Social media, right? Let’s talk about it.
Okay, let’s not. It talks about itself enough already. No need of me putting my two cents into this already overstuffed diaper bag full of lies.
I know. That was a really shitty analogy. I wasn’t feeling it and I forced it and now it’s there for everyone to see. I could go back and edit it, but that would involve me stopping what I’m doing. Which is typing, and “communicating” with you. Which is something that I really don’t want to do. So I shan’t.
You look adorable today, did I tell you that yet? I didn’t? Well shame on me.
So I’m going to leave that less than spectacular analogy in there, and live with it. I hope you can as well.
But social media, right? Let’s talk about it.
I don’t want to come across as just another gorgeous old man with haunting blue eyes and a devilish grin, but if I do, then so be it. We are getting our information too fast these days. Way too fast. Now, it’s not a bad thing to get information in a timely manner. It can be helpful to get real-time traffic updates, or weather on-the-go info. Or an Amber Alert that helps to save a kids life. I’m all for that. But it doesn’t help if the information is fabricated. In fact I would go so far as to say that it hurts to receive false information.
It wasn’t always this way. You used to have to do some legwork in order to find out what was happening in the world.
December, 1984 – East Weymouth, Massachusetts. At the Bowl-A-Wey
I was hanging out down at the bowling alley playing video games like all cool kids did in the
1950’s 1980’s. An older boy came in and told me that his older brother told him that one of the members of Mötley Crüe had died in a car accident in California. This news was a crushing blow for a young me. I worshipped the Crüe. They were my favorite band. I had an entire wall of my bedroom festooned with pictures of them, culled from various issues of Hit Parader and Circus magazines. There were way more Crüe pictures on my wall than Andy Gibb pictures, by like a 2-1 margin. I even owned a pair of fingerless leather pleather gloves that said Crüe on the velcro wrist strap. Yeah, I was a wicked cool boy.
To hear about one of them passing away, before I got a chance to see them in concert, was absolutely devastating to me. It was like the whole Elvis Presley thing all over again, except I didn’t throw up or wet the bed. I did my best to keep it together in front of everyone hanging around the Donkey Kong Jr. machine, naturally. You don’t want to let the other teenagers sense any sign of weakness or they shall leave you no quarters , as Led Zeppelin so deftly sang about. Taking a sad boys quarters away from him is a wicked dick move.
But kids back then sucked, as they always have and always will. We all know this, right? I thought so.
I put on my bravest face and digested the shocking news that I had just received. Then I bought a Mello Yello and some Andy Capp Hot Fries from the vending machine, went to the boy’s room, and retreated into the far bathroom stall for a good eat-cry. It was a very sad and hungry day.
The worst part of it was that mister big shot older boy didn’t even know who died, just that it was “someone” from Mötley Crüe. This was when the only television station that would even think of talking about Mötley Crüe was MTV, which I didn’t have. There was no Internet to do a quick Google search. You either waited for Chet Curtis and Natalie Jacobson on the six o’clock news to tell you what the hell was going on in the world that day, or you walked around clueless. Looking like a dumb stupid dumb-dumb.
It took me almost a week to find out that it wasn’t someone from Crüe that died, but rather Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, the drummer from the up and coming Finnish glam band Hanoi Rocks. He had been a passenger in the car that Vince Neil had crashed while driving drunk and speeding on the way to the packy. A packy is a liquor store for my intercontinental peeps, and peeps is peoples.
I don’t know why they didn’t just take that limo with the hot tub to the packy. You know, the one that was in the Mötley Crüe Uncensored home video? I would have gone everywhere in that thing. Yeah, I owned the Uncensored video tape. VHS tapes were adorable back in the day, but not as adorable as you are today.
That is what we refer to as a callback in the business.
The lovemaking business, just to clarify.
So, Vince Neil kills this guy and severely injures the two passengers in the other car. He got 30 days in jail (only serving 15 days due to “Good Behavior”), five years probation, 200 hours community service and had to pay $2.6 million in restitution to the victims. If this had happened today, it would be a 24 hour news story, it might even get its own news channel. There would be endless internet memes about it on Facebook with comment threads that eventually focused on whether the driver of the other car was a Republican or a Democrat. Because inevitably, every single argument on the internet breaks down to that now.
It would be all over TMZ and E! Television. Pretty much the only station not talking about it would be MTV, because they don’t deal in music anymore. Telemundo might not cover it either, I’m not sure.
My point is that I would have heard about it a lot sooner than I did if it had happened today. Now it happens and there’s video of it on YouTube before you see it on the news. Or someone is tweeting deets about it. Or someone Instagrams a photo of the accident scene, because people don’t matter anymore. The only thing that matters are “likes” and “shares”.
But I could have got all the information that I needed right from my phone in the bathroom stall. Then I could have wiped away my tears and rolled up my bag of Hot Fries and tucked them in the inside pocket of my jean jacket for later. Then I would have walked back to that Donkey Kong Jr. machine with my head held high.
But not to high, because then you’d see the hickeys all over my whore neck..
I remember hearing about Elvis’s death. I was young, walking toward downtown in my small town, back when children could still walk on their own to their destinations, when a car full of teenage girls drove by. They were sobbing and screaming, “Elvis is dead, Elvis is dead” to anyone out walking. That had so much more of an effect on me than reading it in a tweet or seeing it on FB would have.
I vaguely remember Elvis dying. While I didn’t actually throw up and wet the bed, it was still very sad to me. Although I was pretty young still, so maybe I did wet the bed.
I’ll never tell.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Ah, the memories you evoked! (substitute Skate Palace and roller skating for bowling) and Simon le Bon in a boating accident and……and yes, I owned Sing Blue Silver…on VHS. I have a love/hate (like/unlike?) relationship with social media, this piece resonated with me, thanks.
Thanks for reading it. Social Media definitely has its pros and cons.