“An Open Letter to Those Who Think I’m Mysterious, or an Asshole (or a Mysterious Asshole) For Not Being an Avid Facebook User”
by Geoff Watkinson
Dear Current and Former Facebook Friends:
I know that because I’m twenty-five years old Facebook should be my social epicenter, but it’s not. Nicole, I don’t care about your daily horoscope. Christine, I don’t care that you “have a case of the Mondays.” Carrie, you should probably reconsider your album entitled “Bikini” — you know, the one where you posed in three different bikinis in sexually explicit positions. Consider this, Bikini Girl: men all over the internet are masturbating in front of their computer screens. Is this what you want? If it is, proceed.
I have 325 Facebook friends. I know that this makes me a loser. But, I will also confess that I’ve probably only spoken to 30 or 40 of you in the past six months. Shocking. Again, I know. Sometimes, I even go through and remove some of my “friends” whom I no longer have an interest in speaking to. Scandalous, you say? I know. And I’m not sorry for doing it. So, if you go to check out my profile, and you find that you’ve been de-friended, don’t send me another request. I’ll let it sit in friend purgatory. I’ll fucking do it.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want people I was introduced to once to know anything about my life. My life is mine. And to know what’s going on in it, shouldn’t you “friends” of mine have to make some type of effort beyond liking a post or writing “Happy Birthday dude” on my wall? Shouldn’t you actually have to be my friend?
Facebook is good for keeping in touch with some of you living far away; those of you who are married already (although I think you’re crazy); and those of you I simply don’t get to see very often. We can share information — articles, books, good Indie flicks — and we can organize future gatherings. I like this part of Facebook. I like it a lot. But most of you are using it to water your virtual crops. I mean you, Patricia, especially. If you spent as much time working on your real garden as you did the virtual one, you’d have the most beautiful garden in the state of Pennsylvania. Please stop it.
Please, also, stop posting drunken pictures. Getting drunk is fine. We’re still young, and going out and getting shitfaced is socially acceptable. But Lauren, please don’t upload another photo album called “Gettin’ Crunked in the Citaaaay!” Many of you don’t know this, but following the first the Cinco de Mayo after college, I stopped drinking for about eighteen months. That Jose Cuervo is a mother fucker, isn’t he? I’m really sorry that I didn’t give you a status update about it.
I do “Like” some things from time to time, though, as some of you have probably noticed. Sometimes, I give a sarcastic “Like” to a status update such as yours, Anne: “Going to bed with my favorite person in the world .” Stop it, Anne. For the love of God. You post about your goddamn boyfriend every fucking day. No one gives a shit. Some of you may have realized that I do sarcastically like things, and you may have de-friended me because of it. I want you to know that this was heartbreaking.
And speaking of hearts breaking: My relationship status has been left vacant for the past five years or so. I know you’re all wondering if I’m asexual (which would be pretty cool), but I’m not. I pose this question to all of you: Do I really want over three hundred people to know when I start and stop dating someone? Isn’t that personal? Shouldn’t I tell who I want to tell? To those who have been wondering: I have had a handful of relatively short-lived relationships over these past few years, after I dated Lauren when I was 21. I’m sorry I’ve kept you in the dark. But next time you’re wondering, give me a call and maybe we can meet up for a cup of coffee or a drink. I know it would be difficult, with your schedule and everything.
PS: I know that I’ve only changed my profile picture twice since the end of college — and that these photos have been of bodies of water — but the purpose of this is to make me a bit more difficult to find. After all, if you’re a real friend, you’ll find me.
“Donkeys Live A Long Time. None of You Has Ever Seen Ethel Merman.”
by David Atkinson
Washington (AP) —
Shocking upheaval rocked the nation’s political landscape today as representatives from both major parties met to resolve the partisan gridlock in federal politics. In a surprising turn of events, the leaders agreed that politicking had become such a theatrical game that they might just as well perform actual theater instead. Even more astoundingly, this is exactly the solution that the parties will be implementing at the federal level. State level participation is unknown.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), upon emerging from the contentious summit, remarked: “We have all been players in an overly elaborate show. Politicians perform in exact accordance with a prepared script and then citizens regurgitate at home what they have heard. If that is how we are really prepared to govern our country, should we not at least make the situation entertaining? Americans certainly deserve at least that much.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) concurred with the House Minority Leader, adding: “Shoot — we ain’t ending the partisan part of the partisan rancor. We like that part, but there’s no call for the rancor portion. We’ll still do things just like always. Everyone will just feel a bit better about it, though.”
Pelosi and Boehner then, to commemorate the landmark agreement, immediately delivered the emotionally wrenching final scene between Elphaba (played by Pelosi) and Glinda (played by Boehner) from Wicked. The two party heads then launched into an a cappella version of “For Good.”
Reaction to the dramatic changes among pundits has been mixed. Many simply respond that they are primarily “stunned” and that the nation will have to “wait and see” what it all means. Opinions were largely unanimous, however, that Pelosi has a much more melodious singing voice than Boehner. Commentators also suggested that Pelosi possesses a greater vocal range.
Washington (AP) —
America was treated to the first taste of the new ‘Congressional Theatre’ as the Democrat-sponsored National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding appropriation bill was debated on the House floor. As determined by party representatives beforehand, the discussion took the form of “La Vie Boheme” from Rent.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) kicked off the proceedings by delivering Benny’s mostly talking speech that prompts the song. Commentators on the floor later remarked that Boehner was particularly passionate when delivering his final lines: “This is Calcutta. Bohemia is dead.”
However, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was reportedly no less passionate in her rendition of the role of Mark in the number. She even took it upon herself, rather than the junior Democratic representative assigned to play Maureen, to moon Boehner at the appropriate moment in the song.
Pundits have largely been divided on Pelosi’s impromptu revision of character roles. Many indicate that the change still reflects the underlying essential spirit of the piece, though others express concern over Pelosi’s alleged thespian activism and apparent attack on the sanctity of the original script.
Regardless, the event proved to mostly be a legislative success. Upon completion of the performance, the lawmakers retired from immediate public eye and voted pretty much as their respective parties would lead one to expect. From a purely functional standpoint, it appears that Congress will have little problem operating under the new theatrical model with no significant alterations.
Washington (AP) —
Rumors wildly orbited the beltway today as the new theater-based Congressional arrangement, designed specifically to end gridlock, itself became the center of partisan contention. What should have been a routine session to decide the thespian format for debate on the new Republican-sponsored job stimulus bill ended in total party deadlock. It is uncertain at this time how scheduled debate tomorrow will proceed.
According to Capital Hill sources, Democrats advocated musical theater. Republicans, however, reportedly refused this suggestion and insisted on selection of a dramatic theater piece. Neither party budged from their position and the issue remained unresolved.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) defended the Republican dramatic theater position, stating: “All that highfalutin song and dance stuff doesn’t represent the average American. He doesn’t need frills or cheap tricks. What he wants is plain, nuanced delivery of simple and believable emotion. All that singing is just Democrat elitism.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) disagreed. “I believe that most Americans possess a more sophisticated theatrical palate than that for which Republicans give them credit. The public expects, and deserves, a good show above all else. Off the record, I just think that Boehner realized he can’t sing for beans.”
Statements by pundits on the matter for the most part reflected those uttered by party leaders. Glenn Beck took a portion of his program to demonstrate the alleged superiority of the dramatic form by enacting the entirety of Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (omitting the few lines spoken by secondary characters). Stephen Colbert, who is either a Democratic pundit pretending to be a Republican pundit or a comedian pretending to be a Democratic pundit pretending to be a Republican pundit, countered by singing a thirty minute improvised song primarily consisting of the repeated lyrics “I like green potatoes.”
Given the uncertain situation regarding tomorrow’s debate, any prediction would be pure speculation. America will have to just wait for the morrow.
Washington (AP) —
Chaos erupted on the floor of the House this morning during debate concerning the Republican-sponsored job stimulus bill. As previously reported, the parties had been unable to agree whether discussion would be staged as a dramatic or musical piece. Apparently, both parties decided to simply implement their respective position and ignore the opposing side.
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), dressed in a faded grey leisure suit and tattered fedora, attempted to deliver Willy Loman’s ‘business has changed’ monologue from Death of a Salesman while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), accompanied by several other Democratic representatives, danced around him, twirling their various colored and ruffled dresses, singing “America” from West Side Story (using fairly decent Puerto Rican accents).
In short, the performance was a garbled, incomprehensible mess. Boehner’s soulful expression (including actual crying) was lost in the jubilant song. At the same time, Pelosi’s melodious lead sounded choppy against the background of Boehner’s talking. The resulting cacophony ensured that neither performance could be enjoyed.
Random polling shows that Americans remain as divided as the parties on the musical/dramatic issue. Further, many citizens have already begun to lose faith in the efficiency of theater as a method of conducting government, offering opinions indicating that partisan differences may simply make the still new system unworkable.
However, despite the division and uncertainty, many admit that the country still appears to be functioning pretty much as it always has. For whatever reason, the fiasco in Washington appears to have had little harmful effect on actual day-to-day operation of the nation. Commentators remain wary, but optimistic.