Whither Twitter Followers?

June 12, 2012

I used to regard Twitter as a low priority marketing device. I’ve had the account for going on nigh three years now, and, while it is nice to have, it has been more of an afterthought than anything else.

Previously, the only time I tweeted was when I published a new article such as this one.   In the past few months, however, I have since started tweeting my public postings from Facebook, as well. Since I now have subscribers, what’s a little extra twittering into the Ethernet now and again? Surely a scant more marketing can only be that much more beneficial, right?

Not so much.

Turns out, Twitter is every bit the spam magnet as any other popular platform. While you may think a strong internet presence is a good thing, the reality is, the more exposure, the bigger the target you are. Case in point: Have you taken a look at your Twitter followers lately?

Tell me that I’m anal, but I like to check out who is following me. Ideally, I’d prefer that the audience be engaged in my content sufficient to post replies, but barring that outcome, they should also be real persons, at the very least, as opposed to spam bots arbitrarily and quite persistently spewing porn and erectile dysfunction drug solicitations into my Twitterfeed.

For the moment, I am content to manually block purveyors of porn and such, but one day, as POB’s exposure becomes that much more ubiquitous on the web, I envision using a free tool such as Twitchuck that will enable me to block the undesirables before they appear in my followers list for all to see.

While spam bots on Twitter may not be a factor for some, I truly believe that as in life, who you associate with speaks volumes about you. Maybe you are OK with a thousand followers -nine hundred and seventy-five of which are porn spammers- because you don’t pay much attention to your Twitterfeed anyway.  Additionally, gosh dang it all, you rather enjoy the boost that having a  thousand followers gives your ego.  That’s just how you roll.

If that is the case, then plus ca va. Ah salud! Congratulations. You wouldn’t be the first to get an artificial thrill from quantity rather than quality.  But if you’re like me, then you are very aware as to what kind of impression your internet presence is generating. And I’m not just referring to dubious Twitter followers or even what you publish to your own blog. 

Others with less than friendly agendas can just as easily lurk in your social media feeds trolling for whatever content they believe can be transformed into trash talk to use against you.  And if you don’t catch such saboteur activity right away, regardless of how inaccurate the information that is being published about you may be, it can easily become the un-doing of your digital good name and cred.

Direct your attention to Exhibit A – Last May, an anonymous troll crept out from under a rock and attacked POB because I published the wikipedia image of a science fiction monthly magazine cover for a critique I did of a short story that had originally appeared in the periodical.  I’m not clear on what set off the troll since I hadn’t had any previous contact with him.  He appeared to be a random nutjob perpetrating a seagull drive-by (Flying in out of nowhere, shitting all over everything and then leaving.)

Perhaps he had not liked my opinion of the short story.  Or perhaps he was supposed to have tea and krumpets with Elvis that afternoon and got stood up.  If I had a dime for every wack job who took issue with something I’ve written, I wouldn’t have to solicit tips with a Pay Pal account for my writing because I would be independently wealthy.

Regardless of the troll’s issue, his manner of expressing his disapproval was to launch into an uninformed tirade (on his own blog, of course) as to how I was infringing an image that was, in reality, a matter of fair use.  Not that the troll in question would concern himself with such things.  An outburst such as his should have involved a degree of knowledge on the subject of copyright given how he rambled on about the matter, but, quite typically, said troll pulled a rant out of his ass to amuse, presumably, his followers.  One can ony speculate as to why anyone would want to highlight his ignorance of the fundamentals of copyright by accusing someone else of infringement.

In the final analysis, the damage the troll was attempting to inflict would have been tough to clean up had I not addressed it immediately upon having discovered the trail of shit he had left behind.  Further, had I not bothered, others would have eventually, no doubt, stumbled upon the troll’s barely literate rant, and, such contact would have served as my introduction to those unknown third parties. 

Maybe I worry too much, but I don’t think so. I work hard to create quality content to keep readers informed and entertained, and, I’ll be damned if I’m going to permit some drive-by escaped mental patient to fling shit at me and/or a twittering spammer to taint my reputation by virtue of association.  It ain’t happenin’ on my watch.

Others have written on the subject and likened Twitter followers to RSS feed followers, but I disagree.  Those who follow via RSS are anonymous.  They aren’t visible to the general audience the way Twitter followers are visible to anyone who wants to take a look.  So as to the count of sweating over small potatoes, say what you will, but I don’t want any followers that peddle salacious products and services attaching themselves to the POB brand name in any way, shape or form.

©2012 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Generation Indivisible

March 3, 2011

Somewhere between the Beatles, the Summer of Love, The Big Chill, Britney Spears and Facebook lies the disregarded, disdained &, invisible Generation X. The bastard, red-headed  thirteenth generation step-children of America.

We attended high school and college throughout the 80s and watched as our long term, financial best interests were assaulted throughout the entire decade by the first wave of white collar criminals running the government. Thanks to the likes of Ronnie Raygun and his merry band of S&L Loan scammers et al., more of us believe in the existence of UFOs than either the mythical benevolence of the government or the Ponzi scheme known as social security.

Nope. Ain’t buying it. You can fool the people who have benefitted from the entitlement programs that we’ve been forced to finance and that won’t be there for us when the time comes, but you won’t fool Gen X. Not after the astonishingly self-serving shit you’ve pulled so far.

Nevertheless, we’re stuck at the bottom of the pyramid paying for wealthy seniors who then use the money as pocket change to piss away at the casino or to play the lottery.  Their mantra is that they have only social security to live on, dont’cha know?

Sure, seniors live on social security in the same manner a con man peddles his sad tale of woe to his next mark. Tell it to someone you haven’t been putting the screws to for decades. You may elicit more sympathy. But from us? Not so much.

While the Boomers were self-reveling in overblown acts of megalomania, we were latchkey children of divorce & oil embargoes, quietly growing up with television, Atari and computers. Jan Brady doesn’t have squat on us.

Largely disenfranchised & ignored throughout our lives, our accomplishments have been passed over in favor of the ever greedy, ever pretentious, attention whore Boomers & their spawn, Gen Y.  Nonetheless, we’ve kept our heads down and have done our own thing. We’re cautious, practical & thrifty, but we also take our pleasure when and where we can find it. Nothin’ But a Good Time has beoome our theme song.

We’ve been called Slackers by the same people who not only constructed nursing homes so they wouldn’t have to take care of their own parents, but who also made sure that no other generation had access to the same quality of education & government programs they did. Because, you know, everyone should be able to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. Or so sayeth the entitlements for me, but not for thee generation.

Can you smell the steaming pile of irony?

When the retirement age was increased to 70, we couldn’t do dick about it because we were still in high school.

When the ability to write off student loans under bankruptcy filing was removed (a perk the Boomers took full advantage of and then promptly abolished for everyone else) we didn’t even notice because we were being bombarded with mindless propaganda not to take drugs from the original Stepford wife, Nancy Raygun.

When money for FAFSA was defunded, somehow we found a way to stay in college. According to a 2009 U.S. Census Bureau Statistical Abstract, we hold the highest education levels of either the Boomers or Millennials. Of course we do.  We’ve had to adapt to survive because the Boomers keep moving the goal post and taking ever larger pieces of the economic pie for themselves.

And when George Bush the Elder decided to play commando in the Gulf, we fought in Desert Storm to secure the continued prosperity of his oil buddies. We’re still there, in fact, put into motion by his son, George the Dumber, and, kept there by, hope he gives us back our change, oBOMBa.

When we hit forty, nary a word was mentioned because the media was focused on the Boomers. Only in this increasingly fucked up, backwards driven country of, by and for the AARP geezers would turning sixty be considered cool, sexy and interesting.  No matter, we still kept our heads down and pressed on, secure within ourselves.

Then we created the sound of Grunge.

Then we created companies like Amazon, Google & YouTube.

We laughed along with our icons, Quentin Tarantino & Jon Stewart, and sang along with Alanis Morrissette.

We may have been defunded, underprivileged and otherwise neglected, but, hey, we’ve sucked it up and walked it off.  And now into our middle forties, we would rather be free agents instead of loyal cog corporatists part of the same sell-out machine.

We would prefer to volunteer our time instead of screwing over our fellow humans the way the Boomers have, but most of all, we don’t give a flying shit about the so called leaders of this country because the only thing they have led are campaigns to help themselves to yet another helping of prime rib & guzzle yet another case of Cristal to add to their already bloated backsides, making us subsidize their good times while tossing crumbs down at us to choke on.

And still the self-congratulatory Boomers continue to force their history down our throats as if the 20s, the Depression or any other era never even happened.  They’ve been living on fifteen minutes of fame that occurred well over forty years ago in Haight-Ashbury and Woodstock ever since. They were the generation that was supposed to stand for something, but in the end, the only thing that mattered to them was money and lots of it. Their motto has been he who has the most toys wins, but I have to say that even when I worked in a mortuary, I never saw any hearses with luggage racks.

But the joke is on them now because as their asses grow wider, as their prescription drug list expands, and as their sexual organs and libidos shrivel up, we’re going to be the ones running the show and the nursing homes sooner rather than later.

I hope the Boomers have enjoyed their good times in the spotlight because we haven’t forgotten how we’ve been treated…

©2011 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Do You Neti?

January 29, 2011

A Neti pot is a device that looks like a genie lamp.  It is the Hatha Yoga way to irrigate the sinus cavity.  (Genie sold separately.)

If you are one of the 40 million Americans currently living with nasal allergies and you just don’t have the money (or the insurance) to continue being fucked up the ass by Big Pharma paying top dollar for your prescription, then you may want to try the Neti.

The pot is filled with warm water (usually filtered or distilled) and a mixture of saline solution. You can either mix the solution yourself or just buy a premixed kit at the drugstore.

The idea is to pour the saline into one nostril and have it exit out the other.  Lather, rinse & repeat for the opposite side.  If you practice this on a regular basis, then theoretically, it can help minimize allergic reactions. Think of it as douche for your schnoz.

Benefits

-removes dirt and infectious microorganisms from the nasal cavities and passageways

-reduces the frequency and duration of colds

-reduces allergic problems such as hay fever

-improves your nose breathing generally and reduces diseases such as asthma and bronchitis

-moistens dry nasal cavities and passageways

-reduces the symptoms of chronic sinusitis

-flushes the tear ducts

-improves your sense of smell and taste

-can be beneficial for some types of ear disorders

As I have only been using the Neti for a short while, the jury is still out as to how effective it is, but I will say this much. It has helped with some sinus drama caused by the Santa Ana winds. But as to the actual sneezing/coughing, not so much.

Disclaimer:  When using the Neti, your mileage may vary. Also, it helps if you enjoy the sensation of drowning. I am not a lawyer; This is not legal advice; Do not pass go, do not collect $200.00.


Is It Love or Limerence?

January 27, 2011

At the risk of turning this space temporarily into a women’s magazine, I decided to write about the concept of love versus liminerence. What is limerence you may ask?

Limerence, not to be confused with limine, is a term coined by American psychologist, Dorothy Tennov, in her 1979 book, Love and Limerence – the Experience of Being in Love. And yes, before you ask, yours truly has, in fact read it, for a college Psych class.  You didn’t think I’d pull a word like “limerence” out of my ass, did you?

Basically, limerence describes the emotional state that one feels involuntarily when attached to or obsessed with another person.  It can be a sexual relationship, but primarily, the condition is characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings from the L.O., or limerent object.

Limerence should not be confused for a crush, puppy love or infatuation as it goes much deeper than physical attraction. It basically involves intrusive thinking of and extreme sensitivity towards the L.O.

Uh, I think you’re talking about codependency, PF.

Hold up.  Not necessarily.  Codependency can last years and involves an excessive caretaking manner to the extent where it negatively impacts other relationships and quality of life.  Limerence is usually a temporary deal.  Although reciprocity from the L.O. can make limerence that much more intense, it is not necessary as the quality of being limerent enables the individual to see qualities in the L.O. that may not exist.  Turns out unrequited love is a tremendous turn on for those in limerence. In codependents, not so much.

At its fundamental core, limerence is an addictive type of behavior that is often misunderstood and/or dismissed by those who have never experienced it. It is usually written off as a ridiculous fantasy as in the kind found in romance novels.

But how do you know if you are one or the other or just out of your farcking mind?

If you conduct a little recon on the web, you will find a lot of articles written about the topic, but this is a quick test you can run through to give you an idea as to your condition.

Please Note >> Like everything else in life, your mileage may vary (YMMV). The test referenced above is more opinion based than scientific. I shouldn’t have to remind you to not to base your existing relationship upon either my thoughts or the links I cited in this piece, but, nonetheless, I wanted to include a disclaimer just in case you’re the type of person who believes everything s/he reads on the web!

In the meantime, I’m going to go enjoy some limerence music. Rod Stewart knew a thing or two about it 1984.

By the way, Tennov’s book is still in print if you’re interested in reading more about the subject matter.

Happy limerencing!

[PLEASE NOTE that the link to the test referenced above has changed from the date this story was published.  Contact the owner of that site for more information.  -PF  2/27/2012]

©2011 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



De-Friended on Facebook

May 4, 2010

I created a Facebook profile for both myself, as well as Prattle within the past year.  Since then, I’ve acquired a good amount of friends, most of whom are people I know offline, as well as various other entities and organizations whose activities I would like to stay informed of.

Sure, I could probably read all the latest news from these groups simply by subscribing with an RSS feeder, but what fun is that.  I wouldn’t be able to piss off someone sufficient to de-friend me.  It’s a two-fer that I’m not willing to give up.  I’m only half kidding about that.

I am amused by the drama that goes on with de-friending, particularly among small communities whose adult members still think & act like pre-teens.  The best way to get under someone’s skin seems to be to block them on Facebook, and, then talk shit about the former friend with all the other friends.  Hilarious, but didn’t we see this once before, like say, back in grade school.

Don’t people ever act their chronological age instead of their shoe size?

Nevermind.  Don’t answer that.

Yours truly has been de-friended exactly twice, both by blogger buds.   I didn’t know them offline, but I followed them just like I follow several other buddy sites for both encouragement as well as entertainment.

What was my crime?  I provided feedback to content they had written.  Note here that it was constructive feedback.  Not a critique just to be mean.  There is a difference.

OTOH, I’ve also done a fair amount of de-friending, but the decision was less about disagreeable commentary, and, everything to do with the person’s idea of friendly interaction on my wall consisted exclusively of Farmville & Mafia Wars requests.

Don’t get me wrong – I play Farmville.  I play it a lot.  But it’s not an exclusive source of entertainment.   I’m more about reading & posting info that intellectually engaged individuals would find helpful, such as being Zuckerfucked.  But if any of those former acquaintances noticed that they were de-friended, then I was not notified.

I don’t give too much of a shit one way or the other because Facebook is about as important to me as athlete’s foot or STDs when considering the larger schema of my life.  I use it primarily as a promotional device for my blog, but since my page rank is #3 according to Google, it’s not even really all that useful anymore.

If you’ve ever been a de-friender and/or the de-friendee, then share your story here.


Popular Culture Fetishisms 101

November 30, 2009

Furries

Over the holiday, I became aware of a few new practices that have apparently become sufficiently ubiquitous for the producers of the CSI crime dramas to have included them as storylines.

The first proclivity is called “furries,” and, while the Urban Dictionary currently includes several similar definitions, the word used as a noun means fans of anthropomorphic animals. Examples include Jar-Jar Binks, the car insurance lizard, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Dictionary then goes on to further describe the word. Used as a verb, “furries” means people who like to dress up as anthropomorphic animals and have sex with each other. That’s a new one on me, but hey, provided the activity occurs between consenting adults, whatever floats yer bobber, I suppose. Who am I to villanize the furverts of the world?

Sloshing

The Dictionary has a few different definitions of sloshing, but essentially it means the act of having sex with your favorite foods. I think we’ve seen an earlier version of this one before back in the 80s.

The act itself was more of a unilateral than bilateral event. After all, the only one we saw being massaged with honey and other miscellaneous sweets was Kim Basinger. We never saw Kim’s character in the movie treat Mickey Rourke to a habanero in any of his orifices. Mickey did all of the doing there was to be done.

I am reminded, specifically, of a particular segment from the film that I have not been able to find on the web, otherwise, would have included for your enjoyment. It was the one scene that basically sold the movie to audiences and involved a scarf, an ice cube, and a naked boob. During the years following the movie, we were treated to various images of the famous ice cube shot in everything from adverts for booze up to and including a mini-segment on The Sopranos between Meadow and her boyfriend Finn. (Season 5, episode 8, for anyone who wants to see it.)

I don’t really have much of an opinion for or against either predilection, but I do, however, think that the latter is a lot more fun than the former. Maybe it’s because when I was growing up, there was a lot less anthropomorphic animal images available than there was for the current crop of twenty-something furries practitioners.

Gen Xers like myself had the old Loony Toons Bugs Bunny cartoons, and, a handful of other notables, however, absolutely none of them were considered, nor meant to be sexy. That meant a lot less animated material available for spanking the monkey. And by the time softcore, animated quasi-porn came along such as the Thunder Cats, I was already in HS and far advanced from the informative years the Echo Boomers were just commencing.

©2009 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The Day After

November 27, 2009

Black Friday. No other concept seems to be more ridiculous or emblematic of contemporary American society. Whether it’s good or bad depends on which side of the sales counter you’re standing. But we’ll get to that in a sec.

Historically, the words, “black Friday” used to mean exclusively the Wall Street Crash of 1929. But during the eighty (80) year stretch that has gone by since, the American economy has experienced numerous crashes and panics to the extent where we don’t even think about it anymore. We just deal as we are dealing now and the bailouts keep onnnnn coming.

Boom and bust cycles have been engineered by design into our economy by the creation of two financial institutions that are neither public nor part of the federal government, but whose names include the word “federal” in order to hoodwink the uninformed American taxpayer into thinking they are.

I’m referring to, of course, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, better known as the Fed and the FDIC. Two privately held entities that our economy lives or dies by. Currently, it’s dying. The economy, that is. For those of us that don’t make a living as an executive officer in either the banking or automotive industries, there will be no million dollar bonus in our Christmas stockings.

GM and the “too big to fail” bankers Goldman Sachs et al. are doing just fine thanks to the great taxpayer sponsored bailout of 2008. This round of corporate welfare currently comes in at $700 billion and counting, but it could end up costing us as much as $2 trillion.

But don’t take my word for it. If you want a fascinating explanation of the current manufactured fiscal crises and how we got here, then I highly recommend you read Bailout Nation and The Creature from Jekyll Island.

Upon reading these books, you’ll laugh (Like a lunatic in desperate need of thorazine.) You’ll flatulate. Your eyeballs will hemorrhage and pop out of your sockets. Your anal sphincter will pucker. You may even experience simultaneous explosive diarrhea and vomiting. But most of all, you will weep. Uncontrollably. And not even the FDA and CDC approved scam that is known as the swine flu vaccination will help you.

But returning to our topic, Black Friday now simply means this:

And this -

And this.

Personally, I am unable to think of anything more farcical and absurd than standing on a long ass line during the ass crack of dawn in 20°F (-7°C) for a freakin’ X-box or some other item whose availability was deliberately held back so as to create demand and justify jacking up the price tag.

If the average American had a firm grasp of the concept of supply and demand instead of spend and charge it, then those of us who have to work for a living would probably have a hell of a lot better representation in both Houses of Congress. As it currently stands, we’ve got a two party system whose members are indistinguishable from each other on either side and who represent the highest bidder.

It’s ironic. The governments of other developed nations are afraid of pissing off the voters because they fear the people. But instead of holding the “leaders” accountable for their actions, we here in the good, ol’ U.S. of A. go shopping.

I will be spending Black Friday as I usually do. On the couch leaning against my comfy backrest pillow with a good book and/or watching the boys, and, otherwise letting the rest of yooze fight it out amidst the aisles and pallets filled with Chinese manufactured junk at the local crapmart.

Enjoy! I’ll be thinkin’ ’bout ‘cha.

NB: Watch out for the dude who just took a dump in the water fountain.

Sing it, Chrissie.

©2009 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 271 other followers

%d bloggers like this: