Thursday, April 19, 2012

Facebook: Friend or Foe?; Politics of Poop

The other day I made the mistake of checking my messages on Facebook, something I rarely do, 
I guess I figure it'll all come through my email eventually.  Turns out I'm wrong.
I'm also wrong in thinking of Facebook as a force for good in the world, 
connecting all people, 
growing the global village, blah, blah, blah.  
While Facebook may be Vishnu-esque, it's also Shiva, God of Destruction,
taking away access to your pages at whim, 

 (Mark Zuckerberg as Shiva, adapted from Thor Comicbook.)

as it recently did to my son Aaron Yonda, director of Blame Society Productions,
leaving his page up, but not allowing him to use it.

(Aaron Yonda as Shiva, the way it SHOULD be.)

Perverse!  Isn't there a freedom of speech issue here?
Does Aaron need to lawyer up?
Maybe he can lose as successfully as the Winkelvoss twins
 who scored $65 million,
not to mention the worth of their Facebook stock portfolio.

But unlike the twins, the average Facebook user has no recourse, no appeal, 
no way of presenting his/her case.
Here's a quote from Aaron via his Hal Thompson persona:
"TipTopLolz used the BlameSociety App to violate Facebook's user terms and now Aaron's account is inaccessible as well as all the fan pages. And there's apparently no way to contact a human at Facebook to explain the situation. TipTopLolz is the most disgusting bunch of snakes to grace the internet in quite some time."

(Image from Allstate Animal Control website)

This is infuriating.  Aaron had nothing to do with Tiptoplolz.  
Facebook is as impervious and secretive as the CIA.

 Facebook needs to free Aaron from its tyranny!
So he can go out and make more funny commercials like this one:

But back in my own Facebook world, trouble looms also.  
In checking my messages I find out that, unbeknownst to me,
I've been de-friended!
Is there anything worse?
(Well, maybe being de-Facebooked, or un-Facebooked...)
The perpetrator is a woman I "know" mainly from Facebook, 
probably from the Jerry Saltz page which features constant strings of art talk. 
Her comments about Jerry's various and numerous issues had interested me
and thus we were friended.  I may or may not have ever met her in reality, 
but what does that matter these days?
What is reality if not Facebook?
Here's her quote:
"Jeanne I unfriended you because you were sending friend requests to my friends. That is not ok with me since as far as I know we do not know each other personally. If I'm mistaken and we have met, let me know."

In other words, she's accusing me of being a "friend collector."
Them's fightin' words.

(FYI, this person has more than twice as many "friends" as I do.
My list grows slowly, like a lotus flower in dry season.)
(Me with my friend collection necklace!)

Ah, high school.  The worst years of my life.
When boys swaggered and boys cringed, when girls were cruel and
even your BFF wouldn't think twice about betraying you,
when classes were irrelevant, 
when no one realized that popularity in high school meant 
that the rest of your life would be, at best, an anti-climax.
Until Facebook came along, that is.

On the other hand, a kind woman from Ottawa had left me a Facebook message some months ago
that she was coming to New York and would like to meet me and see my work,
and I had no idea!  When she was here, she went to one of my shows, 
"Voyage" at Spring in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Nov. 2011,
and I had no idea!
Such are the pros and cons of the brave new world.

Well, let's move on from Facebook and talk about faeces.

I'm interested in the continual battle between city gardeners and dog owners.
It appears that the latter feel that dogs should do their business
in "natural" settings whenever possible.  
Like in the tiny garden-ettes that others plant around city trees.

(8th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn)

 (3rd Street near 7th Avenue, Brooklyn)

(Seen in Chelsea, NYC)
(Dog poop hidden in the above.)

None here yet, possibly because this Chelsea site is too bleak even for dogs, 
with its bizarre plastic plants stuck in the barren soil.
I think it's art.

There's a bird-nest-thing hanging on the sad naked tree with a sad naked baby inside,
perhaps meant to scare away all living things.

And here's one from Downtown Brooklyn near our studio, a place
where even warning signs are endangered.

This Park Avenue site seems well-protected. 
The "pooper scooper law went into effect in NY in 1978.  Before that,
dogs were free to dump everywhere, which they did.  
The streets were a smeary, smelly, unhealthy mess, 
but that didn't stop dog owners from fighting the law tooth and nail.

A while back there was a storm that overran the sewage system in NYC, closing beaches, and one
of the main culprits was dog waste.  
But people were like, oh, well, nothing to worry about.  It's just dog poop.
But did you know that one gram of dog feces contains over 20,000,000 E. coli cells?

(Seen on 3rd Street near 8th Avenue, Brooklyn)
I go for a walk and all I find is this pile of old stuff scattered about, 
 The streets no longer run brown, so things have gotten better.

Well, at least some things have gotten better, 
while others haven't.
I'm so bummed about Facebook, I don't even enjoy their Scrabble game anymore.