Saturday, July 28, 2007

no old people zone - facebook

Ronni has an interesting post on FaceBook's non-action (despite terms of service violations) toward some nasty groups that are aimed at dissing and degrading elders or "old people." I would imagine as a popular social network that started out for college kids, then all of a sudden got interesting enough and good enough feature-wise to attract the rest of the Internet, FaceBook's original demographic colliding with their elders offers plenty of incentive for conflict.

All of a sudden we show up at their party--a party they were having as a way to get AWAY from us. We represent what some of these younger people are rebelling against--their parents, authority, anyone over 30. What better place for some to spew stuff they wouldn't dare aim at mom and dad who are paying for college than at their parental proxies on social networks? I say some, because my nephews and niece are on FaceBook and MySpace, and I see them honoring elders, not projectile vomiting at them.

As one commenter at Ronni's said, all of these kids will one day be old--that is unless they mouth off to the wrong person and don't make it past 23. Unfortunately, many of them will also remain stupid. I wonder how many are American kids? I wonder if primarily European social networks have similar hateful groups targeted at the elderly? Why do I doubt it?

Ronni is right that those groups are violating FaceBook's stated terms of service. I don't think leaving FaceBook is the best way to raise visibility--I think staying and representin' is a better way, but I certainly don't fault anyone who is bored enough or sick enough of the FaceBook thing for booking.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Cat is 'Grim Reaper'

Cat is 'Grim Reaper'

Geez...

I can't get/find a single article that will admit Yoga helps patients from the NEJ - but this cat gets an article?????

Um...OK - that's medical science at its best I suppose...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More Facebook: Are You Sure You Wish to Deactivate Your Account?

Yes, actually, I’m quite certain. I'm a loud angry woman and, generally speaking, I know what I would like.
Please Tell Us The Reason For Your Decision To Leave MySpace/Facebook/Orkut/The Hapless By-Product of Your Shirking Self-Regard.
Try as I might, I’m finding it difficult to enunciate. Although I have spent the last hour sweeping my social-networking residue from your sullied floors, I’m not sure I can pinpoint the reason. Something brought on this fit of emotional tidiness.
I couldn't say what.
Particularly as I am just the type to be seduced by such enticement. Give me an easy, uncensored forum for giddy text. Give me the opportunity to build a persona by arranging words, cultural objects and obscenity. I’ll devote hours to such onanism. I will.
Let me be clear: facebook provides little but unyielding fun, fascination and a locus to use adverbs like “pigfuckingly” to the delight of one’s peers. Many of the citizens who inhabit this realm are literate and compelling.
I (of all people) should love it. And love it fitfully for a spell I did.
After a frenzied few days of exchange, however, it seemed I had to commit facebook Seppuku. Either that or die of a slow egoistic consumption like a virtual Mary Shelley. Bits of my diseased respiratory system would fly out of my mouth as I obsessively egested *cough* the last few items in my facebook CD rack *sputter*.
I made a vow not to build myself entirely from the artefacts that surround me some months ago now. It seems I quite forgot and immersed myself utterly in the cultural field of someone else’s chilling software.
My accounts have been deleted and already I wonder how I shall know myself for the rest of the morning. This will be a day without a “wall” of comments to consult; without the record of my Alltime Favourite Bands (How complex am I, btw. Suicide, Eno and Candi Stanton?!); without a public gallery of photographs that make me look much more confident than I have any right to be.
So, that’s it. Until the next 2.0 diversion, I suppose.
I’m occupying this space as an orthodox old blogger and replaying the Top Down traditions into which I was born.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Facebook - Right Name, Right Time

I know everyone is talking about Facebook, which is why I haven't jumped up and down too much over here. But the things that I'm finding interesting aren't what I see the Web 2.0 experts talking about.

What fascinates me is Susan.

The most real-world-impacting thing about facebook is its faces.

Because Jenna didn't have a cousin named Susan with a smile and a face and a camera phone two days ago, but now she does.

Low and behold, I start the Sessum facebook group and we find that Susan's father and George are first cousins, that Jenna and Susan share the same great-grandfather. And now Susan has put up family pictures and George is staring at faces of an Uncle he never knew -- but in his face he knows, you know? -- and looking into smiling eyes and onto etched hands that remember him forward into now.

That could not happen with the velocity with which it IS happening because of Facebook. It could not have happened with such speed and clarity in the vastness of the Internet through search.

It could not happen with blogging because WE -- George and I -- hog the "sessum" search results on google. The Sessums we sift through are ourselves. Are you talking about us and us talking about you. We would never find Susan or Michael or Fred through blogging, but we would never find them BECAUSE of blogging -- because blog results inundate Google search results.

It could not happen with MySpace because MySpaces's search capabilities have remained lackluster, despite press releases and claims to the contrary.

Similarly, with the Dimino group, with 20-some other facebookians -- two of whom are my nephews and one my niece -- we are finding one another: I am not only their aunt anymore - they are not only my brother's kids: we are creatives. From my family group I learned -- through a probable relative's grandmother about the long held belief that all Diminos come from the same village of Sicily, this fishing village.

From there, my imagination gives birth to stories. I am transported.

We are the social Web, family.

When we begin to participate on the Internet's intranets -- like FaceBook -- with others who say yes this is who I am and this is my face I'm on this book with you, then we find each other in new ways. And we become new to one another. And the new becomes familiar.

In groups, through play, the way the web has always worked, we meet and move forward and sideways and through together. We expand. We are evolving from hyperlinked-conversation-based relationships.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Spring Clean(ing)

Or should that title be, Summer Clean? Given that Spring came and went in a matter of weeks up here, in the wild north. Er, that's Canada to you, dear reader. But I digress, what I wanted to post about is the fact I finally went and bought a Domain name and have opened up shop, er, so to speak, at: KISSED BY VENUS.

Yes, rather suggestive, but it does dovetail neatly with my writing.

So here I am, waiting to be discovered like some lost laundry that's been lurking at the back of the tub for several days past too long. I leave it to you to rescue me from oblivion, or not.

I wonder, would someone care to switch off the lights when they leave?

Ta muchly!

An Oddcast

Well, again, things are silent.
So, I thought I would yell in my vile Australian accent and privilege speech over text, today. Possibly not a good idea. But here is my oddcast nonetheless. Contains profanity. And pretension. I'm afraid you will have to click if you wish to hear it.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

"Change, change, we got to start the change," said Simon Le Bon from deep within his very tight pants. And, you know, he and his more junior fellows who took to a global stage (made, naturally, from recycled tyres) this weekend past well may have had a point.
It is entirely possible that First World consumers ought to stop using risky light bulbs, packing children needlessly in Styrofoam and start, in short, Answering the Call.
Both irrationally and conveniently, in fact, one could Answer The Call by sending an SMS. One did so in the hope that this Message of Ecological Promise would be flashed on the same screen used to debut the lyrics of Madonna’s new single, Hey You.
Everybody’s favourite menopausal hardbody concluded her vile song that, despite its liberal use of schoolchildren, made Papa Don’t Preach sound like Ballad of a Thin Man by contrast.
There’s something happening here, said my partner who had lost patience around the time Snoop Dogg had offered his final Bow Wow Wow. (Yes, somehow, the terms “beyatches” and, indeed, “hos” seemed to drain the meaning out of an already fairly meaningless event.) But you don’t know what it is, do you, Missus Ritchie?
Madonna asked us to “jump up and down” if we cared about The Environment.
This, along with many Earth Saving measures listed helpfully on the Live Earth website, was easier said than done. First, I had been drinking bourbon since about the time Australian politician Peter Garrett had disgraced himself in Sydney with his eco-lite toadying and transparent campaigning. (You try enduring such a spectacle sober.) And, we had made a pact to take a shot of Kentucky Whisky every time the Australian Alannis Missy Higgins looked like she was about to cry.
(And, of course, another shot for every time a blond German child said something plaintive. By the time a little fraulein called Astrid told us to “make handicrafts for politicians” we were completely stonkered.)
Second, I was occupied with wi-fi, television remote, mobile telephone and a bunch of missiles for lobbing at all these media. I couldn’t possibly jump up and down. Sorry, Madge.
There are many ways to unpack the shame and idiocy and ultimate failure of Live Earth. Of course, fans of John Mayer will tell you, “At least they’re doing something. What are you doing?”. Well, apart from feeling rather smug that I have now paid for Bob Dylan tickets AND old Zimmy had the good sense not to appear in this shambles, not a lot.
But I am not attempting to unburden myself of guilt by texting to the tempo of the Black Eyed Peas or whatever else passes for popular music these days. And I do not suppose that in simply feeling emotional or being able to endure An Inconvenient Truth I am somehow saving Our Broken Earth.
We got to start the change, said Simon. Which is odd, considering that he had not changed his demeanour or outfit from earlier in the week which found him on exactly the same stage with the exactly the same expression In Memory of Diana. And, really, thanks to the miracle of Botox, he looked fairly much as he had back at the Granddaddy of pointless rock n roll international consciousness raising, Live Aid.
As did Madonna.
As she jumped up and down for the environment, and before I fell asleep, all I could think was: look at those thighs. I must enrol in a Pilates class.
I challenge you to derive any more inspiration than that from Live Earth.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

stumbling upon

writing resources -- good comprehensive set of links.

Quiting Smoking Timeline -- feeling good now but better when I hit 5 years.

Singing Horses -- did they have to?

Collaborative Magnetic Poetry
-- and why not?

I am loving this whole thing, but could stumbleupon please let us blog these finds directly to our external blogs?

Recovery from the worst through Yin and Balance Yoga

While most people know the yang, or very active practice of yoga, there are styles specifically for recovery and stretching scar and deep connective tissue I'd like to share. You may not need them, but may know of someone who does. Pass the word!

Two of the best complements to a yang style asana practice are Balance Yoga and Yin Yoga. In recovery from a broken back, I instinctively turned my lifetime Integral hatha practice into slower, more supportive and restorative practice, then actually found Balance Yoga being taught locally. Codified by Iyengar student and teacher Jean Couch in Palo Alto, California, Balance Yoga focuses on teaching those with structural defects and pain to sit, stand, lie and ambulate in complete balance. Couch built her work from her years of observing Iyengar and others from industrialized countries who still held themselves in balances postures. You can learn more about this form at:

www.balancecenter.com

Yin Yoga focuses on stretching the connective tissues that can tighten with age or injury. Recently, I found Yin as taught by my local Willow Glen Yoga Studio (San Jose, CA) teacher, Michelle Duguay. Michelle is an awesome teacher and turned me on to the longer-held postures and extensive modifications of Yin taught by Paul Grilley. As I still contend with scar tissue and tight muscles, Yin has been a blessing. Find out more here:

www.paulgrilley.com

Both of these forums are excellent for those recovering from illness and/or injury and can be as gentle or strenuous as you wish them to be. Strengthening slowly, practice builds from sitting to standing postures and then can progress into more yang styles such as hatha, or Integral, Bikram, Ashtanga, etc. as the practitioner grows stronger.

More advanced practitioners can use sessions of Yin or Balance yoga as a delicious counterpoint to strenuous yang-style sessions, and to counter the effects of too much fire in the body that can build by sole practice of the stronger asana systems. Walking too, is a great companion in this regard.

If you are looking for a more gentle complementary practice or are in recovery but still want and need to move, check out these two styles. DVDs of both Yin and Balance are available if no classes exist in your area at:

balancecenter.com - and - paulgrilley.com

Enjoy!

Warmly,
Maryam Webster

PS: How do I update my blog URL? It's below in my
sig if someone can do this, would be great. Thanks!

--
Maryam Webster, M.Ed, M.NLP
More Time, Energy and Bliss
For Busy Women in Leadership
http://maryamwebster.com/blog/

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Links on Chicks, Self-Image, and Books

Keep your opinions outta my boobs! Whatever, dude. Sure, people are free to make choices. If a woman wants implants, fine, she can do what she likes with her body. But one must consider the context of those choices. What if we were all raised in a culture that disdains the focus on physical appearance? Then nobody would be getting plastic surgery except under medical duress.

Harm in reading romance novels? (via Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels) A more pertinent question: have these columnists even read a romance novel? (This reminds me of the case where people banned a book without even reading it. Part 1 | Part 2) I think what these people are really arguing about is less about romance novels and more about whether or not it's appropriate for women to even think about sex. And in the end, the argument probably says more about the columnists' hangups than convincing anybody that genre books rot people's brains.

Chick Lit Is Never a Compliment. This can be even more broad: if a critic labels a book "genre", it's not a compliment. But who cares what critics think? Most of them are just the vanguard of the hoity-toity.

When does looking become a leer? I have no idea since I have no experience with this. I'm not the sort of girl anyone would give a second glance at. Well, I take that back. Some people watch me like a hawk because they think I'm going to steal something from their store shelves.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ladeez, please

Sup, beyatches? It is only Sessum and Self who bother to post-our-way-out-of-the-patriarchy these days. And, as you know well, neither of us is to be trusted for inspirational prose.
You must write. Or, I shall turn into a somewhat less literate Christopher Hitchens and start making fun of Michael Moore. And, then where will you be?
I am sure his new film is Good. I am also sure, as an Australian, it bears little relevance to my life. This doesn't stop my countrymen from importing it. I love so many things about American culture. I just wish there was a little less of it.
However, Michael Moore, a fractious cross between Engels and Tinky Winky, is doing Flint, Michigan proud. This weekend past, Box Office for his new Controversial™ and No Holds Barred™ documentary has been keeping apace with Jessica Alba’s turn as the Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
This is to say, of course, Sicko is doing moderately well. The grit is hovering in the Top Ten and, according to Moore’s personal newsletter, has now amassed the second biggest US weekend opening for a documentary. The first, needless to impart, is Fahrenheit 911.
Alba, 26, recently told press that she likes to keep slim and sexy by working out to loud and funky music at the gym. Moore, who is tiny for a mid-westerner, maintains his girlish figure by listening to the anarchic ranting of neo-cons and regularly getting thrown out of global corporate headquarters.
Each fitness activist continues to seduce thousands of new male fans. Although, let it be said, there are considerably fewer blokes in the Alba fan club who own copies of Das Kapital, tubes of Clearasil and belts made of string.
(And, it’s true that Moore is the next Most Likely spokesmodel to succeed Anna Nicole at Trim Spa.)
Now starring in his fourth flick as an earnest every-slab, Moore is a legitimate celeb. He has been playing the talk shows masterfully and, perhaps, edging closer to his aim of transforming the parlous health-care system.
The film, by all accounts, is very good, if You Like That Kind of Thing. I.e. Leftist emotional pornography that does its best to alter public opinion. It may not, however, resonate with Australian audiences as we simply don’t have identical or even analogous problems with our health care providers.
This didn’t stop new Melbourne International Film Festival Director Richard Moore from booking Sicko into his opening slot.
Plus ca change, as Australian Festival Directors offer in a vile accent while miming significance in the upscale sunshine of Cannes, plus c’est la meme lens. Apart from the weirdness of this opening selection, the Australian Moore is sticking to the popular formula of previous MIFF director James Hewison. Asian slow-bore, a youth focus and, yes, another affectedly dreary outing by Lars Von “I’m So Pretentious I Even Managed to Piss off the Endlessly Chipper Bjork” Trier.
Talking to press, Oz Moore said the selection was apposite as it would “set the mood for the after-party”.
And, in a sense, he’s right. I have attended a MIFF opening night party and the mood is generally one of Australian cultural embarrassment and worthy knee-jerk liberalism. Really, it reminds one of a faintly better looking, better dressed and drunker Socialist Workers Party meet-and-greet circa 1984. Ashamed of our own heritage and unwilling to enlarge upon it, we speak of borrowed politics and themes.
So, Sicko should be perfect.
Already, I miss James who, it must be said, knew how to curate a stinking Australian film for first night audiences and do so unapologetically while manfully holding his liquor. James speaks fairly good French, as it happens, and could probably intone "plus ca change” in Cannes with reasonable efficacy. This, however, never stopped him from putting indigenous work on prominent display.
But, why should you care about Australian culture? Goddess knows, we don't have much.

Monday, July 02, 2007

We Don't Need No Re Run

The weird slo-mo rerun of Diana’s demise is begun. From this, the anniversary of her birth, until the commemoration of her death, the self-coronated Queen of Hearts will be killed a thousand times.
For now, expect enough weepy telemovies to furnish the needs of an above-average menopause.
For fans, such as I, of the Made for TV genre, great news is at hand. The Murder of Princess Diana is almost in the can. Made by the former partners of Working Title films, this screen excellence will no doubt have the American upscale, homosexual aesthetic of great telemovies like Mommie Dearest. While retaining the British upscale, homosexual aesthetic of great rom-coms like Four Weddings and a Funeral.
For those who prefer their People’s Princess with a side order of counterfeit integrity, the BBC will doubtless offer a dozen documentaries. These will range in matter from sophisticated conspiracy theory to cheesy cultural studies assay.
Speaking of the latter, let us not underestimate exactly how much poop newspapers are currently honing for Op Ed. I imagine cleverness written by academics called things like Diana: Femininity, Image and Resonance will be upchucked like so many cosmopolitan cocktails in coming weeks.
And, of course, the chic gossip Tina Brown is at it adding her expensive whiff to the conversation. Former VF editor TB has just unleashed The Diana Chronicles.
Of course, it all started hours ago at Wembley Arena. Along with many television viewers, I can barely wait for tonight to savour this wonderfully inappropriate spectacle.
From a dash to you tube to a Google news search, it seems as though this is even better than we’d hoped. Duran Duran performed, as expected. As did seedy troll Tom Jones. But, in between the singing of blue silver and the hurling of underpants, DENNIS HOPPER appeared.
Doubtless, the former HRH was a very great fan of Easy Rider and expressionist painting and would often ask Dodi to don an oxygen mask while shrieking, “Baby wants to f*ck! Baby wants to f*ck Blue Velvet!”.
I mean, really. What were Harry and William thinking?
Since her first appearance as a blush and unspoiled hottie in 1980, Diana always provided the stuff of well-paced screenplay. Just as she threatened to become unspeakably dull (as, between you and I, she probably was) another plot point was written. Despair, redemption and bouts of mild bulimia always emerged as needed.
Again, in an act of consummate script writing, Diana has left just enough time between her 46th birthday and the tenth anniversary of her glamorous death to allow media providers to spend themselves silly.
Tissues at the ready. It will end, gentle reader, on August 31.