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Facebook: Fakebooc

June 11, 2012 Leave a comment

 

28 years old.

$19 Billion.

End of story.

I’m sure Facebook is going to be a freshman’s case-study for ages to come. I’ve come out of Facebook, like many other people, not because of its notorious security issues (although it did support my decision to come out of it), but because I found that Facebook as a social network service was overwhelmingly popular to a point beyond my humble brain power to digest. I thought here’s a service that is not as essential as eMail (at least when it first came out), but it certainly was acting a lot more important than eMail.. or even telephone! “When did this become a necessity?” I asked myself too many times. “Why is this post-on-my-wall crap even on my to-do list for the day?” When the time came that I realized I could not answer those questions, sure enough, I bounced.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Facebook hater. If anything, I commend Zuckerburg for his opportunistic genius; let’s face it, no one could have pulled this off without pulling some strings, and some legs. I could be meaning that in a good way, by the way. But I just didn’t understand what Facebook meant to me, if that means anything at all. There was a time when I used the service like many friends and relatives; I post favorite quotes and type a status and write something on someone’s wall and upload photos. But here’s the catch: I had 50+ friends.

Really?

My entire group of “friends” consisted of 3 people whom I see on regular basis, including my wife! So who the hell were all those other people? Well, not a problem; if it was a question of “labels” they could most certainly be “acquaintances”. But why would I want any of my acquaintances to look at my photos or where I had lunch today or who I’ve been out with lately or even to poke or be poked by them? Hmmmm… I can see the original intention for Facebook to be a social club, connect and catch-up. But did it lose direction?

Maybe it did. Maybe I did. Either way, I was losing faith. Fast.

Is Zuckerburg anticipating that a service like Facebook needs to be constantly changing to stay interesting? Is this why Facebook’s user’s interface looks like the freakin’ tabloids? And I hate tabloids. Well, when Google came out, it was just a simple plain page with a search bar in the middle. Today, it still is a simple plain page with a search bar in the middle, with an arsenal of apps and tools somewhere under “more” menu. Facebook’s interface had too many distractions, at least from my point of view; one of the main reasons why MSN and Yahoo! never really got a chance at this “search” game. With FB, somewhere between “sharing” and “connecting” was lost. Me.

Is it a bubble? Hah! Have you guys followed its IPO? Listen, I’m not judging (who am I to judge, yeah?), but seriously, IPO followed by a marriage is anything but good timing (let alone good plan of action). When your net worth is $19 Billion, Mark, what you do with your personal life DOES matter to the public. Honestly, the irony of the synchronicity of IPO and tying the knot is overwhelming. But then again, some people say it shows responsibility, some people say it shows irresponsibility to your shareholders.

What nobody is saying, though, is that Mark should have consulted his shareholders and asked them for permission to get married. Indeed, that would be absurd.

But the entire issue is timing.
Different people have different reactions when it comes to money. I certainly can’t imagine myself having a five-digit amount in my bank account, let alone eleven! If he’d gotten married months before the IPO, that would’ve been fine. If he’d gotten married months after, that would’ve been fine as well. But to have two IPO’s in the same time… whoah!

At the end of the day when someone like me talks about giants and geniuses of the world, it is like complaining the sun is too hot. Deactivating my Facebook account is like wearing a baseball cap to get the heat off my scalp. It just wouldn’t matter.

Mazel tov, Mark.

A Cup of Snow

January 27, 2012 7 comments

As I type this, snow is gracefully covering the landscape, as if the city is covering up with a white blanket. Some 8 degrees below zero, Halifax looks pretty much like any other North American city, with some tiny, negligible differences. But yes, sitting here, sipping Tim Hortons’ coffee on Spring Garden Rd and watching people freeze to death outside as they wait for the bus is both therapeutic and spiritual.

People, under so much clothes, jackets and coats, look the same. I could barely tell the difference between them. Although, I still don’t get the girls who wear earmuffs, scarf, gloves, coat and snow boots, but got a skirt or shorts on. It baffles me.
Still, regardless of the small differences, I can’t tell the Canadian from the immigrant; socio-economic profiling suddenly becomes meaningless. If snow isn’t telling us something here then there’s not much hope for humanity.
I mean, the thing about a place like this where there are many second and third generation immigrants is that it makes it harder for me, someone from a place where ethnic and racial profiling is as normal as burping after a meal (not nice, but normal), to look at an Asian-looking man or woman (for example) and not expect them to have a heavy accent.
On my way to downtown Halifax, I had a nice chat with the bus driver, who looked Asian but spoke with a heavy American accent. Like Owen Wilson. So I was thinking, is it wrong to expect people to talk in a certain way or to dress in a certain fashion just by their looks? If you are not sure whether you are guilty of profiling people, just pay attention to how you decide where to sit the moment you get on a bus.

Snow is painting the city white. Everyone is under layers of clothes. Everyone is holding a cup of coffee. Even people’s physique and structure becomes a little tricky. So the only obvious truth is how tall or short they are. I appreciate snow that way. Reminding me that nothing matters but attitude.
I don’t know these people, and they have no clue who I am or where I come from. When asked, sometimes I say Kuwait, sometimes I say Jamaica, and it wouldn’t make the slightest difference to their attitude towards me.

Head

January 2, 2012 4 comments

 

iPanorama

December 31, 2011 4 comments

Renewal season at work is at its peak, which also means everything is nearly completely sorted out (business-wise) for the new year. New challenges and new responsibilities have truly kept me from having a breather this passing year; as sad as it is to say this, but I’m kind of happy to see 2011 going. That’s just me personally.
I’m sure some folks had a wonderful year! And I’m happy for you, guys! But considering I have not taken a vacation from work for over 3 years now, I find such immense pleasure in stealing little moments in the morning (especially in mornings) where I rejuvenate.

Last time I took my wife and daughter to Marina Crescent, but today my wife wisely suggested we drop off the little monster at my family’s house and go to Al-Kout’s mall for a breakfast under the big warm sun. And we did. We had a humble dish that we shared and I enjoyed my coffee. I rarely drink coffee… now that I think about it! Walked around a little in the sun afterwards, closed my eyes and breathed in fresh air. Felt my lungs were regenerating!

Anyway, I wanted to capture something for you guys so you can share my morning with me. So I used my iPhone to snap multiple photos of the place, and decided to create a panoramic view out of them using Photoshop. So enjoy it (click to enlarge), and wish you guys a VERY successful 2012 and the best of luck. You all need it. Love you, people 🙂


Minstrel

Krispy Kreme: A Social Drama

December 17, 2011 14 comments

Hey, everyone! Been away for quite a while, and I’m not quite back. It seems life just ‘knows’ I hate roller-coasters! Anyway..

So I woke up today, feeling a little weak and lightheaded, and decided I should have some vitamin D. Got in the car, with my wife and evil daughter, and headed to Marina Crescent. Sure enough, it was one of the best shots I made in months (years?). The breeze was refreshing, the sun was amazing, and seeing my daughter run around and waving at the sea and screaming in utter joy was absolutely priceless.

Then of course I thought I either smelled Doughnuts.. or Homer Simpson. And thank God it wasn’t Homer. So I walked into the double K, got some original glazed, sugar glazed, chocolate glazed, to name a few. As the jolly salesman was getting my stuff ready, I noted some really nice sketches hung up here and there. I really liked them. But there was one that caught my attention. Something was not right:

This is supposed to be a family, right? Well where in the world is the dad?! It’s a single mom driving the kids to the.. well they’re going somewhere.. but it’s a single mom! There is NOTHING wrong with a single mom driving her kids to some place fun, for a vacation, but this isn’t a soap opera. This isn’t a reality check. And this certainly is not a place to have your subliminal messages in the face of your customers! Maybe Krispy Kreme’s customers didn’t notice. But if I did, I’m sure someone else has.
Maybe you’re thinking: “well what’s the big deal?” – I’ll tell why it’s a big deal: it’s a big deal from a business/commercial point of view. If I was in charge of supervising this artwork for KK, I would without blinking reject this. What’s so hard in adding a dad in there and have a complete, happy, and loving family vacation? I mean.. I did it in less than 10 minutes!

Dear Krispy Kreme:

I enjoyed your delicious doughnuts. I fixed the wife’s sunglasses, got her her husband back, and wanted to save the tennis racket from falling off, but then I thought sometimes you just lose your racket, you know? Just don’t lose the father, please.

Much love,

Minstrel.

Blood at Ford’s

April 14, 2011 8 comments

It is said that Abraham Lincoln had confided to his bodyguard the night of his murder that he had been having dreams of being assassinated. He met his fate at the Ford’s Theater at the hands of one John Wilkes Booth. Shot on the 14th of April 1865, and died the following morning. This is a humble sketch work in Abe’s 146th anniversary.

Dr. Love

April 12, 2011 2 comments

I love this man. I’m in love, I think, with everything that has to do with the 7o’s. I think if I ever wanted to go back in time, I’d really want to be in the States in the 70’s. Don’t ask me what it is, though, because I feel exactly the opposite about the 80’s! It could be the weed and magic mushrooms that makes the difference ; )
Anyway, it was in a speech class I took when I was introduced to this man’s videos, Dr. Leo Buscaglia (pronounced Buus-kaalya). Our professor told us he was going to show us a couple of videos for a guy who would have without a single doubt failed ANY speech class! Simply because this Buscaglia guy spit a lot, shouted a lot, and had excessive and often distracting movements. A speaker should, according to Speech 101, be clear and calm – at least.

We had a in-class viewing, and based on what our professor said, I was expecting this guy to shout, his arms flailing, and jump up and down the podium in excitement; one who’d be more distracting than anything else. He was exactly that and more. Heck, I was blown away. This guy was better than ANY speaker I’ve ever seen or heard! He was captivating!
He seemed to wholeheartedly believe in what he said that he convinced me on spot. He spoke of love as if it were the only truth there is in the world. I mean, even though I could tell right away that this was a man who must have seen dark hours; he must have been through quite some difficult times and probably had a broken heart at one point in his life. You could see it right there in his eyes.

But in the same time, he seemed to be overwhelmed with joy and love! He seemed so beyond silly differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, politics, religion, money and other divisive issues. The one thing he truly represented was his humanity.
Boy was I captivated by this man. I asked our professor for the DVD’s, and after an hour of convincing, he finally agreed. On the condition that if I ever lose or damage  them I’d have to wash his car at campus until graduation. I agreed.
I took those DVD’s, copied them, and returned the originals the following day. Since then, I’ve been hooked on Dr. Love. Yes at times we lose track, and we get bitter, but that’s okay! It’s healthy to feel lost every now and then. Feeling lost only means we’re hungry for inspiration. Dr. Leo “Love” Buscaglia is right there to guide you! All the more reason for me to love the 70’s, really…

Categories: Silent Spirits