Archive for September, 2013

The Horror of Facebook

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

horror of facebook


I have been spending more and more time on Facebook, and learning how it substitutes for actually living your life.

People who hang out there are losers, like me, or else they’d be doing something out in the world. They wouldn’t need to share every thought or meal or wisecrack with a bunch of imaginary friends.

I noticed this a few weeks ago when I spent hours chatting with a complete stranger, based on a shared taste in art and books. I tried to ignore his increasing references to asses. He liked big asses. Which was fine with me, up to a point. After a while, apropos of something, I told him about Max.

He expressed dismay and then excitedly started a list of other people with dead children. He had an impressive fluency here, even throwing in Paul Newman.

I said goodbye and blocked him. But it was my own fault for buying into the imaginary friend illusion propagated by Facebook and all “social media” I guess.

Still, I enjoyed looking at the pictures people posted and I often laughed out loud at conversations with my new imaginary friends. One of them even sent me a package of vintage gloves! She is really smart and miserable: a good description of many of my real life friends, too.

I also enjoy jumping into debates, usually without much consequence.

Tonight, I was upset when one Facebook person I really like expressed his despair over a friend’s death. Lots of people commented on his ‘status’, some offering words of condolence. Others wanted to point out that they had experienced things just as bad or worse. I could see it turning into a competition. I struggled to keep my opinions to myself, even when someone posted a depressing Leonard Cohen song in this thread, as if Leonard Cohen is a good antidote to despair.

Then, someone posted a video of the song “People Who Died” by Jim Carroll. If you don’t know it, it’s a litany of the writer’s dead friends.

I stupidly commented, “I don’t think this is useful, with all due respect.”

This was greeted with righteous fury that devolved into a whole back and forth where I politely apologized but the woman got madder and madder. Her friends jumped in to call me names. One of them said “People are fucking unbelievable!” and a million people liked his comment…including the original “friend” I was defending.

Ooooooooooh, right? When a gang of imaginary people go off  on you, it’s a singular experience like no other. You can smell the feeding frenzy, which takes on a life of its own. It has nothing to do with anything you actually said or did. It’s just people feeling exhilarated by getting to gang up on someone.

I have already payed my dues with malicious strangers. But thank god something happened to steer me away from the tragic black hole that is Facebook.

Now I’m Mad.

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

MAC RiRi Woo


I just found out that MAC produced this beautiful red lipstick without telling me, and it sold out in three hours. This is a fucking outrage. I blame everybody.

It was part of MAC’s collaboration with Rihanna, whose lipstick is one of the few good things abut her, in my opinion. I also like her subtle pink ‘THUG LIFE’ knuckles tattoo.

Anyway, I’m mad but I will go on living because MAC is bringing back “RiRi Woo” in October, and it will look like this:



Here is the excitingest part – it looks almost exactly like my all-time favorite matte red, Ruby Woo, but IT’S STILL DIFFERENT! Look:  Riri Woo on the left, Ruby Woo on the right.



Godammit!!!! Right??

If I don’t get this lipstick, there will be consequences.

A Terrible Story: Weigh In

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Kelli Stapleton is in jail without bond, for the attempted murder of her daughter Issy.

Kelli has documented her challenges as Issy’s mom in a blog called ‘The Status Woe.’ Issy is a lovely blonde 14 year old who is autistic. I’m not sure about Issy’s complete diagnosis but clearly the main problem has been her aggression. And her aggression is aimed primarily at her mother.

Kelli has been hospitalized twice following attacks by her daughter. Watch the video above to see what it looks like when there is an aggressive outburst.

Last week, Issy came home from 20 days at a treatment center whose complete program was too costly for her family to afford. They were hopeful about a new behavioral plan for Issy. But it didn’t work out.

Kelli managed to get her daughter into the family van, and then tried to kill herself and Issy via carbon monoxide poisoning. When they were found, both were unconscious. Kelli recovered quickly but Issy remained in a coma. Issy’s prognosis was not good.

But miraculously, Issy has recovered without brain damage.

Now what?

Is Kelli a monster? Is murdering your child ever anything but a capital crime and a mortal sin? Is sympathizing with Kelli tantamount to approving her actions? Should Issy’s parents have kept her at home, despite the obvious inherent danger? What if you love your child and can’t bear to have them institutionalized?

Isn’t the attempted murder of a disabled person the same as the attempted murder of any person? If not, why not?

Can you forgive Kelli?

I want to know what you think.


The Inner Sting

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Roona Begum with mother


This picture of Roona Begum and her mother says everything I could ever say about everything. I have not been able to stop thinking about it.

Primarily, I see love. I see the absence of god.

I discussed the picture with my psychiatrist, who wants to help me find a space where my life feels worthy or livable. We talked about how I identify with both the mother and the child.

I noted that among the array of emotions stirred by this image, I managed to feel resentment: Why did this family have to start a kickstarter fund to raise $65,000 for Roona’s surgery?! $65,000 is such a negligible amount for someone like Sting, for example.


We talked about some other stuff, about the best use of resources for reducing poverty and hunger in places like India.

In exasperation, he concluded, “Fuck Sting! You can do something, too. You want to help people and you can. There are people right now who could use your help!”

He knows that helping others is the only salvation for me. I said, “So you mean, you want me to find my Inner Sting?”

We both laughed.

I tried to deflect the obligation of finding my Inner Sting with a quote that I couldn’t quite remember, saying “Well, what about if I only stand and wait, like Churchill said.”

Naturally, he was mystified, because I just looked it up and the quote is by John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

But Milton wasn’t talking about me. I have stood and waited my whole life, it seems like. I must struggle to find my Inner Sting, even though I can hardly stay awake or stay asleep, and getting off the couch feels like a huge undertaking.

Okay, I’m Sixty!

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

bday dinner alehouse

Now what?