Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

I’m leaving facebook tomorrow.

It’s interesting to see how people react to this. I know a few others who are also leaving, and many seemed surprised that I would take so drastic a measure.  But the facebook relationship is an abusive relationship, I’ve discovered, and to continue to participate in it is destructive and enabling.

Founder Mark Zuckerberg has said publicly that he doesn’t believe in privacy.  That’s nice.  Maybe one day someone will steal his identity and sap his bank account.  Perhaps he’ll have kids one day and some savvy marketers will find a way to exploit them for their own needs.  Or maybe some compromising photos of him will circulate on facebook before he finds a way to shut them down.  That would be poetic.

But his personal beliefs aside, how about the fact that he has utter contempt for people who use his own creation.  I believe the phrase he used to describe facebook users who trusted him with their information was “dumb fucks.”  Classy.

How about this nice visual showing the evolution of privacy on facebook.  Clearly what’s evolving here is how much privacy is shrinking, and there’s no compelling reason for things to go back the way they were because facebook makes its money from selling off information.

And as if all that weren’t enough, it seems there are people out there who make Zuckerberg look like a saint by utilizing facebook as a portal to steal accounts or personal information through spyware and malware.

Yes, I know there are more reprehensible companies to be found, whose products I use while completely unaware of the corporate policies attached.  I’m sure I’ve inadvertently purchased articles of clothing made in sweatshops, or purchased a snack food item in this country made by a company that uses their money and power to dictate diets in poor countries.  I know for a fact (after the fact, of course) that I frequented in a restaurant that was owned by a person who trafficked sex slaves that were forced to work in the kitchen.  But once I was made aware of these offenses I felt obligated to make a decision whether or not I would continue to support these companies and their behaviors.

And in the case of facebook, I cannot.

So while many people have been telling me over the past couple of years that social networking is an essential part of my internet presence as a writer, particularly among a younger demographic, I find myself questioning the importance of the medium and well as the message.  The internet is a great tool for communication and sharing of information, and I can see how it can be used to build and maintain social connections on a variety of levels, but as a platform I think facebook has proven to be unfriendly, irrelevant, and ultimately antisocial.

Tomorrow I delete my information and shut my facebook account down.  And this will be the last time I ever talk about it.

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Of course there’s a story behind it, and facebook is involved.  Ever notice how it doesn’t seem like you can go a day without hearing or saying something about facebook?

So my friend Mikki posted a lolcat that someone tagged to make reference to West Side Story.  This prompted comments, one of which was someone’s take on the Jet’s song, which I took as a throw-down to write a parody of Cool.  But could I let it go?  Could I stop from thinking about other song parodies while I should have been working on my thesis?  Would I be posting, would I have written my favorite couplet (this week) if I could have let it go?

Thinking about cats, out on the town, hiding from the bulls (police), and about the song Tonight, and then when I was in the doctor’s office waiting I came up with the following:

the bulldogs won’t arrest us
and calicoes in estrus
will caterwaul our names

Man, it isn’t everyday you get an opportunity to rhyme the word estrus. For context, here’s the whole of what I wrote in the waiting room.

tonight, tonight,
we’ll roam the streets tonight
tonight we’ll be perched on the walls

tonight, tonight
we’ll chase the rats tonight
perhaps even cough up hairballs

the bulldogs won’t arrest us
and calicoes in estrus
will caterwaul our names

and though we’ll fight
we’ll hiss and spit ’til morning light

Someone with more time and ambition than I currently have should make an all-cat version of West Side Story.  I’ll be more than happy to help with the libreto.

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I posted a comment on Facebook, witch was followed up by a note including a recipe, which reminded me of an old blog I once knew.

My second attempt at blogging, many (three?) years ago, was a personal journey into the world of food.  What I thought I could add to the din of semi-professional home chefs and true gourmands, I couldn’t say.  I think I was still very unsettled about my place in the kidlit world and was feeling like I needed to start closer to home before I started spouting off about books and things.

I didn’t really have much use for the old blog once I dumped it back in June of 07 and nearly wped it from the face of the earth.  I decided to see what would happen if I left it there, how soon it would be before it didn’t get any visits and I’m still waiting.  Sure, maybe it gets only four hits a day on average, but what they say about things being forever on the internet is true!

Anyway, last December (that would December 07) I landed a new computer (thanks, Suze!) and transfered my life from one drive to the other.  Only in the process I managed to totally erase all my recipes and a good deal of my reviews for The Horn Book Guide to date.  The reviews I could live with because I had printed copies, but the recipes, the recipes…

Every once in a while I’ll go “You know what I haven’t made in a long time?”  and then I’ll go looking for the recipe and realize it was among the lost.  Lost and gone forever.

Bu a small fraction of them survived… on the internet!  Yup, occasionally I would crow about a particular recipe that worked out well, among all sorts of food related nonsense and musings, on the old blog.  As a result about once a month I go back to the old site just to make sure I didn’t miss a recipe, or to find the details of a particular dish I once memorized and suddenly doubted.  Since the thing won’t die, and is still somewhat useful (and occasioanlly amusing) I decided today rather than keep it hidden that I might as well own up and include the link.  It’s just to the left, under “windows” where I link to my book review blog.

And about the title.  The correct assumption is the refernece to Paul Simon’s song of the same name.  My feeling was that cooking was one of those subjective arts where what one person considers food of the gods (like toasty dogs) might, to another, seem very low rent. Fancy restaurants don’t impress me because they are spending a lot of energy (and my money) drawing attention to the food in a way that makes it seem like magic when it isn’t.  You want to see magic?  Watch me make chocolate disappear.

Like it says, it’s just another window into my world. Feel free to poke around.

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