Chasing Our Tails: The Russian Hackers Knew Us Better Than We Thought

Chasing Our Tails: The Russian Hackers Knew Us Better Than We Thought

By Don Hall

Watch a dog chase its tail.

Go ahead.

It's funny. The poor animal doesn't realize that this thing he's chasing, around in circles, is actually him. Because he doesn't understand that his tail is just the ass end of himself, he expends a ton of energy trying to scare it (the barking) and trying to kill it (the attempt to bite it.) He can't fathom the reality of the situation and so he chases his ass in a vain attempt to catch it.

We laugh because dogs, while often more intelligent than we think, aren't as intelligent as we want them be nor as savvy as those fucking dogs in the movies.

Many dogs never get the urge to chase their tails and, if you've ever tried to teach one that does you understand the near impossibility of it. The dog that chases its tail is blind to the distinctions.

Why do dogs chase their tails, though?



Oftentimes, dogs will chase their tails because they are a bit bored; it’s a way for them to have fun and expend some energy. This is especially true for puppies, who may not even realize that their tail is actually a part of their body, but see it as a toy. Generally, as dogs age, this kind of play dies down.



Do you tend to watch and laugh when your dog starts chasing his tail? If he is receiving positive attention from you by engaging in the act, it may cause him to do it whenever he wants you to take notice and play with him.

Something’s wrong


If you notice your dog really going after her tail a lot and trying to nip at it and chew on it, you may want to schedule a trip to the vet. Sometimes dogs will chase their tails because they are being bothered by worms or fleas or experiencing some other kind of medical issue.



For reasons that we still don’t really understand, breeds like German shepherds and terriers tend to engage in tail-chasing more than other breeds — even as they grow older. This happens even more when dogs have been trapped indoors for too long.



Some dogs may develop a compulsive disorder that involves chasing their tail. These kinds of behavioral problems can come about for many reasons — confinement, physical abuse, past injury or trauma, separation anxiety, and so on — and need to be addressed

Some dogs just complain. All the time. Whether out of boredom, the need for attention or compulsion, the act of non-stop bitching about the unfairness of it all feels cathartic.

The chihuahua that is so pissed about gentrification that her daily discourse is a litany of complaints about those fucking Irish Setters taking over the neighborhood.

The pug so up in paws about where he can urinate that, to listen to him, one would think the only pressing issue on the planet was his leg-lifting relief.

The sheep hound angry at the terriers because there aren't any sheep farms for him to work so he blames them instead of a transforming economy.

"What has now been made clear is that Russian trolls and automated bots not only promoted explicitly pro-Donald Trump messaging, but also used social media to sow social divisions in America by stoking disagreement and division around a plethora of controversial topics such as immigration and Islamophobia. 

And, even more pertinently, it is clear that these interventions are continuing as Russian agents stoke division around such recent topics as white supremacist marches and NFL players taking a knee to protest police violence. 

The overarching goal, during the election and now, analysts say, is to expand and exploit divisions, attacking the American social fabric where it is most vulnerable, along lines of race, gender, class and creed.

“The broader Russian strategy is pretty clearly about destabilizing the country by focusing on and amplifying existing divisions, rather than supporting any one political party,” said Jonathon Morgan, a former state department adviser on digital responses to terrorism whose company, New Knowledge, analyzes the manipulation of public discourse.

“I think it absolutely continues.”


It seems that the Russian hackers knew more about us than we did ourselves. By spotlighting our tails, they nudged us into wanting to catch them and turned the entire country into an insane land filled with twirling and spinning dogs, yapping angrily and desperately trying to snatch those tails right off our asses.

It seems that the thugs in charge over in the West Wing know us pretty well, too. Create a situation so egregious that our most vocal go apeshit chasing that tail and, while we are spinning hopelessly to catch it, destroy it, rip it from our backsides and munch it like a bone, they quietly dismantle everything from the New Deal to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to labor unions to immigration.

And when we look up, exhausted from the tail chasing, these masters of propaganda and the media somehow convince us that the tail is now a different one and we start chasing it again.

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