November 2010 Issue

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi


For reasons that elude me but probably amount to nothing more than an early onset of cabin fever this year, we finally went to see the Facebook movie. What a strange, unpleasant little movie. If it turns out that we brought bedbugs back from the theater on account of this snooze-fest, I’m gonna be very ticked. You know you’re in a for a long slog when you find yourself rooting for Larry Summers. I left the theater wishing that the intelligent young woman who dumps Zuckerberg in the film’s opening scenes had just clobbered him with a brass spittoon and saved us all a lot of bother.

a wooden stake would work, too

For want of a spittoon....

She appears again briefly later in the film, as the oafish Mr. Z is becoming absurdly wealthy, just long enough to make it clear that she wishes nothing more than for him to permanently disappear. You and me both, lady. If this woman exists in real life, I’d like the opportunity to vote for her.

[Update: Here is a truly excellent article by Zadie Smith in the New York Review of Books about Facebook (both the movie and the thing) and Jaron Lanier’s latest book (You Are Not A Gadget). Lanier used to annoy me no end, but he’s absolutely right about Facebook.]

Elsewhere in Facebookia, our TWD-FB page, linked to in the right column over there, has attracted more than 400 “likes” so far, a fact which fills me with apprehension and anxiety. Just sending holiday cards to all those people is going to be ruinously expensive, and they, their children and their pets presumably all have birthdays as well. Thanks again, Zuckerberg. As for all of you who haven’t yet bitten the bullet and clicked the button, feel free. The more the merrier.

Speaking of financial exigencies, if I didn’t know better I’d suspect that the evil gnomes at Facebook have found a way to siphon off my precious reader support. In the past two months, the previously steady trickle of subscriptions keeping the kitties in Friskies has dwindled to a dribble. So if you were planning to subscribe soon, please make soon now.

Subscriptions make lovely holiday gifts, of course. And it’s the gift that keeps on giving, due to my chronic inattention to when folks’ subscriptions are supposed to run out. Let’s just say that we have spanned generations of readers simply from sloth.

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