papers/lighter/text

crumbled and rolled

in retrospect, 02/24/2011

Filed under: readable — paperslightertext @ 4:17 am

sandwiched between brutish winters and a bullish summer
i suffered, pinioned and suffocating, smothered
by my ego’s airbag which deployed on impact

deflated by one humbling pinprick
reluctant to penetrate at best, a welcome change
inventing new words, which amused me. the blissful reagent,
an aching, obvious truth in a sea of sad fat to be trimmed.
we had melted in it, and i could not undo what was already fondue-
but i was lucky- i had you.

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in which i opine about the internet, on the internet. again. 02/16/2011

Filed under: blog posts... of interest! — paperslightertext @ 6:04 pm

It’s terribly frightening, being alone with one’s thoughts.

The internet gives us refuge from that. Solitude and contemplation.

It is 55 degrees outside, and damnit, I am going out there soon, even if the world has nothing offer to me. Even if life ends like this, alone in the suburbs, alone at the mall, at least it won’t be alone in front of a screen, talking to an invisible audience, or passively absorbing content.

The Wad failed to understand my internet malaise. My youth, my adolescence, my coming of age, this niche into which my particular age group fits: we were the guinea pigs. We continue to be. While the empire crumbles from under us, we continue to buy into the illusion of affluence. THAT is depressing. Yes, Eva is depressing! Lain is fucking depressing! I fucking sobbed- like when I read 1984. My adolescence was saturated with dystopian fiction, some of it eerily prophetic. There I was, isolated in the social ghetto of unattractive female nerddom, writing fanfiction. I bonded with other adolescent nerds online. All these things have fostered in me an unfortunate habit of pouring myself out into the internet. In other words, I lack a filter. (This is a tendency in my personal life.)

But even that phrase seems to have lost its meaning, for the personal has become digital. (Yeah, copyright me, you’ll see it on an LED tshirt for thirty bucks somewhere once I sell that gem.)

 

02/09/2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — paperslightertext @ 4:27 pm

There is something awfully overwhelming and invasive to me about Facebook.

From time to time, I forget why I stay off Facebook chat, and the urge to log on overwhelms me. Before I hastily click “Offline,” I am assaulted with a melange of names, names of people I haven’t seen in years, names of people I haven’t even THOUGHT of in years, names of people I was best friends with in elementary school. From names, it’s an easy jump to profile, then photos, and thus begins the downward spiral of narcissistic voyeurism.

You can click on anyone you want. It’s easy that way to compare your life to yours. You post a comment on someone’s wall, everyone sees it. You post a status, you start a “conversation.” You like something on Facebook, like say for example a product, and the advertisers get to use YOUR name and profile picture to endorse their product to your friends.

Is that not disturbing to anyone else?

I know it’s hypocritical to write about Facebook on Facebook, but the reality of it is most of our lives are increasingly dependent on technology. As frightening to me as the concept of “social networking” is, I can’t deny that it is useful. How else would I be able to know the intimate details of the lives of everyone I’ve ever met? Doesn’t it disturb anyone else how you could sit for hours looking at profiles, pictures, status updates, notes, or anything else ever posted by people you grew up with, people whose lives would have otherwise remained a mystery? Doesn’t it disturb anyone that we’ve volunteered all this information for public consumption?

The internet has grown exponentially since I first started using it to look up super nintendo cheats in 1999. Internet was a luxury at home- something I had only because my dad worked with computers.

Back then, we connected to the internet through the phone lines. You were lucky if it worked half the time, and it sometimes took ten minutes of trying different phone numbers just to connect. You had to wait entire MINUTES for graphics to load- oh, and not anything flashy, just little animated GIFs of dancing hamsters or Pikachus. Oh, and God help you if there were more than four or five images on one page- forget it!

Within just a few years, Instant Messaging became popular. Remember AIM? MSN? Yahoo? From middle school on, I had them all. I hung out in chat rooms. I had dial-up til I was 14. Only then did access to music and media really become available. Xanga and Myspace allowed us to feel the illusion of community. It also allowed us to feel as though we had an audience. Fuck, I found out Antioch was closing via a Myspace bulletin! Remember Top Friends? Top 4 and Top 8? It was a big deal if you got moved out of someone’s Top Friends! Now there’s the Feed. The ever-updating, constant stream of updates. It’s your own life made into clickable, interactive entertainment.

It is up to us whether we let ourselves be sucked into the distraction trap.

 

atrophy

Filed under: readable — paperslightertext @ 3:27 pm

Clickable, kissable
Indismissable
Crude, lewd, and barely permissible

Consider the envelope pushed
like so much curled paper
swept aside after a parade,

Straw wrappers blowing across patios
emptied of all but weeds and cigarette butts,
scraps of blown-out tires, flattened aluminum cans,
plastic tumbleweeds,

Accumulating outside like snow
While we bask in the sedative glow.