Note re: my recent anti-Facebook rant. Maybe the people at the FTC read all of the same Sci-Fi Lit.
In the news today—On the verge of going public to investors in an IPO, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg concedes “a bunch of mistakes,” but no wrongdoing in a case brought by The Federal Trade Commission, according to news reports. Facebook promises better privacy protections, many of which have been promised before . . . . . . The FTC, which is set to audit Facebook every other year, might just say it best:
- In December 2009, Facebook changed its site so certain information that users may have designated as private — such as their Friends list — was made public. Facebook didn’t warn users.
- Facebook claimed it certified the security of participating “Verified Apps.” It didn’t.
- Facebook promised users that it would not share their personal information with advertisers. It did.
- Facebook claimed that when users deactivated their accounts, their photos and videos would be inaccessible. But Facebook allowed access anyway.
Maybe the FTC settlement over these allegations and others, as well as the lure of the IPO $billions, will change Facebook’s m.o.. But, you know, when I’ve got a friend who constantly breaks promises, I usually do the logical thing. I defriend them.
Pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.
— The Music Man
Winner of the Most-Fun-Proof-Edit-Ever for Penn-Union, the literary project and journal I work on with my Thesis writing class:
Note to printer from writer’s proofread: See p. 26, paragraph 16/line 5: Italicize the word Bob, as in Spin the Fucking Wheel, Bob.
For more on the writer, James Gossard, whose short story is titled Magician, check out his website www.jamesgossard.com
I look around and see all the blank stares and slack jaws. Even my son, as he watched my husband gazing at the screen (not actually facebooking; just very briefly lost in cyberspace): “Daddy! Your face is locked on the computer!”
I know there are LOTS of social opportunities and LOL moments. Yet I can barely keep up with all of the social connections and obligations I have now. Besides, I like to actually Laugh Out Loud.
Then there’s the privacy worries and stalker-ready freakiness of Facebook that sets off all the Science Fiction alarm bells from all those stories I read as a teen. Facebook is just too Centrally Controlled for my liking, way too Big Bro.(f that!). And, what’s even creepier—nearly everyone I know saying I just HAVE TO get a facebook page. I. JUST. HAVE. TO.
“Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” anyone?’ So yea, I am afraid. Very afraid.
And, I know, I know — in most cases it’s all just innocuous fun and such. But the Facebook FaceLock simply seems too much like a soul suck for me.
A few days ago, I found a Halloween music CD I ‘d overlooked for the actual holiday, but decided to play it for my kids anyway. (Anything novel to fill after-school time). It actually had lots of cool TV series ditties like the theme song from “The Addams Family” and “Scooby-Do.” My son, 6, really got a kick out of the “Casper, The Friendly Ghost” song, playing it over and over. I told him about the show and said I watched reruns as a kid.
He paused for a second and said: “That’s probably the first Halloween movie put to the universe!”
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
– Apple founder and leader, Steve Jobs. (Emphasis mine).
So, I’ve been a little under-the-weather lately, and some things have just fallen by the wayside. Like “Waste-Free Wednesdays” at my daughter’s elementary school.
On Wednesdays, we are supposed to pack lunches that create No Trash — no plastic baggies, no wrappers, not even paper napkins. I’m usually happy to oblige and have even purchased those cool, Bento-box-like cubes from Old Navy that have compartments for snacks and a snap-able sandwich zone. (The only trade off with these is that the non-Ziploc-bagged items often get stale by lunchtime–as my husband quipped, “Ah, the taste of political correctness.” And, well, we still have to throw away the snack wrappers at home).
Well, my daughter came home the other day. “Mom, you know Wednesdays are waste-free . . . . . but that’s okay,” she said, sympathetic to my plight. “So then, I got to go up on stage and show off my plastic baggie as an example of ‘waste,’ and they videotaped me for a video they’re making about waste . . . “
Great. All of my green-guilt-prompted scurrying around most weeks to find food or snacks without wrappers (Which I do despise, btw, especially the unrecyclable Capri Sun astro juice packs) has gone unnoticed, and my slip-up moment has been immortalized forever next to my daughter’s proudly beaming face.
Thanks bunches. And, well . . . what a waste of my non-too-available energy.
The Baltimore Sun‘s Susan Reimer really nailed it the other day with her column (Nov. 3) on those wacky celebrity charlatans, The Kardashians, with the split-so-soon Big News after that $multi-mil$-televised ‘fairy-tale’ wedding. Notes Reimer, re: Kim K. and New Jersey Nets power forward Kris Humphries.
“If Kris had been playing ball instead of getting on Kim’s nerves with his plans to ‘brand’ himself with a publicist, a line of cologne, nightclub appearances for pay and, I don’t know, a line of handbags, the marriage might have lasted longer than the 72 days it took for her to tire of the unsophisticated hunk. She’s sad. He’s shocked.”
We shouldn’t be. Can’t we recognize Pop Culture Ponzi schemers when we see them? The question we should be asking ourselves: Just what is reality TV and what is fairy tale? Grimm’s-style, that is.
Consider a few rather recent deaths of American idols of a certain caliber:
- Charles M. Schulz — Peanuts comic strip creator . . . 1922- 2000
- Andy Rooney — Iconic “60 Minutes” curmudgeon commentator . . . 1919 – 2011
- Steve Jobs — Genius developer of the Apple technological revolution . . . 1955 – 2011
All passed away very quickly after formally retiring from their life’s work (Schulz within days)—so soon, in fact that articles still being written about their stepping-down moves were pulled from the proverbial presses (tho Macworld was already on news stands), and, just as quickly, rewritten as lifetime tributes and obituaries.
Sometimes, we simply are what we do.
Cafe Hon owner Denise Whiting, after nearly a year of controversy (including a dressing-down on this blog), has finally relinquished her trademark claim to the word, “Hon.” “I’ll take it off the register,” Whiting told The Baltimore Sun (see today’s Sun online at baltimoresun.com). “It was never mine to have in the first place.”
Whiting had claimed that her businesses, including Cafe Hon, were a “brand” she needed to protect by trademarking the actual word ‘Hon,’ favored by diner waitresses and those of us who grew up within 50-plus miles of Charm City. But, soon after, Baltimoreans of all walks balked, including those who protested outside her Hampden business, which she notes has suffered: “I am sorry for the animosity and the hatred and everything that trademarking a word has done.”
Finally, sanity and plain ole good sense have won out in this non-too-small tempest on the Avenue. And, good thing, too. Terms of endearment are simply to hard to come by. They should be shared, willingly.