Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami reveal American Stupidity, Insensitivity

Avenge Pearl Harbor. Our bullets will do it, c...

Image by The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

EDIT: The internet is telling me all these anti-Japanese sentiments began with  a Family Guy staff writer’s joke tweet. He deleted the tweet and apologized, though other Americans might actually mean it as evident by their Facebook vitriol?

The last 48 hours for Japan have been rough: two earthquakes, a tsunami, and fears of nuclear meltdown.

A logical, possible explanation? A solar flare.

Some  cesspoolian Americans, however, viewed these natural phenomena as the work of a spiritual deity. These Americans believe the universe was angry at Japan for Pearl Harbor, and decided to wait more than 50 years to dish out karmic justice.  Except these Americans  didn’t say it like that.  More like:   “Fuck Japan! Remember Pearl Harbor? Karma’s a bitch!” Yeah.

When I think of all the Americans that never learned of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings,  my forehead wrinkles with worry. No Child Left Behind is doing a worse job than we imagined!

If I had to pick a country, between the United States and Japan, that would get karmic retribution for actions in World War II, I’d pick the United States (body count, occupation).   If I were to follow the Facebooking-karmic-justice-Americans logic, where  nature takes it upon herself to punish man for the things he does to his fellow man, I’d have to assume that Katrina, the tornadoes tearing up the midwest,  the BP Oil Spill (why not?) and every other natural catastrophe to hit the states EVER,  is retribution for things America did in prior wars. Or am I being silly here, because America don’t have to worry about karmic retribution? I don’t know the rules to this karma-blame-game… maybe America is exempt.

But what about New Zealand? Following the logic stated above, one could argue the Christchurch earthquake happened because of the Anglo-Maori wars centuries ago.   And the flooding in Australia? Oh, the universe is always punishing that country – they’re a country of criminals, you see?

But really, why Pearl Harbor?

My hypothesis:  the film  “Pearl Harbor” played recently (ahem, on repeat for a week) on some cable channel, making the battle of Pearl Harbor  fresh in commonplace American  minds.  These Americans heard the world “Japan” on the news, and were like, “I just watched a movie with Ben Affleck, and that tsunami country bombed us in the movie!   Serves them right, durrr, derr.”

(I don’t know if “Pearl Harbor” aired recently, but this makes me think my idea has merit…)

CLOSING EDIT: That joke flew over my head and now I feel silly. Perhaps all those Facebook people were really imitating Alec Sulkin. Reddit does not know this yet, nor does Viceland.com, linked above. (3:30pm CST)

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thou cyber sand (Twitter Poem #4)

The Funny Thing about Twitter:

 

the other day  “roman sandals” appeared

twice on my twitter

profile page

Some time later, romansandals starts following me

 

Romans:  stealer of gods but not the  shoe soles of whores

I am wary-

in bare cyber space, more than one user

leads to no safe place

so I leave no indent in the dirt, no greek tweet

and romansandals offers no akolouthi,

no use of language, or other “come follow me”

 

a user with more than

a thousand to read

a thousand to mark

a thousand for triumph, esteem

a thousand for fanning the line

 

romansandals leads me to a blog that exists

and no viral ambush awaits

in the given net space, but

another affront:

shoes and paparazzi, the Furies of celebrity

and the cheapness of the page, the turning

of the same old tricks

slur the said citizen in me

 

what roman sandals are these?

no Romans walked in sandals like these!

where is the sure-footed confidence?  the feeling of weight placed,

equal on each side

the sense of purpose and physical pride-

give and take, to communicate?

 

Instead, I am offered the burden of never-ending youth

and the pain of a crooked spine

I shunned the offer,

and as the oracles in the ether  said,

it came to pass

 

romansandals no longer acknowledges me

#FF #FTW


Media update on ‘Abandon Digg Day’


Discussion of the cyber rebellion continues to take place in the digg comments section, and over on reddit. You can watch users chat in real time over their woes here.
The mainstream media has picked up on digg’s troubles:

Time Magazine covered a bit of the revolt here in a piece called “Digg Users Lash Out At New Format, Join Forces with Reddit”- though the only new information in the Time piece regards reddit changing their logo to include a shovel, reminding fleeing diggers  you can “bury” bad or unwanted stories here! (those lovable, cheeky redditers!)
The Time piece touches on digg users upvoting reddit stories on purpose; As of right now, 9 of the top stories on the front page are from reddit, and that is not counting the side bar on the right.
ReadWriteWeb continues to cover the outrage, with a new piece “Digg User Rebellion Continues: Reddit Now Rules the Front Page” – with similar information to Time’s piece. Notable quotes:
these [reddit] stories are being submitted to Digg by Reddit itself through the new auto-submission system that is a core part of Digg v4
For years now, Digg’s unofficial etiquette stated that users should never submit their own content. The new submission system, however, now encourages publishers to submit their own stories and many are doing so.
Geekosystem titled their piece “The Rebellion Against Digg v4“, and is winning in their coverage of today’s digg dissatisfaction. Read the whole article, as there are screenshots, pie charts, documented instances of front page deletion of the rebellion, and pictures of satire. Choice bits:
How broken is the new Digg in favor of publishers like the BBC, Engadget, and Mashable? Extremely so, at present. I’ve tallied the 142 front page articles by publisher since Digg v4 went live: 92 of those stories have come from just 13 publishers. It’s even more unbalanced at the very top: Wired has gotten 7 front page stories, the BBC has gotten 8, Engadget has gotten 16, and Mashable has gotten a jaw-dropping 21 front-page articles. In contrast, last year, social media watching firms thought it was a big deal that 50 different sites controlled 46% of the Digg front page.
I can understand Facebook not wanting an ‘unlike’ button because they don’t want people to troll your beach photos, but a social news voting site with no way to vote “no” is not really a news voting site at all, bogeyman ‘bury brigades’ aside. The lack of a bury button further tips the equation towards mega-publishers and big advertisers.
there remains the worrisome possibility that what we have right now is Digg’s endgame: That once a few cosmetic changes have been made, the new Digg will be the rather sterile playground of a few big publishers with aggressive social media strategies, with the very occasional breakthrough article coming from other quarters. Such a site would not be for me, and I suspect it would not be for many Digg v3 users. But there are probably a lot of people out there who don’t bother with RSS readers, for whom a vaguely social site that bathes them in the same vaguely familiar set of articles might be just their cup of tea. As Digg seeks to go mainstream and make some money, towards which v4 is a blatant power play, it seems to have accepted the risk of alienating its user base in favor of this more casual sort of reader. Still, one hopes they aren’t aiming so low. If this is the direction Kevin Rose is headed, he’d best pray that more of his readers don’t discover Reddit — much less Popurls — anytime soon.
Gawker, in all its wisdom, has written a blurb about today here, “How Digg Got Spanked By its Own Users“. The blurb is very short, but well written and worth reading.
Mashable.com has jumped in on this media frenzy with the boring title “Users Revolt Against Digg” and their banner “Follow Mashable on the New Digg” is more than a little ironic.  TechCrunch has a boring blurb, and some dude at CenterNetworks tries to be cute with more Oregon Trail quips. The same chick from CNET has a brief update,  as does CallingAllGeeks.org (huh?) and the Huffington Post, though these last few don’t tell you anything new.
And …. then there is this guy, Sloan Bowman, who is calling digg revolters childish:
Don’t you feel it would be a better idea to provide constructive criticism rather than being a complete child about the matter?
Mr. Bowman is clearly not a digg user, and knows nothing of the matter –  if he was, he would have seen all of the polite requests and constructive feedback offered to Kevin Rose last week. (GTFO trolling-for-hits whore!) Augh.
….
and just for the hell of it (it’s pertinent, ok!?):


My FarmVille Epiphany

FarmVille

That duck looks too happy. Image via Wikipedia

When I first saw FarmVille on Facebook, I immediately shunned it. At one moment in time, it felt like all of  my female Facebook friends were doing it,  so therefore I wanted to have nothing to do with it. I took the saying “If  all your friends are doing it, would you?” to heart. I am a skeptic of the unanimously popular.

I freely admit that as a grown up, this now makes me a jerk.  What can I do though?  It’s my initial gut reaction. Also, inside my head, there’s a 15 year old male gamer,  scoffing at the farm game, and probably questioning my sexuality. Real gamers don’t play FarmVille, right? Even if you’re playing for an hour a day, every day, you could never EVER be a “gamer” because you played Farmville. Those are the facts of gaming life, I am pretty sure.

A couple days ago, I happened to read “Nice Guys, Stressed Ladies, And The Curious Ways They Play Video Games” by Leigh Alexander, and it made me want to play Farmville. It was this quote, in particular:

“It just feels really good to know that I’m on top of things,” she tells me, chewing on her straw a little nervously as she explains why she’s so into FarmVille. “I like to know my farm is in good shape and, like, everyone can see it.”

The article goes on to mention how games are used as escapism, or control, or a coping mechanism, or some other psychological reason proving we are still so tortured despite our tremendous technology…. (except, I added the weird philosophical wane on technology at the end). What I am trying to say is, I too, want to feel like I have my shit together….and  with FarmVille, I can knock out being social, AND get that the fake accomplishment/satisfaction feeling from having an orderly farm. And everyone seeing that I have an orderly farm. I have healthy cows. My chickens lay nice eggs. My crops are fertile. I have accomplished something very important today.

… But then I pull up the FarmVille website, and I am instantly terrified. I can’t click on anything in the page. This is a game…? It doesn’t look like a game. The website tells me nothing… Except… if I want more information, I must sign into Facebook.

Here is the other part of the dilemma:  I can’t sign into Facebook, because then everyone will know that I am now playing FarmVille.  I am a proud member of the  “I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!”  Facebook group. Or, at least that is what I tell myself, the “myself” that has been influenced by gaming males….  But enough about males: either way, can I go back on my digital word? Do I need to create a fake Facebook account so I can play FarmVille? Why do I even care that much about FarmVille to consider making a fake account!?  (Why, FarmVille, why have you eaten at my psyche like so?)

As if on cue, last evening I stumbled upon this NPR story on older female players and “Bejeweled” (…which also happened to mention FarmVille):

“What you find is a lot of women who are both working and raising children just have no time for relationships,” says Misiek Piskorski, who teaches about online social networking at the Harvard Business School. “But it’s not like they wouldn’t want to spend more time having these relationships. It’s just really, really hard. And this allows them to basically sustain these relationships.” Piskorski says the games aren’t taking away from face-to-face interactions. They’re just replacing time these women would’ve spent watching TV or some other media. And for busy King, that’s good enough.

I played Bejeweled (and Mah Jong tiles, JT’s Blocks, Text Twist and many many others) during my free periods all through high school, so I am all Bejeweled out at this point in my life. But NPR, mentioning FarmVille when I am already wrestling with my decision of the game? Are you listening to my thoughts, NPR?

I do like that these social networking games are the new way of “doing lunch”, or “grabbing some coffee”, but should I replace actual face time with digital time?   I can reach more of my friends by interacting with them digitally, but do I lose something when sacrificing actual face to face interaction? Is this a trade-off I want to make?  As I age, I wonder if I really need to keep up this “gamer cred”. What is the point in impressing the “young male gamers” in my head when I am in my mid-20’s?  If I play a game to relax and unwind, does it matter what kind of game it is?

My boyfriend jokes that he will break up with me if I got addicted to FarmVille, so I guess gamer cred still lives on at my age… Maybe I should stick to Team Fortress 2 as my “coping mechanism“…..