Can’t We Just Have Fun?

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Saturday Night Live aired its 40th Anniversary Special Sunday night, which I didn’t get to see until Monday.* Before I did, I saw a myriad of criticisms about the show and its lacking. I still liked the show, the haters didn’t ruin it for me. Why did they not just have fun?

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The Aliens Are Among Us

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For years people have speculated on the existence of life on another planet in the Universe, and what it would be like if they visited Earth, would they be friend or foe. And I think they might be right under our nose. They are the young celebrities. Think about it. Just like all great science fiction movies, we think they’re cute and harmless and then they destroy the planet. The only thing is, how much time do we have?!

I’ve been trying to figure out why people are so fascinated with the celebrities that are famous for being celebrities. Why is Kim Kardashian so famous, admired and popular? Because she’s luring us in. As are Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and a host of up and coming youngsters on YouTube who are endearing our young people, making them idolize and mimic the actions of these individual’s (and I use that term loosely) attitudes, style and dress and them KABLAM they take over the planet. They steal what little natural resources we have and fly off into outer space in the ships that are hidden in the basements of The Gap and Old Navy. If you don’t believe me about that fact, just tell me how many times you’ve asked the sales clerk if they had any more of your size than was on display and they said “they’d look in back” but always came up empty-handed? That’s because it’s sealed off and they know that, but any kid knows that any excuse to get off the sales floor is to be taken advantage of.

And look at what these celebrities and non-celebrities are famous for. First of all, they all have great gobs of money and jewelry and expensive cars and shoes and it’s like swinging a shiny object in front of the youth of America, thinking they can have it. It’s no accident that these talents (again I use the term loosely) have come along when the economy has been in poor condition. Second, they don’t stand for anything or seem to have a point of view so there you go, more of the population to attract to their web. And lastly, they are all masters of modern technology, social media and trending—and everyone knows from all sci-fi that the aliens might be shorter but they have far bigger brains and are really quite intelligent. Case in fact—the whole Miley Cyrus thing was to make it look like she was a crazy Twerker but it was just because there was so much about the NSA and the hacking of our privacy they wanted to make sure no one would dig where they shouldn’t.

Cause that’s how it’s gonna happen. Not with some giant lasers but from one single tweet. These folks have loosely based themselves on real talent because they know that people love stars and when they amass just the right amount of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blog followers, they’ll just know where to strike. And we’ll all stupidly open some link like we can’t resist a cat video and we’ll be lulled to sleep.

And they’ll be off with what’s left of valuable stuff here on planet Earth and we’ll be sitting on a big rock that’s got a little bit of mud and leftover Twinkies cause enough people hoarded them and they last forever.

 

It’s The Forethought That Impresses Me

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Last night I was watching one of my favorite shows on YouTube, the Graham Norton Show, and noticed that there were multiple commercial breaks where there once was one, at the most. And the same with the second episode I watched. It struck me just how brilliant and foreword thinking the creators of YouTube and Facebook really are—they have been working the long con!

As a magician, I really have to admire the deception that they set up. YouTube got us slowly hooked on kittens and babies and soldiers returning from war that plucked at our heart strings. They made stars out of kids singing in their living rooms and people creating their own talk shows. Any one could do anything, post it for free, and they could send it anywhere.

And the same thing with Facebook. They let us connect with high school friends without having to go back for a reunion and have to pay for a hotel to see the town we wanted to leave. We could post photos of our children and not have to order the obligatory wallet size that only parents would use. And we could tell people where we were, what we had for lunch, and what we watched on TV—and someone listened.

And we had no idea that there was something lurking underneath. And that something was a swirling, bubbling, thick, river of money.

Even though I’m not paid to do this blog, i take it very seriously and so for you, my readers, I watched hours of Graham Norton specials.  At first I thought, you know, it’s fair. Why shouldn’t they make money?  And there’s only one commercial (for now) and many you can skip after five seconds.

That’s until I got to a commercial for a Long Beach political candidate.

OH MAN. That’s not a magic trick anymore, that’s a straight up deceit. That’s the psychic that magician’s debunk because they’re preying on the emotions of people and cheating them. That kind of thing makes me want to smack Mark Zuckerberg and then..kiss Marissa Meyer but also smash a grapefruit in her face like Jimmy Cagney did in the movie “The Public Enemy.” She didn’t invent YouTube  but I really want to kiss her and she’s probably done something to do with data mining in her role at Google and Yahoo. And the guys that invented YouTube aren’t that well known.

It really is the charlatan way, the Wizard behind the curtain faking it but not really coming out very lovable in the end. Sure Mark Zuckerberg is doing some good things with his money but he should after what he’s done.

But really who am I to judge. And how much different is knowing where you are and trying to sell you any different from the door to door vacuum cleaner salesman of the 1950s that would try to prey on the housewife in the suburbs by ringing their doorbells in the middle of the afternoon?

Just people trying to make money. And not thinking about bothering other people.

Facebook Busted!

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I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Sometimes it’s fun to find someone who you haven’t seen in many years, or learn something new about a friend, more often you’re just reading about people’s problems whose family and close friends don’t answer the phone anymore. I was about to quit Facebook when I started to write and I found out that you need to have social media activities in order to attract a publisher. So it’s become more professional for me, hooking up with friends and trying to post the occasional funny.

But I’ve also found an important element that most people don’t seem to know about. Well that or all my Facebook friends are idiots. Facebook is the equivalent of telling your mom you’re sick and then going to the video game store which is right near the dry cleaners. In other words, you can be found out!

Yep, you see I’ve discovered how people can be sooo busy and unable to get back to you yet they can like a video of a dog riding a scooter. They can’t return your phone call but they can play Candy Crush saga, which I still don’t know what it is. They’re internet has been down for days and have been out of 4G range, yet they’re miraculously able to post to their fan page.

I’m not here to scold those people who’ve tried to lie to me and blow me off. I’m here to warn those of you that may not have thought about it. Move carefully on the internet because you can be found out. We are so far away from the days of putting a match under a thermometer. Your every move has a print, so choose your apps, your device, your very location, carefully.

Or you may be busted. And actually have to go to your friend’s wedding.

Facebook is my Pimp

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It has been a long time since I was on a date. A looong time. So long I’m seriously worried that I won’t know where stuff goes. So long that I’m afraid I’ll giggle when I touch a boob. So long I’m giggling thinking of and typing the word boob. The other day on the el platform a young woman in a tank top had a very interesting tattoo with the words “The truth will set you free” on her back and little birds flying beside the quote. I was two seconds away from licking the path that the birds were traveling.

And Facebook knows this.

We know that what Facebook has become is a data mining gold rush where it can tell us what we want to buy before we want to buy it. But I didn’t know that it could also tell our moods. Because I am opening my Facebook page every morning and finding ads that “Leslie, 34, has sent you a message.” There’s also ads for yoga singles and singles over 40 and singles who like to have their tattoos licked. Facebook knows exactly what I want!

And I know it’s just for me. Because there are no ads for Russian brides, there are no ads for successful executive singles, Facebook knows I don’t have any money.

And the trouble is, I have been two seconds away from clicking them. My hormones are nearly out of control where I will just touch someone and make noises like the Tasmanian Devil.

Help me Twitter, you’re my only hope.