Listen, I’m not a fan of cancer, of mental
illness. Yes, I think that little girl who’s
lost her hair is incandescently beautiful
in her struggle. To assume that because
I’m not going to copy and paste this
to my wall is somehow indicative of
apathy, of callousness, is – well – silly.
I’m here to keep in touch with my
friends from Betsy Carpenter’s
class at Emerson, circa 1994.
I’m here to promote my band,
to check in on my cousin’s boy,
the one who unabashedly
wears dresses and beams
in every picture like Mr.
America. So stop with
the percentages – the 3% who are
your REAL friends because they’ve
reposted, this alleged 97% I’m part
of, because I have not. I mean – can
we not share what is important without
these qualifiers and caveats? I imagine
us sitting, in real time, somewhere over
coffee, and you saying how much you hate
cancer, hate mental illness, and then asking
me to parrot this back to you, as 3% of your
REAL friends have done so. I don’t. So you
get your coffee to go and leave me at the table.
10. Top 10 Underreported Stories of the Year I think this is an interesting Top 10 list idea to tackle, because “underreported” — aka not popular, not top — indicates that these stories are anything but Top 10. So I commend Time for making an intrinsically hypocritical Top 10 list that is actually surprisingly informative and insightful.
9. Top 10 Ways to Make People Believe You Are Not Drunk. Also known as “Top 10 Ways to Ineffectually Attempt to Mask All Signs of Alcoholism,” this list tries really hard to insist that no one will ever notice, despite the fact that its overall recommendation for hiding the effects of alcohol is just to sit there and do nothing for the entire night (which in turn kind of defeats the purpose of social drinking).
8. Top 10 Sweatiest Movies. It’s about time someone compiled a list like this. I commend author Kate Witteman for her gall in even making this pitch to her editor. It’s an absurd concept that actually hooks on to our collective cultural curiosity.
7. 2011 Top 10 Movies for Grownups. This one makes the list strictly because it was compiled by the AARP. And let’s face it, that’s funny. It’s not even that all of these movies focus on characters over 60 years old; they’re just “movies for grownups,” which is an incredibly absurd and ridiculously vague criterium. Even Hugo and We Bought a Zoo make the list.
Bonus: 2011 Top 10 Albums for Grownups, a list that is much more in line with “Stuff Only Mom and Dad Like.”
6. Top 10 Secretly Badass Animals. I’d never seen a Mantis Shrimp before I saw this list, let alone heard of one, but I can say with great confidence that my quality of life has vastly improved now that I have. Also, wombats. Who doesn’t love a wombat? Neither wom, nor bat, yet somehow, still incredibly — and, apparently, badass.
5. Top 10 Topical Sesame Street Characters. The fact there have been enough topical Sesame Street characters to justify the creation of Top 10 list of said characters is proof alone that despite all threats of economic collapse and nuclear fallout, the future is inherently a good thing, and we’re all going to be okay in the end.
4. Top 10 Short-Lived Celebrity Marriages. Obviously topped off by the whole Kardashian fiasco, this list is especially notable because it is indicative of the world in which we live. Future historians would be well served to examine this list to gain a better understanding of our celebrity-obsessed culture in which there have actually been enough short-lived publicity stunt marriages to garner such a list. And yet gay marriage is still such a hot-button topic…
3.Top 10 Memes. Another impressive cultural indicator. The irony here, of course, is that “Arbitrary Year-End Top 10 Lists” did not make the list of Top 10 Memes. In an even greater tragedy, neither did Admiral Ackbar.
2. Facebook’s Top Status Trends in the US. Another major hallmark by which Future Historians will judge our lives. What really gets me is that despite the fact that I pride myself as being someone whose finger remains on the pulse of Internet trends, I have no idea what “lms” or “tbh” means, even though they were apparently the most popular Facebook status trends of the year. (mumble mumble god damn kids mumble mumble off my lawn)
1. Google Zeitgeist 2011 Top 10 Google Searches. A worldwide ranking of our most popular Google searches, this is a prime cut cross section of our modern culture. Hell, it’s even hard to be disappointed that Rebecca Black tops off the list. But I’m especially impressed that the non-existent iPhone 5 made the top 10. What does it say about our culture when fictional science (science fiction?) permeates the heights of our news and obsessions? I’ll leave that one to the Future Historians.
Honorable Mention: Top 10 People Not Running for President, because neither Michelle Bachmann, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich is included.
Posted in opinion, other, prose
Tagged 2011, 2012, 99%, aarp, admiral ackbar, alcohol, American history, badass, celebrity, culture, current events, Facebook, facebook status, google, historians, history, holiday, Hugo, iphone, iphone 5, kardashian marriage, kim kardashian, list, lms, mantis shrimp, memes, michelle bachmann, mitt romney, monday, new year, news, newt gingrich, old people, rebecca black, tbh, the future, time magazine, top 10 2011, top ten, we bought a zoo, wombat
(thanks to Lisa Carver)
Facebook tells me
that there are no more posts to show.
Your wall is empty; like an abandoned
house, there is no proof that anyone
has been there, liked something,
shared a kitten video.
I want to
somehow break in,
rearrange the settings,
make it appear as though
you’re still here among us.
Because as long as your profile is here,
I can believe that you are.
I can believe that you’ve just taken
a break from the internet
without having made a dramatic announcement about doing so.
But the dead don’t have
Words With Friends.
I sing the song of social networking.
I give you my farmlands, my isle vast with riches,
my mafia more precious than money.
Behold! I will post that I like it on the staircase,
the desk, the floor next to the bed;
I will leave you puzzled, bewildered, enraged, perhaps turned on.
You will not know what I mean.
The game is over; yet for me never over:
For me it remains a memory and meaning wondrous mystical.
The jubilant cry from the flowering thorn to the flowerless willow,
“like, like, like.”
I, Walt Whitman, approve of your status update.
O Facebook! O Virtual city!
Land of delight, fertility, promise, and cut-and-pasted platitudes!
When I beheld thee my soul was enthrall’d, and danced a spiritual watusi.
O, gloria! Triumph! Yawp! Hosannah! LOL!
9-ish a.m. – I arrive at work
and the first thing I do is check Facebook,
where I’m having a “respectful” argument
about the “Ground Zero Mosque.” On Twitter,
Tila Tequila’s accused an ex-boyfriend
of nearly choking her to death. Google
News has nothing about it. But Google
Images shows Tequila hard at work
at being naked. And what ex-boyfriend?
Isn’t she gay? Meanwhile, back on Facebook,
I’ve posted a quote from Ebert’s Twitter
page about Mt. Rushmore. My argument
being – just for the sake of argument –
WE defaced the Sioux’s “sacred space.” Google
it if you don’t believe me. My Twitter
following has plunged. I guess I don’t work
as hard to make “friends” as I do on Facebook.
I mean, I’ve even got some ex-boyfriends
on my Friends List, even the ex-boyfriend
who dumped me on my birthday. No argument –
he gave me a card first. It’s okay. Facebook
is one big happy family. But Google
is great for schadenfreude at work.
I wish more people I know had Twitter
pages. Because I have found that Twitter
is just like middle school, where ex-boyfriends
get blocked by ex-girlfriends, and everyone works
really hard to be clever, and some arguments
take up your whole feed. It’s better than Google
if you’re keeping track of who’s dead. Facebook
is good for that, too. Speaking of Facebook,
someone who unfollowed me on Twitter
is still my friend there. Weird. Time to Google
for mean girls from high school and ex-boyfriends.
Are they fat? I make a good argument
for restricting internet at work.
By work’s end, I’m satisfied that at least on Facebook,
I’ve won the argument. I gained two followers on Twitter,
and found one fat ex-boyfriend, with many thanks to Google.