Forget all those tests on Facebook that claim to uncover the real you. Nothing is more revealing than which apps you have on your smart phone (I’m distinguishing it from the landline for those old enough to be confused). My list and the reason I chose …
False Sense of Security
“Ikea is pure magic, how have I never been here before? You walk through the showroom, you decide what you want your new, grown-up apartment to look like, you stop for a freaking hot dog at the halfway point because Ikea is considerate of your feelings like that, and then you grab what you want, all packaged up in two cardboard boxes that fit conveniently in the back seat of a Toyota Corolla — nothing could be easier! And best of all? It’s dirt cheap! Let me tell you, if Ikea were an attractive, urban-dwelling 20-something, I would pick it up at a bar, make sweet love to it all night long, and then treat it to brunch in the morning. Man, I can’t wait to get this dresser home and start assembling! I’ll open a beer, put on some music… this is going to be fun!”
Shock & Disbelief
“What. The. Hell. How did they fit so many pieces into such a small box, this is like a clown car of bullshit! And what is all this? There must be 500 different sized nails and screws in this bag! And why is there a stupid coloring book in here, where are the directions? Wait, no… this can’t be…” [The first beer disappears in seconds, "An Honest Mistake" by The Bravery plays in the background.]
[Second beer is temporarily set to the side as Britney Spears' "Work Bitch" starts to play.] Okay, I can do this, I just have to be organized and systematic. Instead of building whole pieces, I’ll do an assembly line: line up all the nails, hammer all the nails, attach these plastic cover thingies… Suddenly feel like wonderful combination of Henry Ford, Rosie the Riveter, and Bob the Builder. Can we build it? YES WE CAN!”
“MOTHERFUUU$*@#$%*!@%#$*&!! Upside down! They are all upside down! One hundred and seven screws later and the whole thing is — I can’t even talk, I’m so mad! Someone get me a puppy! I need to kick a puppy right now! [The Pretty Reckless, "Make Me Wanna Die" comes on, beer bottle is smashed against the wall and held menacingly against the uncooperative piece of furniture.]
["Last Resort" by Papa Roach now blares through the speakers; beer #4 is opened with purpose.] “Okay, there is no way these ‘directions’ are right, there’s 4 more holes and I only have 1 bolt #27104 left. I think I know what to do though, I’m going to make this work. I just have to move some stuff around is all. I’m going to finish putting this thing together the same way I learned how to have sex: not by following some manual, but by sticking things where it feels right.”
[Swinging the most recent empty bottle overhead, "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deneice Williams fills not just the room, but each drawer of the now-complete dresser.] “Wow, what night! So many things I want to say, so many people I want to thank! First of all, I want to thank my parents — thank you for raising me to believe in myself, and for teaching me to be a creative problem solver; I couldn’t have done this without you. A big thanks to everyone who ‘liked’ the picture of my finished dresser on Instagram, my fans are simply the best! And you know what, I want to take the time to thank my haters too, all the people who said I couldn’t do this, who said this couldn’t be done. Y’all are my motivators, and y’all can suck it! Peace!”
[The music has been turned off, beer bottles recycled, Ikea dresser now full of clothes and an overinflated sense of accomplishment.] “Please God, let me never find out where these extra three screws were supposed go. Amen.”
You post a Facebook status about Game of Thrones and close your MacBook Pro. You’re preparing Sriracha-infused chicken and waffles when your girlfriend texts you.
“Ew. Some ratchet girl with a bitchy resting face just liked your FB status…”
You’re puzzled at first. You lick the spicy maple syrup from your fingertips. You then crack open your laptop and log back into Facebook.
You soon realize who she’s talking about: *Brittany Jones, a bartender who you met on Spring Break in Puerto Vallarta. Nothing happened, but Brittany thought you were cute and asked for you number, which resulted in the consecration of a Facebook friendship.
Recalling the pertinent details, you craft your response.
“Lol babe, she was our bartender in PV… Don’t know why she liked the status, probably just tryna bang Jon Snow.” Genius. Send.
A few kissy emojis later, you resolve the issue. But as the day advances, you can’t help but contemplate bartender Brittany’s motive for liking your status. After all, the two of you haven’t spoken in months. Why emerge from the woodwork now? Did she really like Game of Thrones, or was it rather your attention that she sought, and succeeded, to garner?
You grab a pen and paper. You start listing different reasons to like a given post:
1. The Genuine Like
You read a status disparaging Dan Bilzerian. You’re relieved to learn that you’re not the only person who sees him for the materialistic prick that he is. You like the post.
2. The Reciprocal Like
You only like Stephen Colbert’s cover photo because he liked yours.
3. The Disingenuous Like
You go out on a limb and Instagram a half-naked selfie. Regrettably, the photo isn’t performing well in the like category. In a concerted effort to generate reciprocal likes, you binge-like the recent posts in your feed.
4. The Noob Like
You’re new to Instagram. You stumble upon your ex-girlfriend’s account. A bikini picture catches your eye. You intend to zoom in on it. Little do you know though, when you double click, you inadvertently like the picture. Your heart skips a beat — as if you just witnessed something you weren’t supposed to. You can’t unlike the picture now. Your ex already received a notification and you know the rule… an unlike is crazier than a creepy like.
5. The OCD Like
You encounter a post with 99 likes. As if it were a crooked painting in need of straightening, you like it, bringing the tally to an even 100. You simply can’t resist.
6. The FOMO Like
You discover a profile picture with 316 likes. The post’s popularity dupes you into believing that you like it too, so… you like it too. You’re influenced by the likes that come before you. In the same way that it’s easier to jump off a cliff when you see 316 other people jumping, it’s easier to like a photo when 316 other people set a precedent. Your desire to join the in-group is indeed so strong, that it’s as if you experience FOMO not liking such a popular post.
7. The Premeditated Like
You see a photo that you’re ultimately going to like, but you wait for others to like it first to avoid standing out.
8. The Manipulative Like
You don’t want to follow Jonah Hill on Instagram because doing so would negatively impact your follower-to-following ratio. However, you do want to acquire Jonah as a new follower. You know that there’s no more effective way to accomplish this goal than by binge-liking his photos at random. The idea is, Jonah will soon notice your likes and follow you as a token of appreciation.
9. The Infatuated Like
You like Bryana Holly’s Instagrams for no other reason than she’s really, really, ridiculously good looking. This, of course, is merely a mating call in disguise.
10. The René Descartes Like
You recognize that Kendall Jenner is a famous model with over 11 million followers, but you like her Instagrams anyway in case she one day acknowledges your existence. As Descartes would say, “I like, therefore I am.”
11. The Steven Glansberg Like
You feel bad because nobody else liked Steven Glansberg’s post, so you do him a favor by liking it. A champion of compassion, you’ve always invited the lonely kid at lunch to sit at your table. Why not? It’s easy and helps boost the person’s self esteem.
12. The Long Distance Like
You don’t keep in touch with your college roommate, but occasionally, you like his posts as if to say, “Remember me?” It works, to a degree. Whenever you like his posts, he thinks of you, if only for a moment. It’s rather profound when you consider that one small click can make a material difference in someone’s day.
By now, you’re running out of steam. Still, you have no idea why bartender Brittany liked your status. Maybe it was a genuine like, or maybe it was a long distance like. You’ll never know for sure.
But now, you do understand one of the challenges that social media users face. When conversing behind cold computer screens, you can’t gauge a person’s body language or voice tonality. So no matter how long you spend analyzing a like, you’ll never quite get to the bottom of it. You’ll never fully understand the liker’s intentions. How could you? On social media, you’re much like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, condemned to twiddle your thumbs, interpreting only the shadows that you see.
*Names have been changed.
When attending a wedding, there are certain standards of behavior you — as an adult guest — are expected to uphold.
Unfortunately, not everyone got that memo. Below, 10 folks on Whisper — a free online app where users anonymously share secrets — reveal the worst thing they’ve ever done (or seen!) at a wedding.
For more confessions, check out the Whisper app.
Pete Townsend, Baby Boomer, was talkin’ ’bout his generation when he sneered, “Hope I die before I get old.” Will Durst, Baby Boomer, is jokin’ about his generation when he responds, “Too late.”
Durst, 62, is best known as a political humorist, but, like all good Boomers, he has turned his gaze inward to develop a one-man show, “BoomeRaging; From LSD to OMG,” with which he is currently touring the country. Segments in the 90-min. show include, “Racing from the Shadow of a Mushroom Cloud,” “The Blinking VCR” and “Still Doing Drugs, Only Now There’s a Co-Pay.”
Not everyone gets it. Durst’s only prop in the show is an archaic overhead projector, “I carry my own with me when I perform shows in the Bay Area (where Durst lives),” he said in a phone interview. “When I go on the road, I have to depend on the theater staff to find one for me. For a show in Milwaukee. I said I needed an overhead projector and they assured me they had one. I got to the theatre, and a kid showed me what they had: a digital projector mounted on the wall over his head.”
“BoomeRaging” is Durst’s follow-up to “Elect to Laugh,” a one-man show about the 2012 election that he performed between Super Tuesday in February through the election. The show evolved from 75-min. to two hours. But then came Nov. 7, the day after the election. “Suddenly it evaporated,” Durst said.
Durst does not employ a full staff of writers who keep the joke pipeline flowing on such shows as “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Last Week with John Oliver.” “They are the Walmarts of political comedy,” Durst joked. “I’m a small boutique in Soho hand-stitching every joke.”
From a practical standpoint, Durst was looking to develop material less topical and with a longer shelf-life than his stand-up, which he still performs. (He also has a podcast.) A routine about growing old in the modern world became the foundation for “BoomeRaging.” “I’m a Baby Boomer, or as I call us, extreme adults,” he said. “I will always be a Baby Boomer, and so I developed this show. It’s not going to evaporate.”
Baby Boomers had long been the target of jokes by older comics, whom Durst grew up watching on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” They were funny, Durst said, but clueless about the younger generation. It was time, Durst said, “for a Baby Boomer to make jokes about us. All their tired jokes about growing old didn’t reflect us, jokes like, ‘When I fall down, I look around to see what else I can do while I’m down here.’ That doesn’t reflect our reality. I talk about what’s happening to us.”
One of the set pieces of “BoomeRaging” is an hilarious list of iconic Baby Boomer imagery that Millennials will never experience, ranging from slamming down a phone in anger and the taste of Green Stamps to triumphantly tearing a sheet of paper out of a typewriter.
“I crowdsourced that,” Durst laughed. “I went on Facebook and I asked Baby Boomers what they remembered. It was the most popular Facebook post I ever had.”
So clearly, “BoomeRaging” is resonating. Which stands to reason. A stereotypical rap against Baby Boomers is what a self-reflective generation they are, more apt to think of themselves as the Greatest Generation. To borrow a Seinfeldism: What’s the deal with Baby Boomers?
“There’s a lot of us,” Durst reflected. “We are legion. All these different mixes went into the cocktail. (We grew up in a time) when kids were to be seen and not heard. We were the first generation to have all this free time. There was a youth culture created through advertising. We grew up under the Cold War and then experienced an explosion of nihilism with the assassinations of two Kennedys and a King. So all we thought was, ‘Screw tomorrow; let’s live for today.”
Durst recalls several generational touchstones. He was in fifth grade in New Berlin, WI when President Kennedy was assassinated. “They called us in from recess and sent us home early,” he said. “I remember looking out my window at home. Nothing was moving, not even the trees. There were no kids playing in the yards.”
He watched the Beatles’ first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” at a family friend’s house. “They didn’t want to watch,” he said. “We were in the living room. Their daughter and I knew the Beatles were on, but the adults were watching whatever else was on. Finally, I yelled, ‘For crum’s sake, can we turn on ‘Ed Sullivan?’ and they said okay. I think they were more excited about seeing (the comedy team) Allan & Rossi.”
Durst witnessed the moon landing with his father at, of all places, the Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, WI. “The Bunnies were just standing there and watching,” Durst laughed. “Isn’t that weird?”
Durst has been performing “BoomeRaging” for about 16 months. Ideally, he said, he would like to plant it for a long run in a city and then take it off-Broadway.
Durst resists the derisive label of “dinosaur act” in reference to Boomer-aged entertainers–primarily rock musicians–still roaming the entertainment landscape. As a comedian, he cannot just play the hits. He must generate new material. “A comedian or a musician gets better with age,” Durst observed. “We’ve accepted that with blues artists and classical musicians. Nobody bats an eye when the 75-year-old violin player comes out. I’m still learning. I’m getting better at this.”
“BoomeRaging,” some mild-profanity aside, is family-friendly, Durst said, which may seem odd for a show celebrating the generation that gave us Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin and other comedians that infamously broke the barriers of what could be joked about onstage. “I’ve been gravitating toward clean material,” Durst said. “It opens new venues for me, but my audience is so tired of all the swearing. Every generation tries to plant its flag and keep pushing the edge of the envelope. My generation blew the envelope apart. What’s left for (today’s younger comics) but to take it another step, which is fine for their audience, but perhaps too much for mine. But that’s the split in every generation. Every generation hates the music of the next generation. It’s supposed to be like that.”
This is an expanded version of a story that ran on millionairecorner.com
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