Tag : anti-social

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs, Blogs: Blogs!

Just in case you are wondering, I can almost feel the strangle-hold of irony chocking me as I write this. You see, about two years ago I had an interesting conversation about the ‘Year of the Blog.’ My friend and I spoke about ease of accessibility and amazing technology penetration in North America. After a sad and ill-timed prostitution joke or two later, we continued. Just two years ago, blogs although abundant in number resembled an endless field of useless weeds. With only a few leaving the rest behind as they sprouted high, both in content quality and lucrative aspirations. But since then the playing field has changed drastically. The weed field is now millions of times larger. Yup, that’s about it, really.

Now everyone and their illegal gardener Ortiz has one. So what do they write about? Pretty much anything. But when I mean anything, I mean anything. Is this a good thing? With over 50 millions bloggers as of last year and hundreds of thousands of posts a day of people dispersing and rehashing the same stories over and over, one would think the times of a draconian, government controlled media outlet to be a thing of the past –Uh, China anyone?– okay, fine. Aside China that is… –how about North Korea?– okay, fine! In North America, at least… but then I think about the war in Iraq and the ever missing WMD’s… Argh! Forget it. I give up.

So the real question is what is a blog? As the name implies it began as an online log, people would write their thoughts, maybe use it as a portafolio piece *hint-hint*. Whether the writing was childish, deeply insightful or just plain dumb, the point was that they were people’s thoughts, ideas and dreams.

Now it is more about posting something and off the press. Anything people think cool and more importantly, before anyone else does. Take this example: A British guy named Bill gets his laptop stolen. He understandably gets pissed. Then next day logs on to his Flickr account and finds a picture of the thief’s face mistakenly uploaded because the thief forgot to log off bill’s account and sign on to his OWN Flickr account. Don’t believe me, click, here. Before I go on, this is a perfect moment for me to add, there is no such thing that will ever be ‘idiot proof.’ Idiocy, like life will always find a way.

Anyway, keep reading at the bottom, there is post upon post of people saying, “Oh my God, I must blog this RIGHT NOW! They post the picture on their blog and rehash the same tag-line, over and over and over again. What is the point of that? So they can look at themselves through a mirror and say, ‘I blogged. Therefore my job is done!’ In the comment section there are at least fifteen people who have posted that they blogged the pic onto their blogs and the link to their own blogs and asking everyone to take a look. Like, ‘hello!‘ we are at the source why go to a blog? Aside to answer the blogger’s cry for attention? Never mind that Bill just lost over a $1000 dollars in computer equipment.

On that note, an interesting point was raised on last week’s Stephen Colbert Report’s The Word segment a few days ago about Andrew Meyer and blogging. Mayer was the student who not only got jumped by six security guards but also taser-ed for asking one too many questions at a John Kerry event in front of an assembly full of students. Every one stood silent and motionless as Andrew screamed ‘Don’t taser me!’ Thank God for all the people who blogged about it the very next day while Andrew sat in jail. Great way for the blogger generation to lead the charge of civil protest and.

So where are we going to go from here? Aside living our writer and exhibitionist’s wet dreams, are we becoming a society of people whose social discontent, whether larger or small is displayed not through civil outcry but in really mean posts on blogs? Go, go society!

Man, I have an urgent to go for walk.

Well, well…Where have *you* been?

That is what I have been hearing from most friends as of late. Since it seems –and righthly so– that I pulled a dissapearing act. Yes, *poof* just like that.

I wish I could say that I have been travelling or exploring the inner trenches of our city. Better yet, left all my belongings and joined a Buddhist monastery on a sabbatical of fancy to meditate on my many, many –well, perhaps not that many– sins. Alas that is not the case. In fact, quite the opposite. I have stayed at home watching unhealthy amounts of the History and Discovery channels –not necessarily by choice– and writing away my sorrows. I swear that if a gream Canadian novel does not come out of this I heads are going to roll! But basically just taking it easy and recuperating.

Yes, you read right: recuperating. It is sad to say but I have been diagnosed with a condition that although not life threating –well, there is always a chance of that, but then again there is always a chance of being hit by a bus everytime you walk out the door– has taken a good chunk of my time, patience and general happy disposition.

However, it does not really affect my mind, so technically you will be seeing more of my adventures and mis-adventures in the weeks to come.

So for those who kept on asking — I am alive, and I am back.

Newsreel: The USA In The News

With the impending wet dream the current US administration is bound to have after waiting 50 years for Fidel Castro to possibly bite the dust, its only a matter of time before a river of Cuba Libre is flowing like water down the Hill. After all, getting your world super-power ass owned while invading one of the smallest islands in the world on a beach called the Bay of Pigs is bound to leave a bit of resentment. So what happens when Castro dies? Unfortunately that means the focus of what is really troubling American will once again shift into yet another unknown direction.

Could it be Iraq again? Gays & Marriage? – According to Republicans these are two different points of contention— and we cannot forget about the flea infested Mexicans making an Olympic run for the border.

Or maybe we can re-focus Castro’s brother Raul or on our rocketing oil prices; maybe our rising interest rates; or Fluffy, the lovable chubby kitty stuck on a lemond plant in suburban Boston.

How about Donald Trump and all those reality shows? or simply continue pointing fingers at who f*cked up Katrina the most. Hell, why not give Mel Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitism comments yet another 15 minutes of fame? You know, just for kicks.

It is no secret the US populous as a whole cannot grasp more then three maybe four local or world events at any one given time or their attention span begins to falter. Hence why you have to spoon feed the audience or they will suffer the newscaster’s version of brain freeze. It wasn’t always like that but FoxNews and CNN have both been introducing this format for years.

That is why you can’t have it all, no, no, no, that would be information overload. People might stop watching CNN and switch to TBS and catch reruns of Friends instead. I mean, its funnier to hear Phoebe’s rendition of ‘Smelly Cat,’ –the one feline who no one loves— rather than the version in which he straps himself to a jacket full of C4 and takes out half a market square. CNN knows this… too many sad stories and you risk people changing the channel –and that, ladies and gentlemen is not capitalism— that is just lost revenue to competitors. That is why, throw a few happy go-lucky stories about a carnival or a heart-warming tale of an old man and his dog. You know to balance things out.

Oh, and now that Irag and Afghanistan are no longer the searing anvils of evil America insisted we needed to obliterate. I find it funny that geopolitically the countries are still there, sure the governments in place are all American puppets but where are the roughly 100,000 dead Iraqis, listed as either missing or killed? Why don’t we hear THAT on CNN? But no worries boys and girls the oil is still there, safe. Somehow we made sure not to blow those pumps with Tomahawk missiles, which would from time to time get confused and hit, lets say a civilian apartment building, whoops!

So, now the lighthouse of capitalism is circling again, ever so vigilant, always ready to spot the next hot spot in the world that needs some good old fashion liberating, yeehaw! As long as they are ain’t blacks (Rwanda, anyone?), unless there are some sweet diamond mines or huge oil reserves and if that is the case I am sure an understanding can be worked out.

Once the agreement is in place, then just stand back and watch the United States of America defend human rights, stick to the Geneva convention and teach you the many advantages of capitalism and consumerism. But, as a note to the wise, remember Capitalism is only called capitalism when you are at the top of the food chain, when you are at the bottom capitalism can be confused with terms like oppression, sweat shops that pay a pittance and my favourite: child labour.

Perhaps when a golden horde of weed-smoking-homo-erotically-charged-Mexicans start stampeding across the border; blowing themselves up right after getting married then Mr. Bush might actually worry about his citizens and the world community rather than this own flagging approval ratings.

Why do Americans follow such an idiotic man is still beyond me. He is bound to go down in history as one of the worst presidents.I mean, he LIED to all you people. Clean and simple. But what do you do? You re-elect him! Well, at least he hasn’t started World War III yet, but sadly, with that man there is hope.

Children? Me? No. I Am Good, Really.

Ah, the opportunity to write a few words on the beauty of not having children. ‘Sure,’ some of you may be think ‘as you get older, you’ll change your mind.’ Well, I would not be too sure about that.

As I get older –29 in July- I have been invited to a few parties in the last couple of years where my girlfriend and I have been the only ones without small children. Wow, after only a couple of hours I could not wait to rush home, flop on the couch, kick my legs up and enjoy…silence, complete and utterly uninhibited silence. Inventors: be aware, if you could can silence, mass-produce it and then sell it, you would be the MVP of Nobel laureates.

It is amazing the squealing that can come out of a two year old, sparing no eardrums in its wave of destruction and early deafness. Now imagine a whole horde of them! Running up and down, left and right, hardly ever running into each other, as if able to hear their shrieks bouncing off furniture and everything else.

Paradoxically, I like children, just not the ones I can’t give back. I enjoy playing with them and I mean with them, and not some sort of twisted mind game of my own Machiavellian design. No who can borrow Daddy’s wallet without him realizing it competitions or my own favourite version of hide and seek, were they hide and I go seek another glass of wine. In fact, I think I would be a great father and nurturer. Just in patience points alone I have managed a good karma trust fund that could be easily used to raise a child. I have just made the decision not to have any.

However, you know what I would like to do? I would like to turn this sucker and point the spotlight at you for a moment and ask you the question: ‘why would you like to have children?’ A lot of people say ‘well, to have a family, of course.’ Now, what the hell does that really mean?

You were once one (partner excluded) and now you have to be many? Concerned the gene pool is getting a little impure and adding a few of your own drops will chlorine it into a grandiose Olympic pool? Nah, no one really thinks like that. Or do you have a need to pass the family flag down the next generation? Or do you want a mini-me version of yourself, doing the same things you did or worse, the things you didn’t get to do. Play the piano, sports, be a pop star or any other lost dream? Millions of parents live precariously through their children every day. It’s a human species pass-time. This scares me the most. That and the rare type of people who use children as bargaining chips, heck one of my best friends had the catch 22 fortune of being born in a family of good stature were her mother’s main intention was to get pregnant to keep her husband from leaving. Yes, good stature, bad marriage.

Now, I am not saying that people should not have children. That is not only outlandish but also outright stupid. No, I would not say that. However it is fair to say people should not assume having children is the end all of all relationships. That is just what is expected of us in our society, nothing more.

At the very least, everyone owes it to themselves including the ‘must have one or two’ in the crowd, regardless of how sure you believe you are, to question the why to the need. It could be that you might want children for completely different reasons than you thought and that is dangerous. At least if I am making a wrong decision I am not dragging a new life down with me, just my girlfriend or whomever I am dating, but she can always leave. Tell that to a five year old: ‘Scram Pete! I changed my mind. Go become feral or something.’

By the way, since the topic of children is what is known as a ‘deal breaker’ in relationship lingo, make sure it gets discussed as soon as it is suitably possible. You don’t want to fall in love only to find you are incompatible in the breeding department.

The more I think of it, the more I am done with children. Perhaps selfishness is the reason guiding us all. Some have the dream of the 2.3 children (Canadian median), the white picket fence, the minivan, and some don’t and I love it. Would a woman change my mind? It’s hard to say, I love my lifestyle.

By the way, I am not a would-be playboy, thinking I will have an endless string of women in my pad forever. Nope my name is not Hugh. Quite the opposite, I would like to settle down just not with kids. There are women who would agree with me out there. Even if most of society and family will continue to remind us that our natural clocks are ticking away, particularly to the ladies. For the most part we have been relegated to outcasts, but notice that we are a growing demographic, so outcast for not much longer.

So, hang there, and enjoy a nice quiet weekend brunch. Personally I am a fan of poached eggs and a good cup of coffee\tea, served on a nice outdoor patio. Ah, life is good.

I think the last time my sister; mother of two got the chance to do Brunch was…well, I am not even sure, it has been that long. I would say at least 9 months before my niece was born. Coincidence? Perhaps.

Before I go, I wanted to add this last thing my friend told me happened to him last year, which reflects society’s awkwardness towards us non-breeders. I remember a short conversation that occurred at their lunchroom between Dwayne, married with two children and Brad, married with none. They are both in their mid-forties with decent paychecks to boot. One drives a minivan and is so busy on weekends that he, as a salesman actually gets more physical rest at work than at home. This is a real story.

‘Do you ever regret not having children?’
‘Me? Why?’
‘Most people have a few kids by now.’
‘You know Dwayne, now that you ask…yeah, I have been thinking about that…’
Voice getting quieter now.
‘…You know, I would easily trade the two houses we rent-out, the four times a year me and Lydia go on vacation, our two convertibles and the freedom of waking up whenever we want just to have the single opportunity to have a few kids.’
Dwayne’s voice quiets down to meet his.
‘…Uh, really?’