Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Social Kvetchwork

This is not exactly a movie review, but it will be in parts. And parts of this post will be all over the fucking place.

I sat at home on the night of January 16th. I checked in on my Twitter feed. It seemed like everyone who I followed was tweeting about the Golden Globes (#GoldenGlobes!). They were making snarky observations. I got tired of all the ha-ha's, and turned on the TV, watched a little of the show.

I strongly disliked it. I might have even hated it. Of course I had to voice my displeasure on Twitter. I tweeted, "I don't like these people." I wasn't being funny, I was registering my unasked-for opinion like a good Internet denizen does.

I logged off and decided to go see The Social Network (TSN) at the LaGrange. And maybe I would write about the movie in one of my blog's long-abandoned regular features, Two-Buck Schmuck, where I watch films at a second-run theater and comment snarkily about them on my blog.

The irony of leaving a group of people being snotty about the entertainment industry online to go forth with the purpose of being snotty about the entertainment industry online was not lost on me.

The people I gravitate to on Twitter are funny people. I love to laugh. And the person who I am, the person who I used to express more regularly on this blog, is the person that writes on the @isplotchy account on Twitter.

I am also a member of Facebook. I'm on it. But I don't really care about it. Twitter and Facebook have decimated the blogosphere. I'm not sure which has had more of an effect -- probably Facebook. Many once-active blogs are now dormant. Perhaps their typists found whatever need they had to express themselves online satisfied by the Facebook. (NOTE: As I learned in TSN, Facebook used to be called The Facebook, which justifies my prior obnoxious use of the word "The" preceding it up to now, and into the foreseeable future).

I don't really care one way or the other about the disintegration of the blogosphere, I guess. My involvement in the blogosphere was waning already when everything started shaking up. I mean, I took a long break from my days (1999) to the start of my blogging days (2007). I don't have a constant web presence, folks. Where we go, we go.

I guess you could say that the blogosphere has been revitalized somewhat with the explosion of Tumblr blogs, but I just fell asleep as you were saying that.

I thought about blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. as I watched the movie. I know it's impressive how fast and far The Facebook has spread, but, well….. MEHHHHHHHH. This MEH applies to The Facebook and not necessarily TSN. The Facebook has given lots of people a foothold to self-expression on the Internet, where they perhaps might not have had one before. The Facebook has brought people together, too, I suppose. I do not care about these people. Okay, they're okay. And I am friends with the drummer from the Feelies on The Facebook, which thrills me to this very day. But The Facebook is not to me what it might be to other people.

I liked doing the self-expression myself. And I like self-expression deriving from an amalgamation of my various writings, and hopefully you sometimes can get a sense of my "me-ness" from reading the things I write. And I like linking up with people who are sharing something very personal, interesting, which more times than not I have found in the blogosphere. I like reading good writing. And I connect with people whose writing touches me, reaches out to me, etc. I have felt connections to others on Twitter, I guess, but it's not quite as rich a connection, if that makes any sense.

You know what? I'm kind of self-involved and self-important on the Internet. It's true! I like having my own blog. MINE. It's mine alone. I remember being really pissed at something filmmaker/playwright Neil LaBute contributed to the blog Six Sentences. Here it is, it's short:

i stand all amazed

it's astonishing how needy people are. i had no idea. it was a technical advancement like anything else -- the microwave or the radio. the blog was born and millions of gasping little voices appeared, spilling out of their journals and crying a chorus of 'me, me, me!' so many electronic hands reaching out. some collective 'i was here.'

I was pissed off when I read this back in 2007. But in some ways, I guess he was right. This blog *is* me saying, "I was here". On some level I probably realized there was some truth to that. I guess the issue I had with it was, why the fuck *can't* I say I was here? Why not?

The blog is a way of sharing my creativity, sense of humor, worries, thoughts, etc. How different is that from making a film, writing a book, a song, whatever? And what are other creative endeavors? Aren't they in some ways a way of saying "I was here."? Aren't you conveying your viewpoint of the world? Aren't you saying, hey everybody, have you thought about it this way, i.e. my way? You know what? Fuck Neil LaBute. I'm still mad at that douchebag.

Because I am operating under a rigid framework on Twitter and on Facebook, I feel like I am just renting space. Okay, this blog is technically running on someone else's website. OKAY. I WILL GRANT YOU THAT. But do you get how I can think of it as my space (MySpace!)?

But I digress. Or I digressed up until now. Okay, the movie. The review of the movie.

Actually before that, my car ride to the movie. I came to the lovely train tracks in my town, and counted 1, 2, 3 fucking freight trains moving hither and fro (there are a total of four tracks side by side). With only minutes to get to the movie theater, I said to myself, "Fuck that!", and followed another car who seemed to know where it was going.

Ah ha! I remembered, there was a way of going under the train tracks a half-mile west of where we were. So this car and me, its shadow, went zig-zagging towards the underpass. The car came to a one-way street that it could not turn down. This was the street that led to the underpass, but you had to take a circuitous route to get there. So the car turned left instead of right. And do you know what I did, dear readers? I TURNED RIGHT GOING THE WRONG WAY DOWN A ONE-WAY STREET. I didn't kill anyone or anything. Was this action-packed driving drama worth all that Facebook/Twitter/Blogging preamble you waded through? OF COURSE it was.


The movie was okay. I got tired of Jesse Eisenberg and the Aaron Sorkin dialogue he was forced to spew. It was all like "wabbity wabbity wabbity wabbity" and "wibbity wibbity wibbity wibbity". Enough with the wibbity wabbities, Sorkin!

Lessee. Justin Timberlake was the Napster guy. Hey, Internet. Hey, everyone who has an opinion. I don't like Justin Timberlake. I don't care how talented you say he is. Fuck him and the boy band he rode in on. Okay, he was alright, I guess. But I don't like the fucking guy. I DON'T.


A chunk of the movie takes place in the wintertime. They apparently shot some of the outside scenes when it wasn't wintertime and/or cold out, and in order to placate viewers who would expect to see the characters exhale visible breath, they CGI'ed the breath. THEY CGI'ed THE BREATH.

I'm done reviewing now.



(and don't look for Splotchy on Facebook, he is not there)


Cirze said...

I'm not there either.

From the first it struck me as a cheap way to gain the personal information of unsuspecting people who were needy (h/t) and foolish enough to put personal info there to attract all the "friends" they never had in high school (or wherever).

Now we know that Google wants the info.

What more do you need to say about the facebook?

Thanks for the essay!


Goose said...

I agree with many of the things you stated, and disagree with others (give Timberlake another chance - I don't like his music, but do think he's talented), which is why I'm going to try and start commenting on more things on your blog and others, in an attempt to inspire conversation.

As you know, I enjoy the Twitter (that was sarcastic placement of "the") but find that sometimes the conversation either gets snarked up (a play on the phrase "eaten up") or just can't blossom due to the character limitations. Will my comments spark the conversation? Probably not, but if I make the effort than at least I can say, at the end of the day that I tried. And that's all I have.

I have a blog and post things on it that I find interesting. Sometimes I write long form stuff which I know is stuff people will specifically not read because of the length. And yet, I still persist. Perhaps I have a disease. I like blogs, and I think they have a purpose. I assume I'm in the minority.

Thanks for your post. It obviously stirred up some opinions in me.

Splotchy said...

Suzan, you're welcome!

Goose, thanks a lot for your comments, except for your clear use of Timberlake praise to antagonize me.

I have visited the Popcorn Trick on many occasions, but don't know that I have ever left a comment there. I'll be better. A conversation is a nice thing to have.

Life As I Know It Now said...

why the fuck *can't* I say I was here? Why not?

You can and I encourage you to do so. I hate the facebook and I don't do much on twitter except blip music--oh well.

I like my blog. It may bore others but I don't care. I like reading other people's blogs. I haven't been by here in a while. I get all busy and shit but I really am so GLAD that you are still blogging and haven't gone all over to the fucking facebook.

Splotchy said...

Thanks, Liberality! You're a sweetie. :-)

Johnny Yen said...

I missed "Two Buck Schmuck!"

I actually got my first traffic ticket, right after I got my license, at the intersection you were stuck at; I somehow missed the 26 large, lighted "No Left Turn" signs, and turned left.

Carla Furca said...

Food for thought: Would it feel right to you if you continued to be you, here within the boundaries of your blog where you have exclusive creative control, but then leveraged Facebook and Twitter as a publishing enhancement? You'd maintain the purity of your own environment and broaden your reach (and thereby engagement with your readers) by allowing people to access you in the places where they now spend most of their time.

You could publish your blog posts to a Facebook page and a Twitter account, then the people who have raised their hands and said 'I want to read everything isplotchy writes!' by opting in (liking your page or following your account) would see you in their newsfeeds and Twitter streams (I know you know this :)). To me it's like a glorified Google Reader with exponentially wider reach (with the added ability to reach out to a specific set of people should you wish to do so on Twitter).

Granted, there is something about this that feels like an obstruction to the process of self-expression--an additional layer that you shouldn't have to go through in order to connect with people who want to read what you have to say.

To me, it's a huge bummer that people no longer actively seek out blogs to read. They passively scan their newsfeeds and Twitter streams and expect the good content to come to them.

In any case, great post...I'm totally sharing this on Facebook and Twitter. ;)

I love you,