We live in interesting times.
“There’s a study,” Ben said, “that shows that people who watch Fox News are less informed than those who watch no news at all.”
I laughed. Mostly because I can’t imagine why a DANGER FEAR SEGMENT story about escalators “STAIRWAY TO DANGER!” or a story about applesauce “AN APPLE A DAY MAKES THE CORONERS DAY!” would be considered news by anyone anywhere. But the world needs ditch-diggers too, so I try not to think about it.
I get my news primarily by The Twitter. Crowd-sourcing seems to be the best way to manage news that’s important to me. If that means it’s news about the hats at the Royal Wedding, so be it.
Last year, during The NotoriousSNOMG, I sat at my computer as the wind was a-howling and the snow was outrageous. Roads were blocked, the power threatened us, lights flickering, the occasionally brown-out making me wonder when we’d have to huddle in the basement for warmth. They shut down Lake Shore Drive (arguably my favorite road), The Twitter told me, and I realized how fucking serious the situation was.
My friends all over the Chicagoland area tweeted back and forth about what they were experiencing, which helped me see what I was in for. Also: made me shit myself, but that’s neither here nor there.
Months later, on September 11, we ran a blog carnival on Band Back Together to share stories about that day. I sat on Skype with various members of the board from the moment I dragged my sorry ass out of bed and onto the computer. I was on until well after midnight that day, editing, scheduling, and posting stories – our stories – about where we were that day.
We ended up with fifty different perspectives.
It was FASCINATING.
Not so much that people would want to share their “Where Were You” stories, but because we, as a community blog, we able to see perspectives from people who were actually there, people who lived overseas, people who lived nowhere near the Twin Towers, and those who were children (now adults) at the time.
Every other story I’d read, every magazine I’d poured through, they only posted a few random stories – and while they were interesting, they didn’t offer the variety of perspectives that The Band did. They weren’t glossed over, our stories, they weren’t edited to be more or less exciting, they simply WERE. Because we WERE.
When the Twin Towers were attacked in 2001, I was not a blogger. I had a single email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and no chat service. I’d never figured out why I should go into a chat room, besides pretending to have fake cyber sex with someone, and barely used the computer for anything beyond writing research papers.
Now, I’ve been blogging for longer than I care to admit. If there’s a social media outlet, I’m probably on it. I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
Being able to use social media for things other than telling the world that, “Anxiety can eat a hot bag of dicks,” well, that’s incredible. And that’s what we saw when we ran our September 11 carnival. It’s the premise of Band Back Together – a group site where you can read a variety of stories about any one topic to feel less alone.
It’s why I trust the unfiltered tweets of my friends over Fox News. It’s why I believe you when you write on your blogs. It’s why what we do here, in this virtual space, is so much more than any one of us could have predicted. It is why we must continue to do what we do – whether we have five readers or fifty. What we do, it all matters.
It’s a brave new world out there, Pranksters.
And I, for one, am fucking proud to be a part of it.
I’d been off and on The Twitter all day on Friday, rather than out and about pepper-spraying people to get a wicked deal on a TV set or some diamond earrings thanks to a particularly bad gravy hangover (Xanax Gravy, you should try it!). Whenever I’m on The Twitter, I pay a little bit of attention to the Trending Topics on the sidebar. Mostly because I want to know if the Zombie Apocalypse is starting but also because The Twitter feeds me my news.
Well, I saw that Nickelback was trending.
Fine, I said, as I trundled off to get buffalo wings with The Daver. Whatever. Prolly a new album or something.
Over dinner, we began talking about (oddly) Nickelback, who happened to be playing at the Lions versus Packers football game. I figured that was reason enough for their appearance upon the Twitter, but no.
“It turns out,” Daver said, “That Nickelback is getting a fuckton of backlash for their appearance at the game.”
“Really?” I raised my eyebrows as I slowly devoured buffalo wings, which are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
“Yeah,” he replied. “So their record company released a statement saying that they’d sold 5 million copies of their latest album and we should all shut our whore mouths.”
This got me thinking (a semi-dangerous pursuit, as we all know).
5 million albums.
Presumably bought by 5 million people.
So I promptly threw out a tweet asking about it:
I wasn’t being glib – I was genuinely curious.
Because even as I said it, I realized I didn’t know a SINGLE Nickelback song. Not one. I got on my i(can’t)Phone and popped onto YouTube (we SO live in the future, y’all). I simply threw “Nickelback” into the search box, figuring their biggest hits would pop up first and I could be all OH so it’s THOSE guys. Got it. The ire, I get! Or, people should shut their fucking whore mouths, this song rules!
Didn’t find a single song I recognized.
So I decided iTunes would never let me down and clicked over there through my i(suck at making calls from my)Phone.
Not a fucking thing I recognized. All I was able to ascertain was this:
1) Nickelback songs sound the same.
B) They’re Canadians.
So I waited for The Twitter to enlighten me.
Hrms. She’s Canadian. Okay, fair enough.
Now THAT is a fucking good point!
(Altho, my mom would NEVER buy 5 million copies of anything I sang. Which is fair)
AH-HA! My arch-nemesis! John C. Mayer would do ANYTHING to fuck mah shit up.
The Twitter’s consensus was that Canadians and Nickelback’s Moms bought all of the CD’s. But not ALL Canadians (I think I got unfollowed by 30 or so Canadians for using that blanket statement), I quickly learned.
That leaves wondering: who DOES buy Nickelback CD’s?
This is where you get to help me, Pranksters. Survey below should clear it up. Also: results are anonymous, so I won’t laugh and point if you say you have bought the CD’s.
Dear Aunt Becky,
I drop in on your site from time to time, but usually from an aggregate site that has become toywithme.com. Anyway, my question is, what happened to the blogger whose picture showed her in old-fashioned curlers? I can’t remember her name and for some reason this is driving me crazy.
Thanks for your help and for your exquisite sense of humor.
Well, Prankster, thank YOU for the kind words! They’re much appreciated!
Evening Aunt Becky!
While checking out the questions and comments on BnB to comfort and convince myself that I’m not the only one who doesn’t always really get motherhood it popped up with a link to your blog in the side bar! I was pleased to see it as I’ve been enjoying your blog for ages and hope others have been clicking through.
Dear Prankster Laura,
While I thank you kindly for your kind words and the referrer, I’m afraid that I have no idea what BnB is. In fact, I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to figure it out. And yes, yes, I AM compulsive.
Does it mean?
Bed and Breakfast?
Bread and Butter?
Banana Nut Bread?
Black and Blue?
Bad News Bears?
I simply do not know. So, Prankster Laura (or others), what, pray tell, does BnB mean?
P.S. I like to imagine it to mean “Black and Blue.”
Dear Aunt Becky,
I have no question but go have a look at what I found. Bob Ross finger Puppets
Dear Prankster Tonya,
O.M.G. How have I not SEEN these before? I feel like my whole life has been a lie!
P.S. I require these for Christmas to be happy.
Hello, Aunt Becky!
Here’s a faithful viewer of your awesomesauce blog, asking for advice. I’m an 18-year-old girl, and I have a mother who’s been through a helluva though life. Born to a poor family, many of her best friends dying when they were just teens, two stillborn children and a divorce, just to name a few. She’s ultimately the strongest woman I’ve ever known. However, she never talks about those happenings in her past – only offhand mentions and some things I remember her telling me when I was just a tiny crotch parasite, asking everything about my mommy that could ever enter my tiny mind.
I would like to be as open with her as possible – after the divorce, the two of us lived together for 8 years, and despite living in different cities these days, we’re really really close – and would also like her to be able to talk about her past with me. Even though we’re so close, I sometimes get the feeling that I don’t know my mother at all – all we talk about is my life, my tiny problems. I’m not sure what I’m actually even asking for, just maybe some advice, on how to deal with her? How to bring up difficult subjects? Or should I never mention them at all?
Ever so thankful,
I hope that my daughter will grow to be as wonderful a woman as you. Your mother is beyond lucky to have such a lovely daughter as you. I just had to say that to start off with, or I might burst from your awesomeness.
Honestly, I’m getting teary.
Anyway, enough about my hormones. I’d simply go ahead and ASK your mother about those subjects. Tell her what you just told me: that you’d like to know more about her and feel like you’re as awesome a daughter as you (obviously) are. I’m sure that even if she doesn’t wish to talk about it, she’ll appreciate knowing that her daughter remembered her stories. That way the door is open for her to talk about herself, too.
See, Moms, well, we’re used to NOT talking about ourselves very candidly to our children. We can’t be effective parents if we’re always whining about our own shit. It’s not that I don’t want my kids to know me – even the ugly bits – but I think it’s easy to be caught in the rut of “my child is more important than I am.” Because that’s what parenthood is – putting someone else ahead of your needs most of the time.
But I think if you tell her what you told me, she’ll not only be touched, but know what an amazing job she’s done as a parent. Because she has.
Love to you,
Pranksters, please fill in wherever I left off. Especially the part about “BnB.” Seriously, I’ve been up all night long (alll niiiiiggghhhht longggggg) trying to figure it out.