Saturday, July 16, 2011


by Pa Rock

I am on Facebook through the well-meaning act of a relative, but I never use it, don't like it, and cannot figure out how to get off of it.  Occasionally (sometimes as often as once a day) I get notices that I have things on Facebook to which I need to respond.  I can't respond, of course, because I long ago forgot my password and I refuse to engage with that rumor sewer long enough to secure a new one.  So for the time being I just sit and sizzle and delete those bothersome messages - knowing that very soon some nineteen-year-old will come up with a new social networking platform that will send Facebook into the same abyss that is now home to MySpace.

Maybe Rupert Murdock should buy Facebook.  That would serve them both right - and probably speed the demise of the site as well!

But I am not completely anti-social networking.  My site of choice is Twitter.   Twitter lets me vent my spleen in short bursts, the equivalent of keyboard gunfire!  It is very challenging to put some devastatingly insightful thought into one hundred and forty characters or less, but it can be done.  If I had my druthers, and I probably never will, I would druther be banging out tweets all day than trying to come up with a longer and more complicated blog post.

Today I had three new "followers" add their names to my Twitter account.  It now stands at 107, and has been as high as one hundred and ten.  The secret to building up a big following  - which mine is not - is to "follow" everyone who "follows"  you, but I don't do that because the people who follow me are often boring and I don't like to plow through their tweets.  When I don't follow my followers, they usually quit following me.

So if I follow you, you are special!

I follow fifty-four individuals and one snake.  Two of the individuals are relatives and one is a woman who once lived with my family as a foreign exchange student.  Several are celebrities whose work I admire, and some are people focused on left-wing politics.  Here are five of my favorites, beginning with the snake:

BronxZoosCobra:  This silly reptile slithered out of the Bronx Zoo last year and led New Yorkers on a merry chase until he was finally captured and returned to his place of confinement.  Fortunately for all of us, the cobra tweeted profusely during his great adventure, and still tweets  occasionally from the zoo.  New York is an experience not to be missed, and it is especially delightful when seen from sidewalk-level.

SaveBradley:  "The Bradley Manning Support Network defends the American soldier accused of revealing the truth about war crimes and illegal foreign policy."   This isn't as much a story about espionage as it is the Pentagon going berserk and overreacting because it set up a system whereby a bored Private First Class in the Army could download tens of thousands of classified documents (many of which were  snippets of gossip that should have never been classified in the first place) while relaxing with his feet up on the desk and listening to his iPod.  The story has much more to do with embarrassment than it does with spying.   It is the modern equivalent of The Pentagon Papers.

brassteapot:  This Twitter-site pays homage to The Brass Teapot, a story written by my son Tim.  It has been made into a short  movie that was featured a few years ago in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.  It has now been turned into a comic book, and next week filming will begin in upstate New York on a feature-length film of the same material.  Tim, of course, has written the screenplay for the movie.  The production company has hopes of getting it entered into this year's Sundance Film Festival.

kyrstensinema:  Krysten Sinema is one of a very small handful of intelligent individuals in the Arizona State Senate.  She is also a college professor.  One of her students dragged me to a health care rally a few years ago that had Senator Sinema as one of several speakers.  She is charismatic and a live wire.  She is also the Arizona talking head most likely to be featured on national news programs as a counterweight to Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, or Jan Brewer.  She rocks!

stephenfry:  "British Actor, Lord of Dance, Prince of Swimwear, and Blogger."  Fry is an accomplished actor and novelist, and he is a master of the dry British wit that he often uses with deadly accuracy in his tweets.  I am currently watching the DVD collection of Jeeves and Wooster, which stars a very young Stephen Fry and an equally young Hugh Laurie (Dr. House).

And I think of all of those, only brassteapot follows me!

You can find me on Twitter @PaRock.


Don said...

I guess it's because I'm an old fart, but I think both Facebook and Twitter are an incredible waste of time. Already, we have both adults and kids spending virtually all their spare time on social networking of one sort or another.

We should put more time into our real friends and less into those whose only presence in our lives is electronic.

BK in MO said...

I would never waste my time on electronic friends. However, Facebook has allowed me to keep in touch with my true friends. It is all in how you use it.
Facebook keeps me from feeling isolated from everyone I know. It is a great tool. Not the only tool, but one I find rewarding.
I suppose you could find similar issues with telephones, computers, dishwashers and microwaves. Maybe even the wheel.