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Socializing as seen through the eyes of an Ancient


Entry 12/19/2011 09:57:41 AM – Mentat 625

π * 1,337% = 42 (ish) – from Reddit via Boing Boing

Ah the joys of Monday morning. First off, I seem to have developed the uncanny habit of practically dropping everything that I begin to handle. Toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, razor, which moved up to dishes at one point (fortunately for me they weren’t the stoneware), even coffee mug (not that I mind that as it’s stainless steel). I was able to catch myself when that was happening by the time the coffee finished brewing, but usually if I have the dropsies, it usually means that I’m distracted… And if I get distracted enough then I start banging into things — mostly with my hands. And the last thing I need at the moment is banging my hands up like I do. Though the question that comes to mind is, ‘why am I distracted?’

Honestly, I haven’t a clue why I’m so distracted this morning. I woke up in a pretty good mood, in spite of the fact that sometime around 5 AM, I was awoken from a particularly warm and sound sleep by voices in my head calling my name. One of them was my roommate, though I don’t know who the others were. Funny thing was that I bolted out of bed when I heard my name, thinking someone needed my help or something and when I heard my name. I snorted to myself when I got into the kitchen and the place was completely dark. When I went back to sleep and got up about 2½ hours later, I went through my morning routine of mail, Usenet and the usual about getting myself cleaned up and dressed, I realized that I really didn’t have anything pressing on my mind. Actually nothing at all really… It was relatively quiet now that the Mad Cat Committee had been fed last night and the one and only cat that hasn’t been fixed has finally fallen out of heat (for the most part), I only hear them now and again as one of them gets bored and wants to play.

It could be… it could be the long standing effects of my whimsical day dreaming that I’ve done for the last week or week and a half. Lord knows, last week I was all hell bent about some of my day dreaming — particularly given some of the things that I’ve observed by the kids in the usual places. And let me tell you, there’s been a lot of material and observations to be sorted out from what I watched last week alone.

Take for example the way that straight men flirt with girls when they think they’re present. It’s like this train wreck in the making on how they try to prove how much they’re worthy of a girl’s attention by being so blatantly transparent about their wants; so much so that it comes off as nothing short of completely desperate. There’s positively no finesse about it. To make matters worse, when you get enough men together, it suddenly turns into a pissing match of sorts as to who’s getting laid the most, how they rate women on a scale of 1 to 10, just how lucky they are getting laid by floozies and whores, and — my personal favorite — how they go on and on about their favorite body part (aka, breasts)… Basically devolving a woman from another human being nothing more than body parts… Usually in the presence of the woman that they had been flirting with (desperately) for the last ½ hour.

Heh, then they wonder why the woman that they had been flirting with suddenly becomes flabbergasted or even angry with them. Or if the woman has some sense of shrewd about her, how casual and even cold the woman becomes around them. I mean sure, I understand the shattered and flawed reasoning behind this. People in a public chat room work on a faulty notion that if they’re having a conversation with only certain people in the room, the chat automatically becomes private. (It doesn’t work this way kids, even when you’re in say a public place like a coffeehouse, for the illusion of privacy to work, you have to talk in whispers in such a setting, but even then people can interject if they so choose to). And then when people do comment, they act all dismayed that someone else is actually paying attention to what they were saying.

Then they look at me after all this and wonder what it was that they were doing wrong, all the while I’ve been telling them to reel their neck in and act like a gentleman for once in their lives if they’re trying to impress the woman they’ve been so blatantly flirting with. When the girls turn all cold on them, they tend to act all wounded ego in the process. But they never listen to a word that I’ve been saying about it, and continue to repeat their mistakes one after the other for god only knows how long before the wake up and smell the toast. I might not actually date women, but I’ve been their confidants for more years than most of these man-boys have been alive. Then again what do I know?

It made me wonder and be a little bit more self-conscious than usual, as I thought to myself, “when I flirt am I as transparent and desperate about it as they are?” And more importantly, I wonder whether I sledgehammer my flirtatious gestures as much as the man-boys do online. I should ask the person that I’ve been on-again, off-again flirting with the last couple of months. (And yes, that’s you Ivan).

[Last Edited: 12/20/2011 10:23:21 AM]

I have to say that I’ve been having more than a bit of a problem working on this journal entry. I wanted to return to writing on it last night, but found that my brain was too scattered to want to work with any one subject. Now that it’s morning (and laundry day), there’s a couple of other subjects that I wanted to touch upon. One of them is Diaspora.

What a great idea that has taken a left turn at banal. It was supposed to be the great alternative to Facebook because of the incessant privacy concerns that people were having with Facebook. Those of us that had waited a year for the product to show up, waited with some hope and anticipation looking for a social networking site that would provide a social environment while at the same time protecting the privacy of the site. What we got instead was something that looks and acts like a fully opened up Google+ with people posting crap that one would find with the 10 – 16 year old girls on Tumblr. Seriously, I can’t begin to describe the amount of animated pictures, trite and overused humor and re-re-re-re-posted pictures that have been around since when I first started playing online almost 20 years ago. I rather like G+ when it comes to streaming because I have complete control of my stream because it only shows the people that I approve of having within it. And I should mention that for a privacy oriented social website, I was surprised to see Ghostery showing me that there were a couple of crowd-sourced services running in the background (GetSatisfaction and New Relic). Sure, it might not be the more than 8 running on Facebook, but it’s significantly more than Twitter that runs none. Hell, G+ doesn’t run any either.

To be honest, the social site alternatives aren’t much better out there. G+ in my opinion comes the closest to being something for someone my age to get into, but the problem is that the timeline can easily become unwieldy if the wrong sort of person and/or group has been added. Take for example my unwitting and unfortunate experience with adding Chris Pirillo (of Lockergnome fame) to it. Don’t get me wrong, the man has some interesting tidbits and commentaries, but the amount of disconnected streaming that the man can do is overwhelming and disorganized. In no time flat I was finding that my overall timeline was quite literally being dominated by his incessant posting whenever he got the idea to opine on something that struck his fancy. Sure, I can control which stream I can look at, by simply clicking on one of the circles that I had set up… It was when I saw that a friend said something and I had missed it that I realized (with much consternation), that his verbal diarrhea in posting had to go.

I had checked out Unthink (as posted by Stephen Fry on Twitter) and after a several month waiting period, finally got the invitation to join. Nice idea there that site, but is nothing like a Facebook killer at all. It’s more like MySpace redux with it’s draconian layout and windowed flotsam. I didn’t do much else with the site other than setting up my basic information, and going back now and again realize that it’s not a social networking site, but instead feels more like the workings of an ego masturbation that will end up leaving one unable to get the right sort of orgasm of meeting other people through.

Deviant Art has changed in the almost four years I’ve been there as well. While I have mingled with some really good people there and have established friendly rapports with a lot of artists… The influx of Tumblr-holics, Facebook Scene Whores and Drama Inducing Livejournal-like 13 and 14 year olds trying to pass off art collected from Photobucket, Picasa and other cesspools of picture collecting, has truly reached critical mass. There are times when I believe that I’ve turned into the curmudgeonly and crotchety old man taking the pointy end of a stick to anyone under the age of 25 with extreme prejudice. At the same time, I believe it to be completely justifiable because this generation that’s following me, seriously has lost the concepts of constructs and queues of socializing in any sort of environment. If their parents aren’t going to teach them how to pay attention to social cues, who else but society is left with the responsibility. So I might come off like a complete ass in the process, but if it means that someone somewhere learns to be polite then it’s a lesson well learned. No?

Heh, who am I fooling there? The gay men’s socializing (read: Hook Up) sites aren’t much better, even with people closer to my age. Manhunt for example, is split between romance and sexual encounters, and yet all I see in the “visited your profile” section of my log in is nothing by headless horsemen pics of genitalia and ass shots with profiles that read like they want no-strings-attached sex at their beck an call. Gay Romeo is filled with spammers from the Philippines and Ghana that spam my inbox with “let’s be boyfriends” in spite of the fact that I request someone from the USA and say so in easy-to-read words. OK Cupid… *sighs* I am nauseated by the amount of “down to earth” and “laid back” I read in the first two sentences of a person’s profile. Not to mention I find myself incensed watching folk my age trying to pull off the words “chilled”, “chillin'” and talk about how much they love their families and watch television… I might not be living the life of checking off more boxes on (another) bucket list, but at least the only time I talked about television is in one small section of my profile asking me about it — not talking about it in other parts of the whole profile. Heh, and since changing locales from Woonsocket to Providence, it seems that OK Cupid thinks that New York City (and it’s boroughs) are “near” to me. How 182 miles (293 km) is “near” to me, I haven’t a bloody clue, but they think it is. *eye roll*

And gay.com? I literally had to give up on going there anymore. Not because of the fact that I use Chrome and the set up for gay.com doesn’t understand how to work with it, but because chatting/socializing with gay men there is a toxic waste dump of embittered people between the ages of 20 – 50 that act as though they’ve been seriously burned out by going out to bars for longer than they should have. I might be a curmudgeon to kids some (read: most) of the time, but when I let my hair down, I’m pretty optimistic for someone as damaged as I am.

“Why don’t you go out?” some people have said to me.

Yeah I did, shortly after Cricket’s passing and was reminded too keenly of the problem with socializing with queerfolk in a public setting. Them sitting around staring at you, literally undressing you with their eyes and don’t have the guts to come up to actually speak to you. Go up to them to chat and end up either with stories about how “laid back” they are, or how “down to earth” all their friends think them to be. Really… Have we as a “community” sunk that low? Afraid of being expressive because expressive = flamboyant = effeminate = undesirable?

A question that keeps haunting me, and will continue for years to come.

Well that’s about it for the time being. I think I’m going to be a slack and not clean the house until tomorrow. Perhaps even watch the cats as they suddenly show quite a lot more life then they should for this time of day. I think it’s all because Wilma’s happy she’s got more dry food. Until the next time.

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