Monday, January 31, 2011

Are you kidding me?

This was in response to a UK Lottery Phishing email I received, that just said, "Please open attachment for details about your winnings."  Luckily for me, Gmail has an image previewer, so I was able to satisfy my curiosity without giving my computer the electronic equivalent of the Martian Flu Virus.

Dear "Kate Brown,"

Well, I suppose if someone is still gullible enough to fall for the Overseas Lottery Scam, they're probably also stupid enough to open an attachment from someone they've never met.

Listen, I know you're probably just some poor kid in India working in a sweatshop for someone who will beat you and kill your sister if you don't send shit like this out. Still, there's gotta be a way to get out of that and somehow be a law-abiding citizen. Because no matter how you look at it, stealing people's money is wrong. So is using up valuable pornography bandwidth with fraudulent emails about lotteries, and princes, and friends being stuck in England.

Hey! Maybe you sister can get into porn! Then you won't have to send out bullshit emails to hardworking americans like myself. Sure, I'm supposed to be working right now and instead I'm writing you this (pretty brilliant, I must say) email, but this isn't about me. It's about you and your sweatshop conditions, and the ridiculous belief that somehow you are justified in cheating little old ladies out of their fixed-income earnings from their husbands' pensions.

Because honestly, those are the only people who fall for these scams. Well-meaning octagenarians who want to leave a little something for their grandchildren. Like my grandma. Well, not my grandma, because she's not a dipshit. But women like her. Women who have no marketable skills and can't join the workforce because when they were 10 they were told their husband would take care of them. My grandma is smarter than that and became a librarian, but like I said, this isn't about me.

Well, "Kate," I'm glad we've had this talk.  I'm sure I've taken up valuable time for both you and your supervisor/kidnapper.  You must have someone to swindle somewhere.  Maybe once you're done robbing US Senior Citizens, you can go beat up some kids for their lunch money!  Won't that be fun! 

Happy Felonies!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Evolution of Social Media

In the beginning, there was email, and the User saw it, and it was good.  Then the User said, "Let there be a way to instantly message my friends in a back-and-forth conversation."  And so, the programmers huffed and puffed, and lo and behold, IM was born, along with many platforms to support it.  AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, Trillian, the possibilities were endless.  And AIM begat Skype, and the User saw that it was good.

But over in another part of the Internet-o-Sphere, another User wished for fame, for glory, and perhaps for a little drama.  And so the programmers brought forth forums.  But no, this was too anonymous!  People could be total assbags to each other with no real consequences!  And so came livejournal.  Now, you could have friends!  And then came friends-locked posts, and special lists and filters!

But the User was a little ADD, and livejournal posts tended to be tiny novels.  And so came Myspace.  Now THIS was networking!  Pictures and friends and... sparkles?  No, no, no! (cried the User).  Give me something clean, something simple.  Something even my mom can use!

And so was born Facebook.  And everybody joined.  Everybody.  And the User who remembered email and forums and secret chat rooms said: WAIT A MINUTE!  Where did my anonymity go?  I used to have a private life that nobody else could touch!  I used to enjoy the solitude of a life seperate from the real world!  I guess you just can't please some people.

Monday, January 3, 2011

On Parents and Parenting

It is inescapable.  As parents, we inflict irreparable harm upon our children.  And as adults, we carry with us scars and strengths we developed from times we failed to please the closest thing to God we'll know in this life.

And perhaps that's the root of the conflict presented in the parent/child relationship.  A child can only see their creators and providers, protectors and teachers as Gods, when in fact they are fallible, flawed people who once needed creation and provision, protection and teaching.  And so the cycle goes.

I think most people do the best they can with what information and resources they have.  Apart from the truly horrible element of society, it is the first instinct of all humans to protect any child, especially those in their care, and none so much as their own.  And yet, even though our parents love us, and nourish us, still, they must fail us in order for us to become whole people.

While parents do retain their overall Godliness, there are moments, in every person's life, where the human pokes through.  That time your mother didn't believe you when you really hadn't taken the book.  The trip with your dad where he took the side of his friend instead of yours.

And don't get me started on divorce.  While it is generally a good thing for all involved, it is also generally the nastiest and most painful experience a couple and it's issue can endure.  How else could it be?  Two people who thought they were perfect for each other have discovered they are not, and now, what's more, there are children.  Children who must be protected, nourished, loved and taught.  Children whose Gods have begun to fight and disagree, perhaps even try to hurt each other.

This particular struggle seems to be a theme in my life.  I was once a child of such a conflict, and now I find myself among a family going through that self-same struggle.  What can I offer in this situation?  My experience could have been better, it also could have been much worse.  Now the things I "would have done differently" are the things I AM doing differently.

It seems like an excellent time to consult the demi-gods.  The Gods in this story have their roles, and that is not a conflict I can help.  But the step-parents, and the future step-kids.  These are the relationships that might yet become very important to me in the future.  Perhaps its time more than one hatchet was buried.