the social value of the slideshow

46fb85a362233890c6f8c69c7f50d9c5lately i’ve been thinking about slideshow parties a lot. when i was a kid, my dad had a whole bunch of slides like the ones in the pic, and i found them fascinating. they were just tiny translucent versions of regular photographs my dad had taken but they were in hard little frames, and you had to put them in a slide projector to show them to people. it seemed like a really cumbersome system to me but i liked it a lot anyway. i don’t think my dad ever showed his slides to anyone, at least not that i can remember, but i looked through them sometimes, holding them up to the light and squinting to make out the tiny image.

i think that the idea behind slides was to have a bunch of people over and show them pics from your latest vacation or whatever, have a little slideshow party with your friends. just like how people used to show their 8mm film on projectors in the 50’s or 60’s, like a scene from the wonder years.

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in that sense, i still think slideshow parties are a swell group activity. when i think about friends going on vacations, i want them to invite the gang over for a slideshow of their pics once they get home. i wouldn’t even mind the fact we would all be using computers and digital photos. there’s just something about getting together with friends and showing photos and chatting about our adventures that i think is really warm and old-fashioned.

i know with most people posting their shit on facebook and instagram now, it might seem pointless and inconvenient to bother with slideshow parties but i think the social aspect is invaluable, especially as we get older and find it harder to meet up with friends. i want to keep finding reasons to get together, hang out, and spend quality time with pals.

ben, i’m looking at you right now.

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old, dead, sad websites (myspace, i’m talking about you even though you’re still technically active, which makes it even worse)

back in the late 2000’s, i played in a death metal band. at the time, myspace was the website for musicians and artists to promote themselves and network with people. i used it to get in touch with promoters and other bands, organize shows for our tours, and post our music and blogs. it was a very useful tool at the time.

around 2009, the band split up and our myspace page languished. it became one of those ghost or skeleton pages, a relic of something that is no more. one day after many years i checked in on it for some reason and found that it was still there but myspace had completely changed its format. it was now perfectly useless. the links that used to say ‘pictures’ and ‘bio’ now said obscure stuff like ‘mixes’ and ‘connections’ — wtf do those things even mean? so stupid. someone was trying way too hard to be cutting edge.

even worse, none of those links seemed to work. the only way i could actually access any of my shit was to log in to the site, which took a good while since i had long forgotten which email address was associated with the band’s page, and what the password was. then i still had a hell of a time navigating around and finding our old photos and whatnot. i thought, “what a mess, someone really fucked this up,” and moved on.

unfortunately, here i am several years later, looking for some recordings my band made. it seems the only known copies of those recordings is on…

…the dreaded myspace.

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do i dare enter? it was so annoying last time.

so i have spent the last several days navigating their flotsam and jetsam — broken links, pages that display incorrectly, media players that don’t play anything at all, ‘report a bug’ forms that don’t work (how perfect) — and while i am incredibly frustrated right now, i am also saddened by the whole mess. if myspace had just left the site as it was, it would have continued to work, possibly in perpetuity, and our old ghosts could have lingered on to the amusement of the few who stumbled across those dusty, otherwise forgotten pages. but no, some delusional idiot had a bright idea to reinvent myspace, as if it could ever compete again with giants like facebook and instagram. shit, it can’t even compete with the current band sites like reverbnation, last.fm, or soundcloud! besides that, once a website has been deemed by the general public to be uncool (like myspace is), there is simply no hope for turning back. myspace has already long been relegated to the sad “remember when” joke pile of websites so this is really all quite pathetic.

tom-is-dead

that about says it all.

there is no happy ending to this post. i don’t know if i’ll ever get copies of those songs my band recorded and foolishly entrusted to myspace. what’s equally sad is that one day, wordpress will likely fall to a same fate, and this blog may become inaccessible to me. as long as it’s still up when i’m on my deathbed, i guess i’ll be ok with that. i just want to be able to read this diary-esque shit then so i can reminisce about my life and have a laugh.

one last thing: last night i stumbled across someone’s dead blog and i noticed that they, like a lot of other people, bid adieu to their blog with a short final post like, “i’ve grown tired of my own voice.” i don’t like that. it’s irreverent of something that obviously once meant a lot to them. when i get sick of blogging, i hope i celebrate what i’ve done a bit more than that. i’ve really enjoyed writing and revisiting this junk and been surprised at what i’ve been able to learn about myself through it, so i want to acknowledge how valuable it’s been to me when i pull the plug on it.

shitter

i have a twitter account. it doesn’t have my real name or anything attached to it, of course. i use it to voice my pleasure and disdain at various individuals i would otherwise have no means of reaching out to, like bands and UFC fighters.

but i don’t ‘follow’ anyone on twitter. i’m just not that interested in what anyone is doing. even the people i’m most interested in, i don’t want to see the latest pics of them snuggling their cat, or what they’re having for dinner, or hear their thoughts on the canucks game. to test this, i just looked at the twitter pages for a few folks i like and yup, i was bored and annoyed by their posts. so i wonder, why does anyone care about keeping up to date on any of that shit?

to me, it doesn’t matter how stunningly beautiful a person is, how much i love their art, what their political leaning is, or anything like that. no one is so fascinating, so all-consuming, that i need to ‘follow’ them. maybe i’m missing something though. maybe a lot of people just follow their friends, and use twitter like i used to use facebook, to keep in touch with pals. but i don’t know anyone who does that. everyone that i know uses twitter to either follow stars, or promote their business — both boring reasons, in my book.

fuck following anyone on twitter. i can’t think of any good reason to do so. god, social media is such a ridiculous time waster. just before people die, they should be told how many hours they spent on facebook, instagram, and twitter in their lifetime. i’d like the horror of realizing they’ve wasted so much of their lives to be one of their final memories.¬†

co2

“hahaha! and to think, you did it to yourself!”

watch me start following some loudmouth on twitter next week. i’ll never admit it if i do.

i’m so sick of looking at beautiful asses

today i saw a pic of rising jiu jitsu and MMA star mackenzie dern in the news. the pics was of her standing in a flannel shirt and some sexy underwear, looking coy and showing a bit of her fantastic ass.

dernflannel

lord above

naturally, my initial reaction was, “wow, i love seeing beautiful asses on sexy girls like this.” but my second, quieter, yet somehow stronger reaction was, “posting pics like this on any social media is for fucking douchebags.”

yup. while i love what i see, i also hate it because dern’s pic reminds me of dickheads like this guy.

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vomit

there’s no difference between dern’s pic and this guy’s. both appear to be superficial dickwads who would probably annoy the hell out of me so it bothers me that i cut dern any more slack than the guy, even if it is just for a few seconds of drooling.

i wonder if it’s similar for heterosexual women. when they see the two above examples, do they look at dern and think, “douchebag”? and when they look at the male version, is it a guilty pleasure? do they think “i would want nothing to do with this man but i sure do enjoy looking at his body”? do they feel as conflicted about the images of the male douchebag as i do about dern?

then i feel like i need to examine why i consider people who post these kinds of pics douchebags. i don’t fault people for being proud of their great bodies. i think that’s a good thing. i want people to be fit and healthy, and i want people to be proud and confident. but it’s the second part there that i don’t think is necessarily true with people who tend to post this shit. i think most people who post this stuff do it out of insecurity and lack of self esteem. i think people who are truly proud and confident don’t usually feel the need to post this kind of stuff publicly and lap up the praise of strangers. i know these are all big generalizations i’m making but typically, i think that’s how this stuff works.

but i guess another aspect to consider is that sex sells, and if someones persona or image is a product they are marketing, then posting sexy pics is part of their self promotion. the more guys that learn dern’s name and think “that sexy instagram chick is fighting on a pay per view tonight, maybe i’ll watch that,” the more money she is going to earn. i don’t have much respect for that approach but i understand it. everyone wants more money, me included.

however, none of this is changing how i feel about the meat and potatoes of this topic. i understand using sexy social media pics to promote yourself, and i understand that some people posting sexy pics are not shallow, pathetic worms with zero confidence…but i don’t care. i don’t think much of using sex appeal to sell a non-sexual product, and i don’t think i have much in common with people who are into posting this kind of stuff, period, so i really can’t get past it.

in other words: no, mackenzie dern, i’m afraid i’m not interested in ravaging your gorgeous body. you’ll just ¬†have to find some other incredibly lucky son a bitch to do that for you. i’m too cynical.