Sunday, June 21, 2009

How is facebook tormenting you today?

Q: Is she your friend (Facebook asks)?
A: No. And please stop dredging up women from dating past!
* * * *
Before I get into the bulk of my subject matter, the most recent episode of All Songs Considered is jacked with so many nominees for "Song of the Moment" I can't decide.
Get the podcast or pluck songs to add to your NPR player
I actually think the song "Take it Home" by Lightning Dust is epically beautiful.
It's too new to even be on YouTube - I'm dying to embed a clip to give the following monologue background music.
* * * *
First Facebook began suggesting that I request the friendship of nearly every alum of Maine West Township High School. I can understand why the system would do this: for I have three distinct friend circles that have high numbers of Maine West graduates. An odd coincidence because nobody in one of those circles knows people from the other two - and they are all from different graduating years. I just politely decline every one that comes up.

But lately, I've started to notice the names are oddly familiar.

Two days there was a woman that I went on one date with more than three years ago.
One date, that was it.
Not exactly a friend.
I blew it off (like she did me three years ago) thinking that there must have been some odd small world mutual friend that triggered my unfortunate walk down memory lane.

Today there was a woman who I know I never dated.... I wanted to... Long story that I won't get into here but we exchanged a few e-mails and never got off the ground (or away from the computer to use today's vocabulary). I checked to see if me and this second girl had a mutual friend on Facebook: we don't.

And I've realized what happened.
Facebook, when I first joined, asked if I wanted to check my e-mail address book to see if my "contacts" had Facebook profiles. I agreed and this saved me a lot of time and helped me get a jump start in compiling enough friends to no longer make me feel digitally unpopular. Of course, there are a lot of people's e-mail addresses I've saved that I don't consider a friend...

These two women I've mentioned fall into this category. I really do not appreciate Facebook going back into the contact bin to try to find people for me to "connect" with digitally. I need to do what I did over a year ago (when I got my current cell phone): clear out my contacts.

Deleting a woman's cell phone number from my phone is probably the last step I take before I can finally move on, accept my dating failure, and get on with my life... Those that know me well, know I love to dwell... Those that know that probably think it's some sort of fuel source for yours truly.

But I'm sorry, I just can't seem to delete those e-mail addresses from that screen on It's a screen I never visit anyways. And if these women ever decide to admit guilt and enter a 12 step program from heartwrenching tease-bags I can't have their apology message exiled in my spam folder.
* * * *
Back to music:
(for an optimal reading experience, open this YouTube link in another window for background music)

It's a song called "15 to 20" by The Phenomenal Handclap Band.
What an amazing name for a musical group.
Speaking of names of musical groups: a friend of mine had a very astute observation.
He said it shortly after I corrected him on the pronunciation of the following artists:

MGMT ("management")
Adele ("ah-DELL")
Okkervil River ("ACK-a-VILLE river")
and he's already heard me correct others on Bon Iver ("bone-E-vare")

His comment, "Are these people intentionally picking these names to allow people to feel elitist when others mispronounce their names?"

The more I think about it, the more I agree with this comment. And I'm starting to feel guilty that I'm a fan of some of this music, because to be in a conversation with someone about music is way to difficult anyways... it doesn't need this in addition.

Someone who's opinion I respect (not necessarily always agree with) wanted to know why I liked Radiohead so much. He believes they are infinitely overrated. I was rather stuck speechless. For some reason the comment, "I like the sound of their songs" doesn't carry enough weight. I stammered out some response calling their music "organic" and it wasn't well received. (He laughed at changed the topic)

More recently at a party a complete stranger overheard that I go to a few concerts and started getting into a next level music conversation that I couldn't escape. He kinda had me cornered, and I had too much pride to retreat and surrender. He was throwing band names out left and right with NONE of them recognizable to me... Finally he mentioned Animal Collective and I told them I "didn't get it" and tried to re-establish my ground and mention that I saw Grizzly Bear (one of the current indie/hipster darlings that is just a national TV appearance away from pissing off many underground fans).

I said that I didn't get why so many people were talking about them right now, that I also couldn't join that party. I should note that since making that comment I've given their album Veckatimest, (don't ask me how to pronounce that - I don't know!) and am starting to understand them better...

But at the time I didn't get them, and the comment had an instant reaction of shock with the reply, "But they are the pinnacle of SimRock!"

There's no better way to make someone else feel musically stupid when you call out that there are names of genres you don't know. I told this story to someone, and they suspected this label was known only to him. Half fictious and half self relevant.

At least when I invent names, like my theory on Mountie Rock, I make it well known it's not an actual genre recognized by others.

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