February 5, 2012 by Marcus Speh
For the past year, I thought I could beat Facebook as a place to make contacts and spread the word more effectively, which is why I started Kaffe in Katmandu on Tumblr. I’ve now been back to Facebook since one month or so and alas, I concede defeat: using it in connection with the “Timeline” feature, it’s both fun and fairly effortless. Facebook, you win.
Tumblr is just as clubby and closed as Facebook is. The Tumblr crowd is probably less chatty, more self-involved, younger (yes, you are!) and generally more visually oriented. The Facebook crowd is more diverse and probably more literate (yes, you are!) in terms of lost culture and language. But both of them are clubs for time-losers, enclaves of unmet needs, the harem of an invisible, all-powerful, nameless Sultan.
Note to alien visitors of our planet: (1) Communities are defined as much by their boundaries (fences to keep out the undesirables) as by what’s happening inside them. What you focus on, what’s important to you, will change with time; (2) Tumblr is a blog-hosting service. A blog is a ship log without ship, a journal of a journey without going anywhere; (3) Facebook is a social network. Social networks are spider webs without spiders, a fellowship of friend-flies who don’t actually want to be social but wish to appear that way (for a variety of reasons); (4) a Sultan is either an Autocratic Arabic ruler (lover of roses, poetry, women, fast cars and furry cats), or a male raisin.
This morning I was wondering if my Facebook (and Tumblr) texts when taken out of the context of the “Timeline” (which really is a 2D time machine) and put on this blog, look any different. Do they make more or less sense? Here is a selection in chronological order with titles added.
I suffer from an uncommon form of writer’s block. It doesn’t stop me from writing, but it stops me from remembering: my wife just showed me a novella I wrote recently. I looked at it and couldn’t recognize it as my work or even remember what it was about AT ALL. I wrote this less than six weeks ago. Where was I, or rather who was I when it happened. Perhaps I need a hot dog from Pink Sigmund.
[Picture: Andre Von Morisse "Pink Freud"]
«The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Facebook, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.» (From: George Orwell, The Principles of Newspeak.)
Tuesday: The Age Of Innocence. American literature is going to break through whatever it is that stands in its way. I can just feel it. It’s right there. Next to you, me. If you’d ask me how it’ll look like, here’s my image: It’s a mixture of 7th, 19th and 21st century sensibility minus deconstructivism plus Vonnegut plus Lem minus something the size of an invisible hippo minus the influence of Harry Potter plus the Best Of Alt Lit. It’s hairy, too, and gossipy.
«There are still many more days of failure ahead, whole seasons of failure, things will go terribly wrong, you will have huge disappointments, but you have to prepare for that, you have to expect it and be resolute and follow your own path.»
― Anton Chekhov
Friday: The Discovery Of Hashtags. This brain dead Twitter contribution reveals that the day moves slowly with little to do or to think about. Wintry temperatures paralyse. Time to read some Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer: WILL stuff. Horoscope come to the rescue. Guardian angels fly in for a cup of hot hope or gory gossip.
Note: I use my “friends” page for texts and photos and hard-hitting analysis—don’t want to bore my friends away; I use my “fan” page only for announcements covered with powdered sugar—don’t want to scare those fans away!). I use Twitter indiscriminately to toot my horn on anything. I use Google+ too, but don’t ask me what I’m doing there.