Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

First World Problems

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Technically, we're 6%, but who's counting?

The self-conscious sneering of my generation is surprisingly hypocritical. I got into an argument recently when an acquaintance posed the point that the #OWS protestors had nothing on starving African children, and that our squabbles were a First World Problem. Hell, this tack even came complete with one of those pithy cartoons, as seen right.

The thing is, the irony that this exchange took place on Facebook was not lost on me. As it stands, reminding ourselves that the world exists – and indeed, letting that reminder stand in for actual action – seems to be a favorite past time of folks my age. Like all things, there’s a website devoted to just that sort of ironic tut-tutting, not to mention a song by MC Frontalot, itself an ironic ‘nerdcore’ band.

(Y’know, white guys acting like Black musicians used to be called hipsters, but I suppose now that hipsterdom has grown a life of its own, ‘nerdcore’ needed to be coined, but I digress…)

But, really, who are we fooling? If we do anything at all – beyond, of course, sharing that photo (and that photo’s been shared some 400 times on Facebook at the time of this posting, with a commensurate number of people cooing at its wit) – it’s a token effort done more to assuage our consciences than to bridge the divide between the developed and developing worlds. Nobody is about to give up their wealth and live frugally, no matter how many people thousands of miles away are starving.

But more importantly, how do the problems of the developing world equate with ours? Should we simply stop fighting about inequity here until all problems abroad are solved? Yes, if I have a bachelor’s and live in the United States, then no matter my personal debt and current employment status, I have one up on most of the world. I’m fully aware of that. But that doesn’t pay my rent, nor does it stop the fact that a lot of this nation’s wealth is mostly hoovered up by a tiny minority of plutocrats.

I’m thankful I have the comfort and luxury of being able to sit here in my heated apartment and type out this post on my computer. I’m aware of my situation. I’m aware that there are people poorer than those protesting downtown, even inside this country. But how does that negate their message?

Another for the

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post-racial world.

Augusta may be one of twelve cities chosen to host an all-white no-foreigner basketball league. To wit,

[All-American Basketball Alliance Commissioner Don] Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of “street-ball” played by “people of color.”

“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?”

To that I respond, have you watched a game of hockey recently?

To prove the callousness and utter inhumanity of racists, a Facebook group has started, titled “fuck Haiti,” arguing, like Pat Robertson did, that they deserved it, and included such gems as,

Ariadne Polydoris: “I don’t give a shit. Millions of people die everyday, why should those fuckers be any different?”

Perhaps you’d like to be one of them.

It got hundreds of members. It’s since been taken down, but others have taken its place. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a faint glimmer of hope in the great Internet Hate Machine, but Keith Olbermann sums it up quite well: Fuck Haiti? Fuck you.

Bridge & Tunnel Crowd

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Just so I don’t forget the link, the NYTimes City Room Blog did a little piece on New Yorkers’ willingness to date outside established boundaries. Their conclusion:

New Yorkers are, on the whole, more willing to date outside their race, religion, age group, educational attainment, economic status and political party before they’ll consider dating outside the four boroughs.*

Considering the poll, I wouldn’t be surprised if a New Yorker would sooner go gay than date a Long Islander. I dated a Long Islander once (once) – it’s listed in my 25 Random Things on Facebook – and the only thing I got out of that date was a story about how I discovered somebody wholly without goals, aspirations or interests. It’s uncanny.

*Fuck Staten Island.

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  • Published: Feb 28th, 2009
  • Category: Media
  • Comments: 1

Since when did Facebook

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become the playground of high schoolers?

It’s bad enough potential employers can stalk photos people tag of me in various states of inebriation, but now I must block entire swaths of my personal errata because students of mine can potentially see it? I’m not sure what to blame more: The voyeur/exhibitionist pathos of the internet or the speed in which I switched from Student Who Doesn’t Know Better to Member of Authority – a transition of exactly two months, consequently. Alas.

While I’m on the subject, Facebook recently clarified their EULA because somebody actually read that Epic and discovered what we all assume when we breeze through the EULA: Namely that they own every little bit of content we write forever and ever. Read the rest of this entry »

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