There is something strange, something mildly irritating about the self publishing phenomenon. Myspace, Youtube, Facebook, weblogs- they all assume that someone out there cares what you think and who you are. I guess it is pretty negative of me, but I’ve always felt like it’s just a little narcissistic to make that assumption. Thus, no weblog till today. Thus, a myspace that lies mostly dormant, with the occasional ratty demo flotsam breaking the surface. Thus... well don’t even get me started on facebook. Hey, facebook! Listen to me! (I have a weblog now, so that anyone and everyone can listen to me.) You do not need to know where I am at the moment. Away messages were creepy enough on instant messenger, so we turned them into little proto-blogs and tried to be quippish. You’re overreaching your usefulness as an online directory! Hurry up and sell out like those grinning billionaire youtube guys!
Not to mention articles like this- numerous and rather chilling. As an ardent hater of many things authoritarian, my first reaction to these news articles (a significantly large one of which appeared in Newsweek, followed closely by a fairly illuminating op-ed) is to cry foul. ‘Hey!’ I say, ‘That kind of thing is personal! Private! It’s unfair to take a person’s personal life into consideration when offering them a job! Judge on the basis of their work history and qualifications, not what or whether or how much they like to drink.” And you know, I still feel that way, with one very important difference... Facebook is NOT private. Myspace, youtube, blogs- they are NOT private. They’re the new forum, the epitome of public space. Where we may have failed with tree lined parks and puppies and sunshine we have succeeding in the unfathomably democratizing force of practically unlimited virtual space. The nation’s dirtiest, poorest, most drug addled hobo can start his very own weblog at his public library, if he is so motivated and so inclined, and can spa’ change the whole world, virtually! (thanks for the new verb, shorts-over-pants.) This illusion of privacy, its just something we are going to have to get over. Everyone is on gmail now. I love gmail, it’s great. Every email, from the most personal to the most mundane penile enlargement spam, right there at your fingertips. You can even access it from anywhere in the world. It is so convenient! But it’s also a little strange- the emails themselves, the bits and bytes, we don’t possess them. They exist in a server somewhere in silicon valley. We don’t really know who has access to them, do we? It’s caveat emptor for the twenty first century. Google seems to be a long way from the start up that used 'Don't be evil' as theit corporate mantra. Oh God, don't click on that... it makes my eyes bleed just to look at it. Trust me it's there.
Alright, enough totalitarian insinuations from this still proudly party unaffiliated politico. The point I’m really trying to make is this: blogs have always given me the willies because they imply a personal area that simply isn’t there. Anyone can access most of them, and they are simply not in the physical possession of their creators- a hair splitting fact that usually gets lost in the shuffle of the great big e-universe. Which is why I promise this will not be a journal of my personal life, nor a way too much information look into my most heartfelt feelings. I just want to believe that the people I care about will want to hear what I’m doing, what I’m thinking. Ultimately, that is what fuels this fire- the fact that yes, no matter who you are, somebody does care what you’re doing, what you’re thinking. All that said, and privacy (perceived and real) issues aside... sociologically this stuff is simply fantastic!!! I just needed to get that off my chest before I started a blog myself.
To end on a good note- I’m going to be an uncle, again! This time to what I hope will be a marvelously adorable little boy- half Fowler and half lithuanian! My sterling brother is one signature away from being married, so kudos go to him and his now-fiancee Nijole.
Also, in the spirit of embarrassing personal confessions- yes... when I’m really bored I go on you tube and watch douchebags play heavy metal, shred style. I do not know why I do this. I am sorry in the name of all that is musically acceptable. But I would like to karmically rectify my transgressions by offering up this insanely stupid, and insanely hilarious, rebuttal cum parody. Please pay special attention to the way this guy pronounces ‘buddy’. Not bad.
So pictures, actual info about Japan (and what I’m doing here), and other good stuff to come. If you made it this far, thanks for reading.