Even better than the real thing

It’s not that I’m against change — it’s that I don’t think you should fuck with things that were fine just as they were. There was no need to make Apple Jacks green, for example.

Yet, I love garfield minus garfield. I would argue that Garfield was not ever (or hasn’t been, since the way beginning before Garfield became extra googly-eyed) just fine. Garfield seems ripe for parody. How else can you explain remixing Garfield with Final Fantasy? I keep thinking my affection for garfield minus garfield will diminish, but it doesn’t.

It grows.

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle.

poor jon arbuckle

Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

How naked are you willing to be?

I started thinking about this in the context of facebook and flickr and twitter and blogs and all the various places online you can share what you are thinking, reading, doing, and seeing so I almost called this post how naked are you willing to get online?

365 days project: day 296 and yes this is all you can see

See, new platforms for socialization have many asking new questions: Do you friend your boss on facebook? Do you post the same photos on flickr if you know your in-laws will see them? Do you twitter what you’re really doing at three in the afternoon? Usually the way these questions get asked make it clear that conflict is expected. That you don’t really like your boss, and certainly don’t want him or her to see pictures of what you did last weekend. That what you did last weekend was somehow wrong or inappropriate or damaging to your career. That your in-laws so don’t see the world the way you do, you’d never want to show them how you see through the lens of your camera.

Now, I realize in many ways I’m lucky. My day job counts on me playing with social software. I’m friends with my boss, and not only on facebook. I love my in-laws, and will vacation with them not under duress, but because I genuinely think it will be fun. I will twitter about work or with flickr friends during the day and not think twice about it. If I’m really pissed about something, I have enough sense not to name names. Unless it’s the T, in which case those bastards have it coming. In other words, there isn’t a giant disconnect in my life between who I am at home, at work, and with other people.

I have no tolerance for intricate social maneuvering of the sort where I have to worry about how saying X to Y will effect Z if they find out. I do not miss junior high, not one bit. Other than the obvious naked means:

unarmed, defenseless
lacking confirmation or support
devoid of concealment or disguise
defenseless; unprotected; exposed
plain; simple; unadorned
exposed to view or plainly revealed
plain-spoken; blunt

True, not all of this sounds very, er, appealing. Defenseless definitely sounds bad, but defensive doesn’t sound good. Plain, simple, and unadorned sound good. Exposed to view is okay. Blunt… well, now we’re talking. Plain-spoken. I take that to mean talking like a person because you are one. So if you are willing to do that, I guess that makes you naked.

That not happening at work may be my number one aggravation.

I don’t mean my team. (Yes, really, and not just because sometimes some of them read this blog.) I mean stupid powerpoint decks. With their obtuse, obfuscating jargon and endless acronyms crammed onto slides in tiny point type. I mean the whole operationalizing, moving the needle, getting shared vision, boiling the ocean bullshit.

I mean the worrying about who you are facebook friends with stuff, too. The who can see your photos, and what they’ll really be seeing if they look. The loving or hating or freaking out about twitter’s simple what are you doing?

Why does everyone put up with this crap? It’s insane. It’s annoying. And it’s not really who we are. Cause if that’s true, hell, we all need more help than I thought. Yet we often choose to stay quiet, we fail to call bullshit, because we’re afraid. But naked is who we are. We just forget that sometimes.

good books, good eggs

good advice

I went to Lorem Ipsum Books this weekend, and I think it’s my new favorite bookstore. (Which isn’t to say I don’t have deep affection for several other places, even some out of town: being a book nerd means there’s a lot of love to go around.) I just loved it: browsing there felt like hanging out at a good friend’s new apartment. Well, provided your good friend is a book person, too.

They’re doing some cool and important stuff, leveraging technology and social activism. But what is really going to get me to go back — other than fantastic book browsing, of course — is the chicken egg machine.

the chicken egg machine has the best disclaimer ever

I took a few empty eggs to fill.