gun show wrap up?
FC: 4, so I'll be out by 5.
1: I got steaks going on the grill at 3, I'll get save a nice one for you. You still a medium rare guy?
FC: You know it!
1: I think Ally is gonna be there too, you two should get to know each other a little better.
FC: That's what I'm afraid of!
Seth goes back to his wedding, I hop in the car and drive home. It's almost 10PM as I approach the Jersey mikes by my house. I stop in to grab a sandwich for Sunday.
Just as I walk up I hear one of the sandiwch makers swear she's going to slit the throat of the next person who orders a sandwich. Eep. I tell her I need a giant 9. She starts making me one. I ask her if she's trying to get out of here right at 10? She says yeah, she's trying to catch the end of the Yankees/Red Sox game. I tell her my old man was from Brighton and my mom was from Elmhurst, so there's no love lost there. We have a laugh. She caught the Yankees pummeling the A's in the wild card on Wednesday. I whip out my phone and check the score for her. Yankees are up 6-2. I tell her she should be able to catch the end of it at home or whatever sports bar she's going to. She tells me she's going to the outback steakhouse the next block over to watch it and they better have the game on when she rolls up in 15. I tell her I'll do her one better. I dated the bartender there (once, she friendzoned me) and I'll message her on facebook to have it on for you. It is at this moment, I am asked for the second time that evening - from a strange woman I've just met - where have I been all her life?
I head home, throw my sandwich in the fridge and head to bed wondering WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE?
Did FC like get game all of a sudden?
Donald Trump is President.
The Eagles won the super bowl.
You can't make this shit up.
I got one more day at the gun show too.
Postscript: As I write this, it's Columbus day and the Indians, the Redskins and Braves all got their asses handed to them.
We truly live in interesting times.
Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community
, and others, is MeWe
with over 250 mentions
. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS.
It is headed by professed Libertarian
CEO Mark Weinstein
As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations.
This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.
Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company).
Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography
lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books
His Crunchbase bio
is a repeat of the MeWe content.
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee: Inventor of the World Wide Web.
- Jack Canfield: Legendary Founder, Chicken Soup For The Soul.
- John Friedman: Founding Partner, Easton Capital.
- Cullen Hoback: Director, Terms and Conditions May Apply.
- Dianne Morrison: Partner, MorrisonMcNabb, LLC.
- Colin Sebastian: Director, Equity Research/Internet, RW Baird.
- Brett Shevack: CEO, Brand Initiatives; Former Vice Chair, BBDO.
- Marci Shimoff: author, Happy for No Reason.
- Sherry Turkle: Professor, MIT; author Alone Together.
Ownership & Investment
MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016.
Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041 Crunchbase Profile
Founded: 2012 (source
Secured $1.2M in seed funding
2016 valuation: $20m (source
- John Friedman, venture capitalist, founder & MD, Easton Capital, New York, NY.
- Jack Canfield, author, Chicken Soup for the Soul.
- Marci Schimoff, author, Love for No Reason, Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul.
- Tom Myers, investment advisor.
- Mykola Latansky, personal improvement guru, Ukraine.
- Dan Phillips, entrepreneur, co-founder, CloudHealth Technologies.
- Jack Sweeney, CEO, SevOne, operating partner, Bain Capital Ventures. (WSJ Profile)
- Rachel Roy, fashion designer.
- Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com.
Despite the business address, the company claims to be based in Los Angeles County, California
and is described by the Los Angeles Business Journal
as a Culver City, CA, company.
In an August 6, 2018 Twitter post, Weinstein promotes MeWe
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
Highlights of these follow.
- Message disappearance (self-expiring messages).
- California Disclosures -- Do Not Track, 3rd-party cookies, and California Privacy Rights.
- Your Identity: We protect it to the extent the law allows
- Linking to Third-Party Sites: These are your decisions and responsibilities
- Security: HTTPS and Encryption
- Children's Privacy
Terms of Service
The ToS addresses:
- Your acceptance
- Allowable Content and Acceptable Use
- Rights Reserved
- Who Our Services are For
- User Content Ownership
- Misuse of Usernames, Page names, Group names
- Fake Accounts (pseudonyms allowed, misleading is not)
- More on Spam
- Our Commitment to Data Security
- MeWe Content Data
- MeWe Log Data
- Your Data Portability
- Deleting Your Account -- Right to Erasure
- MeWe Secret Chat
- MeWe Invitations and "Add Automatically"
- Additional Policies for Pages, Groups, and Events Notifications of Requests for Account Information
- Guidelines for Law Enforcement Seeking Customer Data (Worldwide)
- MeWe Rights
- Ownership In and To the Site and Services
- Other Provisions
Effective: November 6, 2018.
The FAQ addresses:
- What is MeWe (emphasises privacy)
- The Politics of MeWe ("absolutely no political agenda")
- How can MeWe be free and make money? (additional services/freemium)
- Which devices is MeWe available on? (Android, iOS)
- What content can I share on MeWe (photos, videos, documents, voice messages, privacy mail, chats, gifs, memes, doodles)
- What are some unique features of MeWe?
- Who can see the posts I share?
- Can I delete my MeWe account and is it easy to do this?
This emphasises that people are social cratures
and private people by right
. The service offers the power of self expression
under an umbrella of safety
. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy
Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.
Privacy Bill of Rights
A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
- You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
- You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
- You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
- Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
- You control who can access your content.
- You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
- Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
- Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
- Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
- You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.
There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.
The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.).
There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.
A DuckDuckGo search
produces several other press mentions, including:
- Facebook Alternative MeWe Raises $5.2M, Los Angeles Business Journal (July 7, 2018) "The latest round, as well as MeWe’s total $10 million in fundraising, was predominantly backed by celebrity investors, such as author Marci Shimoff, Rachel Roy, and Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which sold to Linkedin in 2015 for $1.5 billion. Jack Canfield, creator of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series, also invested in MeWe."
- Full Page "Dear Facebook" Letter In The New York Times from MeWe, the Competitor Mark Zuckerberg Refuses to Name Yahoo Finance/PR Newsire (May 28, 2018) "Facebook competitor MeWe, in its first-ever advertisement on any medium, took a full-page in the New York Times on Sunday, May 27th. MeWe's "Dear Facebook" letter is a direct response to Mark Zuckerberg's letter ad on March 25th, and a response to Zuckerberg's refusal to name a Facebook competitor in front of Congress."
- Is building a Facebook alternative worth the effort? MeWe thinks so VentureBeat (July 5, 2018) "[T]here are still companies hoping to make their mark in the social networking realm with “Facebook alternatives.” One of those is MeWe, a “next-generation” social network that positions itself as the anti-Facebook: “Your private life is not for sale. No ads. No Spyware. No BS,” its website proclaims." Continues to mention "modest $5.2 million" funding round. Also a "sister product", MeWePRO, a Slack competitor.
- 5 easy and simple ways to protect your privacy online — how to prepare for the next big threat Medium/Mark Weinstein (November 16, 2016) "If there’s one thing everyone wants to protect it’s their privacy and information online."
- Startup MeWe Launches Free, 'No Ads' Social Network eWeek (March 16, 2016) "MeWe, a new network engineered with its users' data privacy built in, is betting that a lot of people will say yes to both of those questions. The Mountain View, Calif.-based startup, whose parent company is Sgrouples.com, launched its freely available social network out of beta March 9 with more than 200,000 members already using it.... Sir Tim Berners-Lee, co-architect of the World Wide Web, found out about MeWe on his own and approached the company about getting involved."
- Facebook Alternative MeWe closes $5.2M Series A Yahoo/PR Newswire (July 5, 2018). "The investment brings MeWe's total funding to $10 million, to support the engineering of MeWe and the enterprise version MeWePRO.... The company has relied on high net worth individuals for all of its funding including Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com ...; Marci Shimoff, a #1 New York Times bestselling author ...; Rachel Roy...; and Jack Canfield."
- Exactis Data Leak 2018: 340 Million Records Exposed InvestorPlace (June 29, 2018) "'Today's cookies can link your mobile phone to your laptop, to your home monitoring devices, and much, much more. Creepy? Scary? Orwellian? Yes, yes, yes,' Mark Weinstein, the privacy expert and founder of social media company MeWe, told MarketWatch. 'So imagine that Exactis, like Facebook, knows everything about you — really.'"
- MeWe Raises $3M in Funding FinSMEs (March 9, 2016) "Sgrouples, Inc., the Mountain View, CA-based developer of MeWe, a social network with neither ads nor tracking, raised $3m in funding."
- MeWe Raises $4.8 Million, Launches Next-Gen Social Network Cision/PRWeb (March 9, 2016) "The company also announced the completion of its $3 million Seed III round of funding at a $20 million valuation, bringing MeWe’s total funding to date to $4.8 million."
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s app MeWe is used by neo-Nazis and perverts The Times of London (January 8, 2019) "The social network that Sir Tim Berners-Lee hoped would be free from abuse has been found to contain gun sales, drugs and antisemitism."
This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.
The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.
There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
- MeWe Android 4.4 rating (13.1k ratings). Permissions: Contacts (read), Location (approximate/precise), SMS (receive), Phone (read status & identity), Photos/Media/Files (read, modify, & delete contents), Storage (read, modify, or delete), Camera (take pictures/videos), Microphone (record audio), Device ID & Call Info (read status & identity), and numerous elements under Other.
- MeWe iOS 4.3 rating (18.1K ratings) In-app purchases (additional features).
cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.
Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com
your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button.
The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.)
The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.
The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.
Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site.
Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not
provide tooltips for navigational aid.
Among the touted features
of MeWe are:
- My Cloud - Seamlessly organize all your content in My Cloud; it's your personal cloud. My Cloud offers an interactive dashboard for you to control everything you’ve posted or shared - making it simple to delete or reshare.
- Unique profiles - Be yourself, free from any tracking and spying. Customize your profile for every group you create or join.
- Voice integration (on any or all content) - Post pictures, videos, or documents and include a voice message. Respond to a shared post or just chat. MeWe’s voice integration works for you and your contacts throughout the entire platform.
- Universal tagging - This is a new, convenient way to sort and organize all the content you receive and share, making it easy to find everything, anytime.
- Enhanced permission control (patent issued) - Manage permissions on a granular level and decide exactly who sees what. You can also remove yourself from the search directory, make yourself invisible to other members online, and much more.
- Much More – join MeWe today and take a look inside! MeWe is the next-gen social networking experience designed for you to have fun, stay in touch, collaborate, organize, and simplify.
A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.
Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com
" on Twitter.
The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members.
This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.
MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.
MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest.
"MeWe has over 60,000 open groups
" according to its FAQ.
The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not
to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here.
A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
- MeWe Favorites
- Health & Fitness
- Cars & Motorcycles
- Fashion and Beauty
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories.
The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5.
Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
- Activism: QAnon+++ (2,572), PATRIOT PREPPERS USA (2,430), Deplorables Republic (2,48), The War Drummer (1,898), Patriots for a United America. (1894), Anonymous (1,700).
- Alternative Energy: Reiki, Crystals, and alternative healing (2,114), 💜Starseeds & Empaths💜 (345), Living in Colour (365).
- Alternative Lifestyle: Natural Healing and Home Remedies (3,045), Backyard Farming of All Things (2,696), WeTheSheeple (2,251).
- Alumni Connections: Google Plus Refugees (271), Google+ Refugees (186), Frog Pond (156), Carlsbad NM High School alumni (57).
- Animals: I Love My Dog (4,421), Pussy Shots (4,619).
- Astronomy: Spherical Earth Truth, Flat Earth is Wrong (278), Nibiru, Nemesis, Hercolobus, The Destroyer (187).
- Biology: Trees (344), Field of Birds (104), Patriots of Australia (51).
- Blogs: Women Bloggers (1,439), Urban & Wilderness Survival & Preparedness (1,367), Conservative Patriots & Oath keepers (742).
- Books and Book Clubs: PNW Book Club (1609), Bookworms (1,464), Erotica and Erotic Romance Book Lovers (1,219).
- Business: Small Business Connect (2,565), Deep Survival (1,183), Marketing and Social Media Tips (1,173).
- Career Building: Marketing jobs and opportunities (698), Famous Quotes (184), Automotive Technicians (57).
- Celebrities: Madonna Mania (116), Katy Perry (Hot!) (103), Trance Gemini of andromeda 2.0 (16).
- Classrooms: Are YOU Awake too? (1331), CRT (Crystal Resonance Therapy) Student Support (28).
- Clubs / Associations: RCBS Reloading Equipment (685), Boat Owners United (670), The Caliber Canteen (Reloading/ Firearms Buy/Sell) (505).
- Co-workers: Money Making sites to SHARE (235), Cop and retired cop friends (85).
- Coders: Hacker (978), Delphi Developers (269), Python (258).
- Colleges and Universities: SEC Football (832), Christian Apologetics: Campus Apologetics Alliance (221).
- Cooking: *recipies/homecooking* (2,618), Low & Slow BBQ (1,582), Mexican Foods and Recipes (1,503), Budget Meal Recipes (1,004).
- Culture: Destroying the Illusion Fans (1147), my friends (551), Coffee Addicts (542).
- Cyclists: Car Free Cities / Cycle communting (26).
- DIY: Homesteading DIY (5843), Prepper Living (3110), Knucklehead Homesteading (2102), 1911 owners forum (1,474).
- Dating: 🌸something Beautiful just for you too🌸 (237), Relationship Junction (171), LDS Dating (114).
- Education: Q-Anon Patriots (1,616), InfoWars.com (1,217), Constitutional Liberty for All (907), Prepping, Homesteads skills and Community (887), Shamanic Community (756), Truther Talk (665).
- Environmental: Geoengineering, Chemtrails, HAARP (455), ShareYourLove (253), The Seasons (193), Near Term Human Extinction Love (174).
- Family: Raising Natural Kids (1,496), Dogs (1,075), VACCINE DANGERS (583).
- Fraternities: Freemasonry (1072), Brotherhood of the Blade (313), Proud Boys Canada (74).
- Friends: MEWE FRIENDS ( NO NUDES ) (2,416), FIREARMS UNLIMITED...MEWE Version (1,517).
- Gamers: Tabletop RPG's and Boardgames (1,936), Dungeons & Dragons (1,499), OSR (1,485).
- Green: Aquaponics and Self SustainingLlifestyle (655), ENVIRONMENT and CLIMATE (583), Chasing Butterflies - Vaccine Free (385).
- Health & Fitness: NATURAL HEALING AND FOODS (8,221), Bodybuilding (5,321), Natural alternatives for Modern Health (4,680), Vaccine Free (3,285).
- Heart of All Women: Christian Women Talk About ANYTHING (39).
- History: 9/11, False Flags, & NWO Truth (1,872), The American Cowboy (1,065), "This Day in History" by Tara Ross (590).
- Hobbies: CinDes Embroidery (1,974), Another Caliber to Conquer (1,800), Sonia Showalter Machine Embroidery Designs (1,696).
- Home Improvement: Renovations With Grace❤️ Question & Answers (723), Home improvement DIY Group (79), Buildings churches castles etc (33).
- Homeschooling: Christian Homeschool Parents (889), Open Path Homeschool: Secular, Buddhist, Pagan, UU (145), The Lords Prophets (33).
- Hunting & Sportsman: GUN POST Group (Canada) (5,097), Guns, Ammo, and Supply's (5,023), OLD GUNS AND OLD FARTS (4,902).
- Innovation: Bitcoin/Crypto/Blockchain (759), CRYPTO 24/7/365 (28), 2 Real News (372), Tisk 3D modelů - 3D print (26).
- Jewelry: DFW Gold And Silver Coins And Currency (449), FIRE AGATE GEMSTONES (106).
- LGBT: HOUSE OF KNIGHTS - ENTERTAINMENT & MAIN GROUP (680), HOUSE OF KNIGHTS - HISTORY (421), HOUSE OF KNIGHTS - CARTOON (409).
- MEMES: MeMe Wars (3,758), MILITARY MEMES/FUNNY MILITARY MEMES (2,616), Shitposting Dumpster Fire (2,318).
- MLM: Post your biz opp here. (855), Make Money Moms Work at Home (612), Work From Home Opportunities (428).
- Medicine: Dinosaur Docs (120), MEDICAL MALPRACTICE (88), Zhong - Beroepsvereniging voor TCG (56).
- Medicine & Herbs: Herbal Survivalist Spot (2,353), There's an Oil for That™ (1142), 🌴Weed News🌴 (880).
- Meetups: light workers (1,203), MeWe Welcome (or "It's Not a Ghost Town") (729), The Banter Lounge (223).
- Movies and Film: Digital Movies (4K, HD, iTunes, MA, UV) (2,519), Ultraviolet Digital UV & MA Codes (Buy/Sell/Trade) (2,073), Science Fiction (1,483).
- Music: 60's 70's 80s Music (5,739), Musicians of MeWe! (5,194), Guitar Playing (3,921).
- Neighborhoods: Texas Issues (317), Cascadia Circles (235), Houston tx (214).
- Nerds: Cosplay (1,856), Classic Sci-fi Kingdom (1,292), Marvel (410).
- News: Judge Jeanine Pirro has Fans (7,808), Qanon News (3,466), Unfiltered News (2,913).
- Non-Profit: TRUMP IS MY PRESIDENT (190), Flat Earth Database - 地平論資料庫 (127), Florida Carry (99).
- Organic: Gardening Guru's Unlimited (1,381), GMO FREE for me! (1,076), Americans For Cannabis (874).
- Organizations: TRUMPANDPENC2016 (1,454), Low Country Survival Prepping & Camping (1,064), Wisconsin Firearms Trader (614).
- Parenting: Vaccines Empower Warrior Voices (391), Moms talk (360), Peaceful Parenting (131).
- Personal Improvement: For Introverts. (1,214), Anarchy, Philosophy, Psychology, and Spirituality (679), Positive Affirmations (447).
- Philosophy: In5d Esoteric Metaphysical and Spiritual Database (1,764), Thought Bouncing (1,137), Obtectivists - Galts Gulch - Ayn Rand fans (561).
- Poetry: Dead Poest (1,407), Palacio de Poetry (451), Poets Corner (412).
- Politics: Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11,486), The Conservative's Hangout (8,345), Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5,600), Drain The Swamp (4,978), Libertarians (4,528), United We Stand Trump2020 (4,216).
- Pop Culture: The Loftus Party (116), The Walking Dead: The Stalking Dead (100), Tyler, Texas (71).
- Privacy: Join the Open/Privacy Movement (3974), Kingsport tn gun trader (1,157), Safer Computing (555).
- Psychology: Inspiring Spirituality༺❉༻ non-religious~ universal (1,486), sacred plants & psychedelix community (1,212), OUR.Psychology (701), Dream Interpretation (537).
- Recreation: Everything Reloading (3,252), Redeye Reloading (1,980), Fishing (1,549).
- Relationships: Complementarian Thought (50).
- Religion / Spirituality: LoveHasWon (3,245), The Christian Underground (2,604), Pagan Friendly Folk (1,630).
- Robots: Arduino Hexapods, Balancing Robots, and projects (137).
- Romantic: Snapchat Add Party (2,681), Green Heart (1,270), ROMANCE COMMUNITY (205).
- Science: Consciousness (1,327), Steven's Private Alien/UFO Group (668), BIGFOOT HAPPENINGS (538).
- Self Help: * SURVIVE and THRIVE* (858), Preparedness and Off Grid Living (763), Free (631).
- Self-Directed Learning: Exposing the Matrix of Lies (997), WAKE THE FUCK UP (474), Wake the Fuck Up. The Next Dimension (287). WTFU when SHTF (126).
- Social Change: Armed with Truth and Knowledge (1,986), VEGANS UNITE (766), ACTIVISM universal headlines ~❉~ (729), Meet Earth's Cosmic Neighbors (MECN) (663).
- Space: Space (579), ** THE AMAZING UNIVERSE and OUR WORLD** (546), WE ARE NOT ALONE... (488).
- Sports: Australian IPSC Buy And Sell (591), Formula 1 (295), Border War Rifle Series, Iowa PRS Matches (280).
- Sports Teams: Liverpool FC (228), GEORGIA BULLDOGS (129), The Black and Gold (89), Dallas Cowboys Fans (80).
- Subculture: Neon Revolt (3,696), Redneck Funnies (2,042), Serial Killers And True Crime (724).
- Surfers: NZBM BEACH VIBES (416).
- Sustainability: Common Sense Home (1,746), The Survivalist (1,603), Barter For Prepping/Survivalism/Homesteading Goods (1,274).
- Techies: MeWe Help And Support (948), Geek Time (220), GZOSP (124).
- Technology: Apple Discussions (2,722), Linux and Open Source Users Group (3,423), Cutting Edge Military Technology (3,201).
- Transportation: Truckers Life (431), Aviation (316), Duramax Diesel (312).
- Travel: Travel Tips and Recs (8,234), Travel, Food & Wine, Cocktails + Craft Beer Lovers (6,071), Texas (2,694).
- Trending News: **UNDER ATTACK & FIGHTING BACK!** (1,138), US News Page (691), THE AMERICAN PATRIOT (609).
- Twitter: Twitter Hates Conservatives (198), Cstle Ricochet (35).
- Videos: ♥ MY FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ♥ (926), Video Meditations (196), The 80's Again - My Retro 80's Music And Video (180), Deep Space Seven (127), Naked Male Celebrities (74).
- Wellness: Minds Awaking Consciousness Restored (1,855), Hemp Earth (1,164), Mind-Body-Spirit (993).
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not
an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.
- Google Plus expats (1,862)
- Google+ Refugees (186)
- G+ Refugees (101)
- my Google+ expatriates
The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.
It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total
political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
- Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
- The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
- Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
- Drain The Swamp (4978)
- Libertarians (4528)
- United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
- The Right To Self Defense (3757)
- Alternative Media (3711)
- Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
- Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
- Return of the Republic (2509)
- Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
- Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
- Berners for Progress (1963)
- Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
- The American Conservative (1839)
- I Am The NRA (1704)
- Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
- We Love Donald Trump (1611)
- MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
- Q (1396)
- ClashDaily.com (1384)
- news from the front (1337)
- Basket of Deplorables (1317)
- Payton's Park Bench (1283)
- Convention of States (1282)
- Britons For Brexit (1186)
- MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
- MeWe Free Press (1119)
- The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
- Libertarian (1097)
- WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
- AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
- #WalkAway Campaign (894)
- ALEX JONES (877)
- The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
- We Support Donald Trump! (810)
- The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
- TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
- Official Tea Party USA (749)
- Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
- Yes Scotland (697)
- "WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
- Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
- Anarcho-Capitalism (658)
- Ted Cruz for President (650)
- No Lapdog Media (647)
- Q Chatter (647)
- Daily Brexit (636)
- Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
- The Trumps Storm Group (600)
- QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
- 100% American (569)
- Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
- Deep State (560)
- In the Name of Liberty (557)
- Material Planet (555)
- WikiUnderground (555)
- Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
- Magna Carta Group (520)
- Constitutional Conservatives (506)
- Question Everything (503)
- Conspiracy Research (500)
- Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
- Conservative Misfit's (479)
- Canadian politics (478)
- Anarchism (464)
- HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
- Deplorable (450)
- Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
- UK Politics (430)
- Bongino Fan Page (429)
- Radical Conservatives (429)
- RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
- The Deplorables (409)
- America's Freedom Fighters (401)
- Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
- CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
- Political satire (383)
- RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
- UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
- The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
- End The Insanity (349)
- Coming American Civil War! (345)
- Constitutional Conservatives (343)
- United Nations Watch (342)
- A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
- The New Libertarian (335)
- Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
- DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
- American Conservative Veterans (331)
- Anarchism/Agorism/Voluntaryism (328)
- America Needs Donald Trump (326)
- The UKIP Debating Society (321)
- Coalition For Trump (310)
- Egalitarianism (306)
- FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
- 2nd Amendment (287)
- Never Forget #SethRich (286)
- Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
- 104: Conservatives Against Liberal Beliefs C.A.L.I.B (273)
- 184: Progressive and Liberal Politics (119)
- 301: Liberalism is a Mental Disorder (33)
- 302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
- 358: NOT For Liberals (17)
- 367: Drinking Liberally Houston (14)
- 400: Stephanie Miller's Sexy Liberal Army (6)
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
- 11: Return of the Republic (2509)
- 161: Death to the Democrat Party! (138)
- 188: Republican Liberty Caucus (113)
- 306: Twin Cities South Metro Republicans (32)
- 316: Non-Conspiracy, Non-Republican Libertarians (30)
- 323: Democrats and Veterans Party (28)
- 364: GOP Fireworks (15)
- 391: Saving The Republic: Video News & Opinion (8)
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
- 7: The Right To Self Defense (3757)
- 80: RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
- 150: POLITICS ON THE LEFT (156)
- 157: 1st Amendment Rights Protected By The 2nd Amendmen (141)
- 209: On The Left With Jeremy Corbyn (84)
- 262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
- 300: Gather Left (33)
- 385: Defend Washington State Gun Rights (9)
- 390: Left Coast Conservatives (8)
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
- 121: Revolutionary Socialists United (204)
- 216: Socialist Thought (79)
- 220: Stories Of Communism (76)
- 262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
- 288: Snuggly Wuggly Socialists (38)
- 302: Resistance Against Liberal Socialism (33)
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:
- 97: FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
- 100: Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
- 262: Eyes-Left Labour & PP - Social Media (49)
- 320: Green Party of Ohio Issues & Discussion Group (29)
Whilst there may not be a political agenda
, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias
to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects.
Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.
- Various typos and tagging corrections. 2018-11-29 - 30
- Added G+MM references count for MeWe to lede paragraph. 2018-12-2
- Wolfe status, Times of London story, typos.
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