Category Archives: internet

Meet my friends.

Some of my new online friends

We tire of the wholesome appearances we make on the internet. The tally on Facebook of quiches baked, bottles of wine savored, sunsets appreciated. All opinions are positive, likes only, not even a pixel laid down that we would be ashamed of if our great-grandmother Googled and found it.

So can you blame me that in the late nights lately I’ve run with a new, rougher crowd of internet friends? I met them where all shady characters gather — in the suspect folder of my email box.

Elijah Pierre was the first. He approached me one night, looking like an elegant French biblical prophet in the flickering street light. “Use VicodinES to get rid of pain,” he said, clasping his hand to my shoulder.

We walked on. Elijah introduced me to Ahmad Roberts, whose calling card read, “Home delivery ViagraXanax Ambien.” Ervin Bower was next. We found him in a busy chat room. “Get Phentermine online!” he shouted in my direction, fighting to be heard above the noise.

Just then a young woman caught my eye.  She was like all young women — even better in my imagination. “This is Elba Sheridan,” Elijah said.

“How do you know Elijah? I asked her. She smiled coyly. “Get PercocetToday!” she replied, and shook my hand. We were joined by Elba’s roommate, Dianna C. Prince, who caught me by the arm and whispered in my ear, warm and damp, “Buy Hydrocodone online today.”

The chatroom wasn’t happening, so we caught a cab. “Let’s go to Kendall’s party,” Elba said. A wiry, goateed guy answered our knock. It was Kendall Byrne. “Need Ritalin?” he asked.  “In Need of Percocet?” a tall guy behind him said almost in response.  Everyone laughed. That was Marcelo M. Donovan, Kendall Bryne’s boyfriend of long standing.

We partied until the tail end of night. It was the first of many such jaunts to this secret place in my secret life. Each visit ends with a word of advice from Valentin Ledbetter, a Romanian descendant of the folksinger Leadbelly:  “Get a good nights rest with Ambien.”

Coming soon: “The Comic Torah”

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The Ballad of Brandon.

Brandon Hardesty

Brandon Hardesty is a dead-on mimic, clown and aspiring actor. His videos — shot in his basement rec room — have taken millions of hits. He has a huge following, including the Washington Post Magazine, where I first read about Hardesty in a profile last month.  Check out his zany and eerie one-man reenactments of scenes from Goodfellas, Princess Bride and 12 Angry Men.

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Woodstock was not Woodstock.

Jimi_Hendrix_on_stage_fender_stratocaster

Would it be uncool if Jimi Hendrix, 66, joined Facebook?

If you remember the 1960s and ’70s, chances are you view(ed) it as a time of tectonic upheaval, as forces of peace and love sought to displace the power of The Man, squareness, conformity, bigotry, oppression, Nixon, LBJ, J. Edgar Hoover, those who couldn’t dig it, and all music recorded by or under the influence of Frank Sinatra.

With the passage of time and the Baby Boomers now staking their place toward the end of the generational queue, we’ve come to realize that a generation gap is not a near-mythic abyss, but merely a socio-biological phenomenon, as predictable and benign as the phases of the moon.

So the criticisms of us from the other side of the generational divide rankle less: Boomers are selfish, Boomers are Social Security hogs, Boomers are conspicuously environmental. And the latest, asked almost redundantly: “Are Baby Boomers Killing Facebook and Twitter?

“When the Baby Boomers … arrive, they tend to do so en masse. And when they set up camp, they invariably change the dynamic of the social network itself,” Robert Shrohmeyer writes in PC World, and goes on to blame the horde-over-50 for bringing with them “everything from increased political activity to a proliferation of spam.”

I don’t know what fits between those two extremes. But as extreme as it sounds, remember that this is not a replay of Woodstock — the young seeking to push aside the old — because Woodstock was not Woodstock.  This is merely about social demographics. Plus, they’re not going to push us aside.

Instead, these Millennials might run away, abandoning the current social media mainstream for the next hot young thing.

(I’ll just note there’s a new Woodstock website, which I found out about from a blog called The Sixties. The Woodstock festival took place 40 years ago in August. When I clicked on the Woodstock site, there were two ads for the Ford Fusion hybrid.)

My own Facebook friend list is multi-generational, and I admit that I communicate with my younger friends differently than those who are my age. Then again, I don’t treat my close friends the same way I treat those who know me nominally, no matter what their age.

I’m curious — how do you handle generational differences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media?  And “you” is anyone of any age or generation.

Wired has some juicy comments that address my question, including this one:

“Once older people began to like something we like, it just loses its luster. It happens with everything. Before you know it, we will have to ditch facebook and crete another site and that will be invaded. Please just stop. Why doesn’t someone create a social site just for baby boomers so you’ll leave us the hell alone.”

You can hear the basement door slam, can’t you?

Lets discuss this soon, before the tide goes out. A blog and BizReport suggest that Boomers are abandoning Facebook. Even if true, we can be sure that the generational struggle will continue someplace else.

(Just to clarify, Jimi Hendrix, born in 1942, was not a Baby Boomer. Only 7 percent of Jimi’s generation “have online social-networking profiles,” according to this informative article on CNN.com.)

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A little TV.

SarahSilverman.articleTwo quick web-tertainments  for your enjoyment. First, “You Suck At Photoshop” — the name was all it took to grab me when I read about this mini-mini-series in the Washington Post.

Second, follow the actions and hijinks of the desperate actors of  “Pilot Season.”  If you can’t get enough of Sarah Silverman, or if you feel the less Sarah Silverman the better, this show, at a bracing five minutes, is for you.

Both are on My Damn Channel

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No teeth whitening so far today.

trianglesThe ads that have been following me online today:

Lost 32 Pounds in 1 Month! No Diet

Be a nurse in months

Doctor Prescribed HGH — Competing with younger men?

Customary Jewish Caskets

Class of 1976  [Honest, there was more to life than just 8-tracks, bellbottoms and hair.]

The 300 Workout — Get Ripped! Click here. Build huge biceps fast! Results may vary.

How many triangles can you count?

So what’s following you?

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Which technology would you like to disappear?

2484112082_cf4b78d9abThere’s both good and bad news in the realm of communications.

This week, voice mail came in for castigation from Slate’s Farhad Manjoo. Everyone should enjoy this one. He succinctly summarized voice mail’s every shortcoming and held out hope for a better, saner world —

“If the voice-mail leavers in your life are anything like those in mine, there’s often no great reward for getting through your messages, either. ‘Guess you’re not there. Call me back.’ That message might have made sense in the days of home answering machines, when the main function of voice mail was to let someone know who you were and that you’d called—both things our phones now tell automatically. On the rare chance that you do get an important voice mail, your first move is to transfer the information to some more permanent medium—say, ink and paper. Unlike just about every other mode of electronic communication today, after all, voice mail can’t be searched.”

Voice mail may get no mourners, but people are crowding around the issue of ailing newspapers like the guys who always gathered around the film projector trying to get the movie to work.

Howard Kurtz at the Washington Post weighs in, arguing that newspapers have been killing themselves and, like a stricken patient ordering that he be bled, are intensifying the hemorrhaging by firing more  journalists.

“The missed opportunities were endless. For the first time in half a century, newspapers could compete against television with real-time reporting, but didn’t. The Globe’s previous owners turned down a 1995 offer from the founder of Monster.com to put Globe classifieds online, before his site became a smash hit. Why did no establishment media company create a Craigslist, a Huffington Post, a Google News, a Twitter, or other sites that have altered the boundaries of news and information?”

Finally, Doonesbury gives us some Tweet with meat in today’s “Tweets of Roland Hedley,” which I read in my Washington Post. This is the content against which all Twitterers should be judged:

“Woke up in strange apartment, so running late. Thank God for iPhone GPS.”

“Bumped into an old stalker of mine at Borders…”

Follow him.

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Just tried the new Colgate Wisp. Anyone want a kiss?

colgate_wisp

Is Twitter on the way out? I’m asking because I’m still on the fence about it (see my thoughts about cell phones) and this post quoted another post that raised the question.

” ‘Early adopters like a product as long as they are the early adopters for it. Once it reaches that majority status, early adopters start looking for something else to adopt . . . early.’  This is an interesting thought. Is Twitter getting too big? Is it starting to grow too much?” one or both of them wrote.

There’s so much pro and con about Twitter out there. Like here and here. Here. Here. Even here. Here’s a video called “Real Life Twitter.” And here’s a post that argues Twitter has jumped the shark. (And let me point out that the phrase “jumped the shark” itself jumped the shark long before Twitter was invented.)

The people who seem to be abandoning Twitter are the so-called early adopters. They’re the folks who, when you find out about the party and show up early, are there and already sloshed.

Early adopters are the people who dropped their gas lighting service and wired their house for electricity before anyone else. They’re the ones who decided they didn’t have to walk to the next farm to borrow an egg because they could buy a car and get there faster. And after being the first on the street with a telephone, decided there would be some worth in not depending on people calling back, and bought an answering machine so they’d never miss a call.

You see what I’m getting at? There’s still no reason they installed 8-Track players in their cars.

But the deeper questions are: how do you early adopter types see what I don’t see, and what are you seeing right now?

Cindi suggested time travel might be next, but she was joshing. I suppose. I’m curious, what’s the next big thing? What are you the first person doing? What gets you “early adopter” written all over your face?

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