The Disconnected Life

October 30, 2009

I’ve come to ponder the movement among we Internet savvy and our obsession with online networking. More and more, connecting through the Internet has become a social norm. Venues like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and other sites have given people access to friends and family and complete strangers all over the globe with a simple click of a button (or touch of the screen for you iPhone people). It is an ever-present obsession, and yes, it is an obsession (one that I readily admit I have fallen prey to – and most likely, if you are reading this, you have, too). I know my examination of this quandary presents nothing new to those of you who were the founding members of MySpace, who have 784 followers on Twitter and 361 friends on Facebook and keep up with your very own swell of blogs. “Duh, like, where have you been?”

obsessed

Good question; one that I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. I have avidly poured myself into blogging and staying connected online for various reasons (my book, my career, my need to indulge in the latest-and-greatest, juicy gossip, my desire to keep in touch with many near and dear people who live too far away to see/talk to on a regular basis and my acceptance of the fact that sometimes there is just nothing better for an occasional insomniac to do at 3 o’clock in the morning), and anymore, me without my laptop and joe just isn’t me at all. In fact, I practically live to share my latest thoughts with hundreds (or thousands) of other cyber companions. Sometimes I network to entertain, sometimes I do it to pass the time, sometimes it’s the closest thing to connecting with a friend that I can find. THAT’S what got my noggin’ throbbin’. I have friends & family (and a dog), I go out, I meet people – I have a very rich social life, and yet, I find myself entrapped by these online social networks that I have come to know as my own.

“So what?” I easily dismiss. “I have my reasons. I am not OBBSESSED.”

Puleeze! We all know that I am. The Internet has become my adulthood pacifier. I don’t think I could live without it.

Remember that scene in The Truman Show when Truman exits his ready-made life into the real word, and all of his loyal (obsessed) followers cheering him on are suddenly faced with a void they had not known in a long time? It was as if they had all waken from a coma, lost for a moment in their surroundings as if they had never really looked because the whole time they had been living vicariously through Truman. The void Truman’s followers faced was THEIR existence and what it had become (or not become) in the real world while they were busy following Truman on TV.

Will I one day suffer such a rude awakening, too? I’d like to think not.

However, it is a frightening prospect to consider while pondering the scope of what online networking has become; we may be alive; but who of us are really living? Just how deep are some of us sucked in? How many of us have fallen into a make-believe world where our friends are icons on the screen and we laugh alone at jokes and comments that should have been shared over dinner or drinks, but instead are buried as encrypted 1’s and 0’s in the social-cyber web we weave? How many of us turn to the Internet for companionship because we don’t know what else to do with ourselves? How many spend countless hours blogging and tweeting and tagging online each and every day?

I think we are all a little guilty of succumbing to the lure of online networking and the opportunities it doth offer – A chance to reconnect with long lost friends? A chance to lead a double life? A chance to meet people who aren’t privy to the skeletons in our closets? A chance to expose a few skeletons to others who understand? A chance to belong?

Whatever the reason we are initially drawn to join an online network, it seems that more and more, these cyber communities have become a preferred place to exist. It’s convenient, it’s uncommitted, seemingly “safe” and it can even be anonymous if you so choose. Previous college roommates can catch up on old times and soccer mom’s can chat with unregistered sex offenders all in one big, happy network. Shiggle my giggles, it’s GREAT!

Or is it? At what point does the appeal of online networking take priority over everyday interaction with peers? Anymore, it seems people prefer to trade passing smiles with loved ones for typing smiley faces on a monitor and laughing with friends at lunch for “LOL.” So why do we do it? Do we hide behind our online personas because we fear the social stigmas presented by flesh and bone? Are we trying to avoid the ridicule we may face for who we are, what we do, how we dress, what we eat? Do we prefer the abandonment of commitment cyber networks offer, allowing us to “catch up” with people at our leisure over the burden of a real-time friend calling at one in the morning because her boyfriend dumped her and she’s in desperate need of a real shoulder to cry on? Do we prefer the opportunity to make known our thoughts without regard for the consequences our words may befall? Is it a façade we can hide behind when given the opportunity to fabricate a new existence in which everything comes at face value, because no one knows (or cares to know) otherwise?

“The world is your oyster! Its name is Facebook…”

Oh the Web that weaves us!


Lily Allen is a twat and Jenny Slater drops the F-Bomb

September 27, 2009

Ooo, child!  There’s been a plethora of interesting shit flying around these here innerwebs today.

I first caught this on Mashable via a Pete Cashmore tweet on Saturday: Dear Lily Allen: The File Sharing Debate Now Has Lyrics

The “open letter” to Lily Allen by Dan Bull is pretty funny, albeit long…  and, damn catchy.  I can’t get it out of my head… “Remember when pretended, Lily, that you were truly independent, Lily?  Faking like you made it all alone, but you were legally with Regal, part of Parlaphone – oh yeah!

Then there was the season premier of SNL last night.  There were two awesome moments from that.  First: Newcomer Jenny Slater dropped the F-Bomb on live fucking television! (HuffPo has the video.)  HOT DAMN, JENNY!  Way to go.  Though we anticipate that this may make your run on SNL a short one, all us lady improvisers and sketch performers are stoked that the first f-bomb gaff came at the hands of a woman amongst the sausage fest at SNL… SNAP!

Then there is the fact that Megan Fox was ACTUALLY FUNNY in a sketch with Keenan Thompson.

The sketch was just really silly, it made me laugh out loud… My favorite is the “Jaberwocky.”

“Get down into your jabber position and wocky, wocky… wockywockywockywocky!”

I wish the whole show had been that funneh.  And, am I the only person who’s just over U2?  I might be.

I’m clearly too easily amused.  Back to work now!  Laters, H8rs!


Rumors, suspicion and innuendo…

September 24, 2009
Image via stuff that WAS cool.

Image via stuff that WAS cool.

Can I tell you a secret?  Yeah?  Cool.  Here it is: I am not in collusion with Bonnie and Ben (aka, the authors of the TFC).

It is extremely fucked up to be woken at 5:15 am by texts asking questions about this blog.

Here is another secret: the Internet?  Not serious business.  At all.  Please don’t ever text or call me about innerwebs dramz at 5:15 am — ever.

Omai.  Just when I swear I’m not going to acknowledge the jackassery of my former friends in public again, something happens that requires me to make comment.

Today I have learned that B&B are claiming that the TFC was in collusion with this blog as part of a grand and spectacular social experiment about Internet trolls.

Yeah.  Not true.

I am also told that they said that since “we” had enough material that they were retiring.

Mmmmm… we’ll see about that. Read the rest of this entry »


Maury is Good for you

September 24, 2009

AltarI am a man of God…but not a very good one, so first, let me say that Kate is absolutely, 100% wrong…

Anonymity on the internet should be encouraged… it made the internet what it is today..the freedom of it that I, and so many others enjoy. I would imagine that yes, it hurts people sometimes, but just because someone occasionally drowns in a lake doesn’t mean you should drain the fucker. I say, make it even deeper…the world can’t support the amount of jackholes we have on it already.

But anyways…along with being a man of god (again, not a very good one), I am also many other things, first and foremost a nihilist of some degree…oh, and a social worker so I’m sure you can imagine how much easier my beloved nihilism makes that job…really. But being a nihilist allows me a certain sense of freedom, one I enjoy very much…

Did I mention Gavin Newsom is an asshole?

But yes, back to my nihilism…yes, I do know Kate Kotler; I have known her for years…approx 7 or 8…and to know her that long is to find fault…same as with anybody else. I know enough shit about Kate that if I put it up here, some of you out there might actually wet themselves with glee…but I won’t. Not going to do it…and that has nothing to do with my nihilism…actually it would explain why I say I have strong nihilistic tendencies, and am not completely carried over with it…for, I do actually have some respect, a touch of dignity when I feel like it, and a sense of loyalty, even when I feel that person may not deserve it. Not that I am saying this about Kate…more in general, but anyway…

Oh yeah…you people actually started a fucking blog to try to tear Kate a new one?

Really?

No….really?

That is the kind of tedious bullshit that helped me realize the low worth in (San Francisco’s Mission District) human friendship, and you two were once her friends…really? Read the rest of this entry »


J’taime Ze Frank: Ze Frank throws a tea party

September 24, 2009
Photo courtesy of Ze Franks Last.FM page.

Photo courtesy of Ze Frank's Last.FM page.

Via TIME Online…

Ze Frank Throws A Tea Party

I appeal to you again, Ze Frank, please come to SF and whisk me away to your land of awesome funny poltical commentary… please?  I LURVE you.


Introducing TL285

September 23, 2009
Hes a rogue, hes a diabolical villan, hes TL285

He's a rogue, he's a diabolical villan, he's TL285

His name sounds like a robot name (which is cool) but in fact, he’s a real person, who has approached me asking to contribute to this blog while I am working on other projects.

Please give a warm H8ful welcome to Mr. TL285.  I’ll let him jump right in and do what he does best… piss people off.

To clarify: He’s not anonymous, he’s revealed his identity to me, but is choosing to write under an alias… so he escapes my “no anonymous posting” dictate.  He further disagrees with me about the YOYOW issues and is pretty adamant that he be given free reign on the blog to do as he wishes… I’m gonna say otay to that.  We’ll see what happens.

Enjoy!


Taking the high road is hard…

September 22, 2009

Sigh.  I know I said that the blog was on break until 1 October, but this is a post which needs to be made right now.

I finally had to draw the line with Bonnie Bowes and Ben Acevedo, (the authors of the TFC,) and send cease and desist letters to them via email and snail mail.  They crossed multiple lines in posting about me and I was encouraged to put my foot down by multiple people who care about me.  The thought was/is that if I just continued to ignore them, after they clearly violated my privacy and clearly violated copyrighted works, that I would be as complicit in what they were doing as I would be if I continued to interact with them either on this blog or the TFC.

So, I tried to resolve the issue privately by sending cease and desist emails to them, imploring them to take my content and personal information down.  Of course this set them off and they republished my emails on their blog.  Which – frankly – made me see red for a bit, as it’s very frustrating to try to approach a problem reasonably, only to have the individuals you’re trying to open dialog with respond irrationally.  But, after confering with people much wiser than I am (both in my private and professional life) I was reminded that I know that I cannot control the behavior of others, I can only control how I react to it.

I have to say, that the siege that these two former friends have launched on me since mid-summer is exhausting, both physically and emotionally.  They have worn me out to the point where I don’t care what they say about me 99% of the time, I just do not have the energy to deal with it.  To be completely honest: I moved out of the apartment with Bonnie to get away from her and from Ben and from the toxic friendships I had with them both and to cleanse myself of the toxicity of the people who I was surrounded by when they were part of my immediate life.  It is my own fault that I have allowed them to continue to have a presence in my life and while I am frustrated that I cannot disengage with them six months out from having walked away from them, I firmly believe that I am meant to learn something from this situation.

I have not behaved as my higher self and I have made a lot of mistakes in dealing with this situation.  Whatever those lessons are, I am learning them and dealing with it.  I will not put up with their behavior any further and I will not sink to their level again.  Sending the cease and desist letters is my line in the sand and if it is crossed again, I will not discuss it or react to what they have done in public, I will simply act upon it in private.  Period.  The time for bullshit and juvenile behavior has passed, there are some things which are simply unacceptable to me and I will not tolerate anyone behaving as such towards me. Read the rest of this entry »


More on YOYOW…

September 17, 2009

No commentary from me on this, just a link to this great article from Ars Technia.

Not-so-anonymous speech: how to get yourself un-masked online


Blog break…

September 16, 2009

This blog will be on hiatus from today until 1 October.

I have too much work to do to be splitting my focus on things that could be construed at negative influence.

I don’t know if Ms. Rosey Posey will be posting, she might be… But, me… cya later, alligators!

I’m writing a book and have four freelance articles to complete before I can spend anymore time dicking around with you jackholes. 😉

(I say jackholes in the fondest way, of course.)


You Go Girl: Kelly C. calls Kanye out on the red carpet over bad behavior

September 14, 2009

I recall people telling me not so long ago that “famous and talented” people do not keep “free WordPress blogs.”

Um, yeah – suck it people – that’s completely false.  Please attend the blog of one Ms. Kelly Clarkson:

I Am Kelly: Random Thoughts by Me

Note the shit-stirring post about Douchebag Kanye West’s outburst last night at the VMAs during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech.

For those of you who don’t know WTF I’m talking about, check out Perez (a fellow shit-stirrer, tho’ he does quite out class me – I am the Kathy Griffin to his Cher) and US magazine for the deets.

If Ms. Clarkson was only my guilty pleasure songstress before, she surely is my true love now.  Rock it, Kelly!