Category Archives: Internet

Social Networking Counter-Argument: STFU Marrieds.

So, earlier this week I defended my right to Tweet.  But I would like to present a counter-argument in the form of one of my favourite Tumblr sites: STFU Marrieds.  The premise of which?

Married couples on Facebook with their inane status updates and wall posts are the bane of my internet existence. Seriously, marrieds. STFU.

Ok, so before I begin this post I want to clarify my own position on this topic.  Look, I get that you are married or in a relationship and it’s awesome.  And I’m all for it.  Love is awesome. Love is grand. Go love!  Personally, I have issued a personal decree to never, ever, EVER post my relationship status on the internet again.  I have learned valuable lessons via Facebook breakups.  If people really want to know these things about me, they are free to ask.  But I also don’t hold anyone else’s choice about posting these things against them.  I don’t even mind the occasional once and a while announcement on your profile that hey, you love your guy/girl/blow up doll with all your heart.  Or even a sweet picture of the two of you sitting on a rock in a park in khakis and button downs looking all New York Times Weekend Section and making ga ga eyes at eachother.  I’ve been there.  I’ve done it.  It happens, love makes us want to scream things to the mountains.  Or post things on the internet.  It’s sweet.  ONCE AND A WHILE.  But when THIS happens:

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It makes me want to stab you in the eyeballs with a LOLCat.  I mean, seriously?  Do you do nothing else in your daily life except post about how much you miss another person?  Do your “friends” really enjoy this?  Or are you simply posting for your own amusement, like this genius:

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I mean, personally I happen to like the “I like this” feature on Facebook.  Sometimes I want to express appreciation for someone else’s witty efforts without formulating one of my own.  But I have never “liked” one of my OWN posts.  And some of them were truly epic and deserving of that little thumbs up.

I know that getting such deep pleasure out of something like STFU Marrieds may make you think me a bitter, cynical late twenty something maid.  And you would be %85 right.  But there is that %15 that, once and a while, sees a Tweet or a Facebook proclamation of love that makes me smile.  It finds the two meter wide exhaust port in the Death Star that is my soul and just blasts it right to shit.  I am, underneath all this, a hopeless romantic.  And I appreciate and respect the people I am friends with that are genuinely in love, and on occasion want to talk about it.

But when some people seem to have nothing better to do with their unfettered internet time than this:

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My heart shrivels into a womp rat.  And don’t get me started on the people that seem to forget the whole premise that the internet is not a private conversation.  I am a firm believer in the idea that if you wouldn’t want your grandmother reading it, you shouldn’t post it (and yes, my dearly departed Nana would have loved Emotipenis.  She was a rock star like that).  So, when you go and post something like this:

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Try and remember that the rest of the class (not to mention your husband) can probably read it.  And we will probably mock you for it.  Because we’re assholes.  And some of us assholes have sites like STFU Marrieds.  And yes, somewhere out in the ether, my Nana is laughing her ass off.  Where do you think I get it from?

All screenshots from STFU Marrieds.

–DB

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Defending the Tweet

I didn’t own a cell phone until I was a senior in college.  My boyfriend at the time bought it for me and presented it with the explanation: “I can never track you down!”  My response? “That’s the idea.”

I didn’t start texting until I was nearly 25.  I figured if you couldn’t say it, you shouldn’t say it.  I hesitated on MySpace and Facebook.  I never even had a Friendster.  The only thing I ever managed to maintain online before the last few years was an epically ridiculous Livejournal and a fansite for the Barenaked Ladies.

picture-11I like the idea of being able to be unreachable, even if just for short bursts of time.  Nobody needs to know where I am or what I’m doing.  Trust me, I’m actually incredibly boring.  So why, why, why for the love of all that is holy did I succumb to Twitter?

For those living under an Internet rock, Twitter is a micro-blogging website.  Think of Facebook, but with only status updates (with a character limit of 140).  If you don’t know what Facebook is, then go back to your AOL chatroom and come back to me when you’ve caught up with the rest of the class.

To be honest, I joined Twitter as a favor to my mom.  Her employer had asked her to start Twittering, and she was really nervous about the idea of letting people know what she was doing at any given moment.   I joined the Twitterverse to make her feel less nervous about it.  Because I am a good daughter (Side note: my mom has yet to even use her Twitter).

fail_whaleAt first, I found the idea about as favourable as that first cell phone.  What the hell do I “microblog” about?  The majority of Tweets seem to have to do with “OMG best Sammich EVAR” or “gtg to prty drinkz awesome”.  I began following a few people, seeking out the shining stars of the Twitterverse (aka Wil Wheaton).  After that came a few real life friends, then some webcomic artists, then a few bands.  Before I knew it, I was a tweeting machine.  I both feared and revered the Fail Whale (Twitter’s way of telling us we’ve Tweeting too loud and too far).  I was actually…..enjoying myself.  And I felt a little dirty about it.

But, to be honest, I also find it incredibly useful.  At NEWW, it was practically indispensable to finding a rideshare, a hotel room, a place to eat, and where the cool kids were hanging out.  I have been able to advertise this blog in a way I never imagined, and interact with readers.  I have gotten freelance jobs through it.  About the only thing I haven’t gotten via Twitter is a steak and some cheap nookie.  But it’s only been a few months.

Now, don’t get me wrong, a majority of Twitter does seem to be about sandwiches and random thoughts.  But for those of us who spend inordinate amounts of time in front of a computer screen for our careers, it is a valuable networking tool.

The trick is, I think, to not let it get out of hand.  Pimp your blog, ask people to come to your rock show, tell people about that awesome anal sex joke you heard last night, but maybe don’t spill your deepest darkest secrets.  A little common sense goes a long way on the Internet.  Always remember: If you post it, people can read it.  And don’t ever let the impulse to document your every move stop you from disappearing for a few hours (or days).  Sometimes it’s nice not to be found, even for those of us who live for the googlereads.

Oh, and keep your sense of humor about it.  It’s just the Internet, after all. In that spirit, here are some awesomely funny videos about Twitter :

The Twouble with Twitters (via SuperNews)
Twitter too wordy?  Try Flutter (via Slate.com)

–DB

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D’oh

Sorry for the lack of anything resembling an update around here. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have some personal issues that need to be resolved before I can resume normal, happy fun time blogging. I should have a restaurant review up tomorrow, and our usual Webcomic Wednesday post. I know it’s poor form to have my life interfere with blogging so early in the game, but that’s just how it is, folks. It’s not like I get paid for this.

But, as a show of good faith, I present you with one of my new favorite blogs: Springfield Punx, which will entertain and amuse you with its re-telling of some of our favorite characters in Simpsons style:

See?  I still love you.

–DB

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Webcomic Wednesday: Questionable Content

Hey gang, sorry about the lack of a post yesterday, some personal stuff got in the way of me being a functional blogger. I know, people on the internet have lives, it’s amazing.

Today’s round of Webcomic Wednesday is going to be kind of a no-brainer since my brain is still a wee bit scrambled by the aforementioned personal stuff. But hey, thems the breaks.

If you aren’t reading Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, then we can’t be friends. Well, I may be willing to make an exception if you go to the link now and start reading. But hurry up.

In all seriousness, QC is a staple of any good webcomic diet. It’s a storyline and character-based comic with a lot of humour, a lot of romance, a lot of indie music references that will make you feel old and uncool in that good tingly way, and just enough drama to keep you coming back for more.

Jeph is one of those webcomic artists who has evolved his drawing style basically by drawing a webcomic. The art in the first few years is so different than the current art, it almost seems like a different person drew them. But it’s been all Jeph since 2003 and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The main characters are all in their twenties, and do the typical hipster in denial jobs that allow them copious amounts of free time to drink and cause drama. But don’t be fooled, these are some of the most layered characters you’re apt to meet in webcomics. I really recommend going back and reading the archives to get the full story behind most of them, it’s worth the trouble

A lot of the comic relief is provided by Pintsize, an “Anthro-PC”, and Winslow, an Apple Anthro-PC that resembles a 1st gen iPod. They have adventures with a Roomba. It’s awesome.

Jeph’s music references get a little heavy for me sometimes, but I’m not as hip about music as I probably should be. Although I will admit I’ve checked out a few bands on his reccomendation.

There isn’t anywhere near the amount of sex or boobs as in the other two comics I’ve talked about here, but there is definitely sexual tension, which is sometimes more entertaining than boobs. Sometimes. At any rate, QC is almost always SFW, so you really don’t have a lot of excuses.

So, if you aren’t reading QC, then you need to. If you’ve never read a webcomic before, start here. If you already read QC, go back and read the archives again. If you’ve already done that, well, go down to the other Webcomic Wednesday posts and read those comics. Already done that? Well, then why don’t you do some work, you damn slackers.

–DB

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Webcomic Wednesday: Least I Could Do

It’s time for another round of Webcomic Wednesday, my alliterative attempt to share and review my list of daily webcomic reading with you, my eager audience of anonymous internet surfers.

Today’s comic is “Least I Could Do” by Ryan Sohmer and Lar Desouza. Now, before you go eagerly clicking that link, I feel I should warn you that this is another comic that is not for the prudish among us. While I have yet to see an illustrated boob or penis, the humor (and base concept) are very sexual in nature. It’s sort of like Cinemax in the 90’s: it’s not really porn, but you wouldn’t watch it in front of your boss.

The comic centers around Rayne, a 20-something man-child with too much disposable income and an affinity for casual sex, video games, Disney movies, and Red Bull.

No, it’s not for kids. But it’s damn funny. Yes, I’m a feminist. Yes, some of the humor is sexist. But it’s so over-the-top that you can either be a) really offended and go write angry letters about misogyny and the objectification of women, or you can b) laugh your ass off because it’s a fucking webcomic, people. I choose b. Plus, Sohmer seems to offend all parties equally, so it’s hard to nit pick.

The story lines are simple and punchline-based, and usually centered around something nice and nerdy, like Lord of the Rings, Transformers, Batman, or Ninja Turtles. Or they center around underage gymnasts and anal sex. There’s something for everyone.

The art has gone through a few revisions, but it’s current incarnation has been around for two years or more and is consistently good. There are also a few videos on the site that preview an animated version of the strip, which are pretty entertaining.

The comic updates 6 days a week (Mon-Sat), and you can pretty much jump in whenever, without having to delve into the archives for an extended period of time. Although doing so will provide you with a little more background on the characters other than “OMG TEH SEX”.

And yes, I do think poop jokes are funny.

–DB

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Hamlet and Ophelia are in a relationship and it’s complicated

I’m not ashamed of my affinity for Facebook, nor am I ashamed of my affinity for Shakespeare, specifically his works involving morose Danes.

So this had me rolling:

HAMLET
(FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION).

BY SARAH SCHMELLING

Horatio thinks he saw a ghost.

Hamlet thinks it’s annoying when your uncle marries your mother right after your dad dies.

The king thinks Hamlet’s annoying.

Laertes thinks Ophelia can do better.

Hamlet’s father is now a zombie.

– – – –

The king poked the queen.

The queen poked the king back.

Hamlet and the queen are no longer friends.

Marcellus is pretty sure something’s rotten around here.

Hamlet became a fan of daggers.

– – – –

Polonius says Hamlet’s crazy … crazy in love!

Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, and Hamlet are now friends.

Hamlet wonders if he should continue to exist. Or not.

Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.

Ophelia removed “moody princes” from her interests.

Hamlet posted an event: A Play That’s Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family

The king commented on Hamlet’s play: “What is wrong with you?”

Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.

Polonius is no longer online.

– – – –

Hamlet added England to the Places I’ve Been application.

The queen is worried about Ophelia.

Ophelia loves flowers. Flowers flowers flowers flowers flowers. Oh, look, a river.

Ophelia joined the group Maidens Who Don’t Float.

Laertes wonders what the hell happened while he was gone.

– – – –

The king sent Hamlet a goblet of wine.

The queen likes wine!

The king likes … oh crap.

The queen, the king, Laertes, and Hamlet are now zombies.

Horatio says well that was tragic.

Fortinbras, Prince of Norway, says yes, tragic. We’ll take it from here.

Denmark is now Norwegian.

Original can be found here.

–DB

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Webcomic Wednesday

Phrigid promises he’ll write a post soon.

In the meantime, I’m attempting our first “regularly scheduled” segment: Webcomic Wednesday! (Ah, alliteration, so original).

The premise? Well, like all good hipsters-in-denial-chained-to-a-desk-for-8-hours-a-day, I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet, and I spend a lot of that time reading webcomics. So each Wednesday I’m going to share one of my comic bookmarks with you.

If you read Questionable Content (which you should, if you’re not), you saw the awesome guest comic on Monday starring “Hipster Batman”, written and drawn by Rene Engström. Rene has her own comic, Anders Loves Maria, which I dutifully spent the last two days reading the archives of.

The story centers on a young couple living in Sweden (don’t worry, only snippits of the comic are in Swedish, and she provides translations) who find out they are pregnant, and then go through a breakup. It’s not a story I recommend jumping into, you really need to go through the archives and read it through to understand the continuity, but trust me, it’s worth it.

The art (as you can see) is beautifully done, and reminds me of a combination of Craig Thompson’s Blankets and Scott Kurtz’s PVP.  It’s also reminiscent of the clean, retro-animated style we’re seeing a lot of in graphic design recently, but she doesn’t rely on Illustrator cut-and-paste jobs to get the work done.  There’s a span in the archives where all the comics are hand-drawn, and I personally found them the most compelling of all.  At the end of the day, this woman is an amazing artist.

The storyline relies a lot on Engström’s art style (many of the comics have no words at all) and it doesn’t give away too much, too soon.  Like I said, it’s a comic you need to dedicate yourself to, not one you can jump in and out of.  But I guarantee you’ll find yourself attached to these characters and compelled by the emotions Engström pulls out of them.

The jokes are there, and are of the 20-something, ironic, dry humour variety (with quite a bit of sexuality), but the main point seems to be character development and storytelling. Overall, it’s a webcomic that reads like a graphic novel, and while the art certainly reminds me of Blankets, think more along the story-telling of Box Office Poison, Any Easy Intimacy, or Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed.

Anders Loves Maria is what most would describe as “NSFW”, a large chunk of her comics include a healthy dose of sex, boobs, and penis, so if you have a monitor that faces your decidedly prudish cube-mate, you may want to hold off on this one until you get home. But it’s worth the wait.

–DB

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