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Google Plus Pushes Facebook To Wrong Side Of Tracks

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The real threat that Google Plus represents for Facebook is not that it’ll outsize it anytime soon, but that it outclasses it in short order. At a billion minus users, Facebook is the internet equivalent of Shanghai (with its puny real life population of thirty million), a shiny, boosterist, creation which is mostly facade (pardon the pun). Google Plus represents something that – in the short term at least seems to have more, dare one say it, integrity. Certainly Facebook’s apparent amorality doesn’t help. It seems too bent on exploiting its users. G+ doesn’t appear to be so brazen.

Last year Myspace was the wrong side of the tracks and FB was the high-rent district. But now the tracks have shifted ever so subtly. Myspace is now the internet version of the municipal dump. FB is the formerly wealthy neighborhood that’s now getting a little seedy at the edges, and G+ is the shiny new district on the hill, full of hope, and definitely less gaudy (i.e. no ads as yet). If Google can maintain the shine on it’s brand upgrade (born of a new cohesion and better leadership), it might just solidify its long term better than anyone could have anticipated.

Written by coolrebel

July 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

The Recession Is About Who We Are – Just ask Dolly Parton

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Don’t ask why, but I just relistened to Dolly Parton’s song, “9 to 5” for the first time in many years. Even though it was written thirty years ago, it’s an anthem for the times we’re living in. It reminded me that the harsh recession (and maybe depression) we’re in isn’t just about economic statistics, or even jobs lost or lives destroyed, it’s about who we, as Americans, are at our very core.

Take a listen, study the lyrics.

Tumble outta bed

Dolly in "9  to 5". Her fellow secretaries were played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, at the time two of the most politically progressive actors in Hollywood.

Dolly in "9 to 5". Her fellow secretaries were played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, at the time two of the most politically progressive actors in Hollywood.

And stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
Yawnin, stretchin, try to come to life
Jump in the shower
And the blood starts pumpin
Out on the streets
The traffic starts jumpin
And folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

Chorus:

Workin 9 to 5
What a way to make a livin
Barely gettin by
Its all takin
And no givin
They just use your mind
And they never give you credit
Its enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that i
Would deserve a fair promotion
Want to move ahead
But the boss won’t seem to let me in
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me
Mmmmm…
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

March 7, 2009 at 11:19 am

The Recession Is About Who We Are – Just ask Dolly Parton

with one comment

Don’t ask why, but I just relistened to Dolly Parton’s song, “9 to 5” for the first time in many years. Even though it was written thirty years ago, it’s an anthem for the times we’re living in. It reminded me that the harsh recession (and maybe depression) we’re in isn’t just about economic statistics, or even jobs lost or lives destroyed, it’s about who we, as Americans, are at our very core.

Take a listen, study the lyrics.

Tumble outta bed

Her fellow secretaries were played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, at the time two of the most politically
progressive actors in Hollywood.

And stumble to the kitchen
Pour myself a cup of ambition
Yawnin, stretchin, try to come to life
Jump in the shower
And the blood starts pumpin
Out on the streets
The traffic starts jumpin
And folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

Chorus:

Workin 9 to 5
What a way to make a livin
Barely gettin by
Its all takin
And no givin
They just use your mind
And they never give you credit
Its enough to drive you
Crazy if you let it

9 to 5, for service and devotion
You would think that i
Would deserve a fair promotion
Want to move ahead
But the boss won’t seem to let me in
I swear sometimes that man is out to get me
Mmmmm…

They let your dream
Just to watch ’em shatter
You’re just a step
On the boss mans ladder
But you got dreams he’ll never take away

On the same boat
With a lot of your friends
Waitin’ for the day
Your ship’ll come in
And the tides gonna turn
An its all gonna roll your way

2nd chorus:

9 to 5, yeah, they got you where they want you
There’s a better life
And you think that I would daunt you
Its a rich mans game
No matter what they call it
And you spend your life
Going funny if you want it

3rd chorus:

9 to 5, yeah, they got you where they want you
Theres a better life
And you dream that I would daunt you
Its a rich mans game
No matter what they call it
And you spend your life
Going funny if you want it

It’s a song about unfounded hope, and unblinkered reality. It’s a song about exploitation, expendability, and redundancy. It’s a song about a system that’s trapped us, a system that as recently proved simply doesn’t work.

The Reagan Revolution didn’t just change our economic priorities. It changed us philosophically and spiritually, Americans, too. We became more shallow, more individualistic, more selfish, more interested in conspicuous consumption and less interested in the communitas and its welfare. We decried the social contract as a burden on our freedom, and saw poverty as weakness.  Now, in these dark times,  we may be suffering from the hubris of our arrogant wilfullness, succumbing as we did to easy credit, and simplistic marketing, and believing that those prettly little kleenex and spit houses we bought with money we didn’t have were actually worth what we were told they were worth.

The movie “9 to 5” came out in 1980, the year that Ronald Reagan was elected on a promise to bring “morning to America” Nearly thirty years later, that morning has turned into something darker, more determined, more malicious than we ever imagined. Will today’s new reality shift our priorities, and make us realize that the behemoth of growth, progress and wealth was founded on very little, and has perhaps been fundamentally punctured? Will reality change us, will it make us reflect perhaps on how easily we allowed ourselves to be led?

I doubt it. But if we don’t, we may not learn the lesson that may be the only path to recovery. The need to recognize our weaknesses.

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Twitter Boycott Celebrity Manifesto

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whither twitter as celebrity mouthpiece

whither twitter as celebrity mouthpiece

PREAMBLE

We, the people who populate Twitter, in pursuit of a more perfect and democratic social media world, believe that all twitterers are created equal. Twitter is a community, vibrant, electric, ever-changing, and not necessarily like-minded, nor in agreement about anything at all, but for one inviolable truth, that all twitterers are created equal, that the moment you add your username and password, and for the duration of your active use of Twitter, you become part of the community, or “conversation” as it is known among Tweetsters.

But as in all communities, there are those who choose to abuse the proud and ennobling rights of expression granted to them as Twitmeisters. Among those whose action we twitsters do not condone are spammers, overt marketers and proselytisers and most importantly those who take from Twitter but give nothing to its community in return.

THE STATE OF TWITTER

As Twitter has risen in cultural importance, it has attracted a group of people who often, although by no means exclusively, fall into this final category.

This group of people is known as celebrities. Celebrities come from many walks of life, but included among them are the following; performers of popular music, actors in feature films or television programs, leading professional sportsmen and women, popular newscasters and anchors; and politicians or other public figures. Celebrities, by definition, share one trait. They are famous, and as such create a variety of often conflicting impulses in those blessed by anonymity. These include a desire to welcome, please, serve and otherwise connect with a given celebrity on the one hand, and the desire – often borne of schadenfreude or jealousy – to tear down said celebrity.

The traits listed above, exhibited by most non-celebrities in one form or another, even those who profess disinterest in celebrity, are borne of the fact that celebrities are regarded as different, in some ways superior, by virtue of their fame. There is nothing wrong with this phenomenon in itself. It might indeed be an unavoidable, perhaps even primal human response. However, in certain fora, this form of social stratification has no place. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

February 15, 2009 at 1:13 am

Posted in Pop Culture, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Enough With The Kennedys Already

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you wanna see my resume?

you wanna see my resume?

Ted Kennedy, one of the scions of the family, is sadly unlikely to serve much longer in the Senate. Before this week when his niece Caroline decided she’d kind of like to be a Senator too, that would have left only one Kennedy left in Congress, Ted’s son Patrick, elected as a Congressman for Rhode Island in 1994, at the highly qualified age of 27. Since then he’s driven drunk into the Capitol building, and checked in to rehab for an Oxycontin addiction, both sterling qualificiations to be a Kennedy in Congress, no doubt. His signature achievement appears to be, well, being a Kennedy.

To suggest there are double standards for the Kennedys is just too shocking for words to many, but at least the raw political savegery that put Sarah Palin into a position of prominence has nothing whatsoever to do with her name or family. Caroline Kennedy just gets to make a phone call to be considered for an “appointment” to office. Palin at least had to be elected Governor of Alaska. One can understand LBJ’s feelings about the Kennedy’s. He was a poor boy from Texas made good. The Kennedys were America’s blessed, for reasons which to some extent remain a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

December 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

I’m Gifted And You’re Not

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all children have a gift, not just some

all children have a gift, not just some

America likes to tout the well-worn myth to its young that if you work hard and persevere you can be anything you want to be. The implication of the propaganda is that there’s a level playing field in this country. That “anyone” can get a piece of the American Dream. It’s a great big lie of course, because America also has an obession with predetermined “chosenness.” We love the idea that some are destined for greatness – which flies in the face of the concept that everyone has a shot at it. But then myths always trump reality, because they’re usually so much more pleasant to ponder when you’re bored shitless at the office. Maybe it’s you that’s going to hit the big time.

There are many clues that lead to the not so bold assumption that the American Dream is a crock; the massive wealth gap, the ghettoization and subtle apartheid that pervades vast swathes of the nation, American gullibility, the proven statistical lack of social mobility in this country. Even the recession is unfair. It’s the poor bums who got tricked into buying a house they couldn’t afford with a time-bomb mortgage that are getting the worst of it.

But there’s one area where the American lie is particularly irksome and that’s education. The harsh realities of inequality are more painful when you’re dealing with the innocent. And the bad hands are dealt from the very beginning. I was recently chatting to a friend who told me of an incident that took place when she was very young. She lived with her uncle and aunt, and her cousin one day informed her bluntly,

“I’m gifted and you’re not.” Read the rest of this entry »

I’m Gifted And You’re Not

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America likes to tout the well-worn myth to its young that if you work hard and persevere you can be anything you want to be. The implication of the propaganda is that there’s a level playing field in this country. That “anyone” can get a piece of the American Dream. It’s a great big lie of course, partly because America also has an obsession with predetermined “chosenness.” We love the idea that some are destined for greatness – which flies in the face of the concept that everyone has a shot at it. But then myths always trump reality, because they’re usually so much more pleasant to ponder when you’re bored shitless at the office. Maybe it’s you that’s going to hit the big time.

There are many clues that lead to the not so bold assumption that the American Dream is a crock; the massive wealth gap, the ghettoization and subtle apartheid that pervades vast swathes of the nation, American gullibility, the proven statistical lack of social mobility in this country. Even the recession is unfair. It’s the poor bums who got tricked into buying a house they couldn’t afford with a time-bomb mortgage that are getting the worst of it.

But there’s one area where the American lie is particularly irksome and that’s education. The harsh realities of inequality are more painful when you’re dealing with the innocent. And the bad hands are dealt from the very beginning. I was recently chatting to a friend who told me of an incident that took place when she was very young. She lived with her uncle and aunt, and her cousin one day informed her bluntly,

“I’m gifted and you’re not.”

That stings, coming from a six year old, but how come the kid knew the term at all. The only answer is that they had been told. Parents all over America and beyond are obsessed with the idea that their children are “gifted”. They want the best for their kids which is great – but they don’t mind at all that it’s, perhaps, at the expense of other kids. It’s the Little League parents’ syndrome at a desk or in a music room rather than at home plate. And that unhealthy, deeply competitive obsession translates into policy. We say that no child will be left behind, but what we do is very different. Some kids don’t get out of the starting gate, while “gifted” kids get a helping hand. And yet everyone loses. The kids who are told or that feel they are not ‘gifted’ might sense the predetermination of their fate and lose their thirst for learning, further increasing their plight. The kids who are told they are gifted might feel the pressure and suffer as a result.

The truth is that every child is gifted, because childhood is a gift. And each and every child is gifted because every child has a gift. They might know it, they might not, but in some way, every child has the capacity to be a creative, imaginative, original thinker in their own way and at their own pace. Of course, every child can be wilful, stupid and self-centered too – even (or perhaps especially) the ‘gifted’ ones. It’s part of the very human tornado that is growing up. It’s parents that decide that their child is gifted and act on that. But if every parent saw their children as gifted, as they should, then the outlook for every child would be far better than it is. Of course that would deny the exclusivity many parents seek.

The very suggestion that some children are gifted while others are not is an affront to the whole nature of childhood. The world in school and outside of it presents so many opportunities for learning and curiousity for each and every child. But every day we’re confronted with the notion that some kids are destined for greatness while others are on a one way ticket to lifelong drudgery. What path one takes is not just about innate intelligence. It is about a child’s parents, their peers, their genes, their environment, their color, their temperament, their class, their friends, their humor, their charisma, their metabolism, their health, their weight, their diets, their height, even their looks.

Gifts always come with costs. There are as many morons and drudges in positions of power as there are geniuses sleeping on the streets. That is the nature of life. With so much trauma in the world, do we have to add another layer of needless humiliation to the lives of the next generation. Stop with the “gifted’ already.

Written by coolrebel

December 15, 2008 at 3:13 pm