Category: diversity

WigiliaIt is Christmas Eve – for me at least because I was raised in a Catholic family. From my father’s side came the Polish traditions – Wigilia, the poor man’s dinner consisted of a late night family meal where only fish could be consumed, accompanied by the beet soup called Borscht with mushroom perogies. We would sing traditional songs at the piano and attend a Midnight Mass.

Then the my mother’s Ecuadorian traditions took over. We would return from Mass to open presents until two or three in the morning. Often the most bearded member of the family would play the surrogate Santa Clause and everyone would take turns accepting gifts from him and take pictures and so on.

Our house was the central HQ for the holiday season and so all the uncles and aunts and their growing legions of offspring would descend upon it. We could numbers in the dozens and the piles of wrapping paper could become quite formidable.

These traditions often came with some bemoaning as we opined about the gluttony and greed and consumerism, but also they maintained something else that was very important – the spirit of togetherness in a time of year that becomes quite cold and quiet and dark. It was a reminder that we all came from somewhere and that the things we believe, our perception of the world has direct roots to our upbringing. They also provided some sense of constancy in such a volatile reality and thus afforded us an anchor in the storm.

Years ago I studied Kaballah under the tutelage of a mystic named Gahl Sasson. One year, when I couldn’t make it home for Christmas, Gahl talked about a pattern that existed among all the great religions and traditions at this time of year – that is – that they all celebrated the Light in one form or another. I never forgot this teaching and was never quite so jaded about the holidays again. I Googled Gahl and sure enough he had a recent blog entry recapitulating what he had taught us in that ashram years ago. Rather than paraphrase I include a quote from his blog at CosmicNavigator here:

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12 minutes and counting since I deactivated my Facebook account + 400 friends, plus PR channel for my various digital exploits.  Wow, now that feels better.

I held off joining FB for a long time because I can still vaguely remember the sense of awe and dread I felt when observing my 12 years younger brother and his prissy The Hills reject girlfriend perambulate through the voyeuristic obsession of checking out what their homies were up to.  Eventually, a desperately close friend of mine who is a “New Media” consultant talked me out of and into acquiescing, arguing that I should at least be savvy to what they were doing with Ajax and how Facebook trumped MySpace which at one point I recall trumping this Napster spin-off called Friendster.

So — good.  I put out an indie album (a real from-the-heart effort) at the beginning of 2008, my first release in 12 years on a CD no less and spent the remainder of my year getting schooled about the way things work now, which is to say – forget print, its all about the music blogs.  I now know about SEO, affiliate ads, linkbacks, watering holes, Linkshare, Clickbank, Kontera, Amazon Associates, Adsense, licensing content, ezinepublisher, bloggers paying their rent with promo CDs at Amoeba, Sonicbids, mirpod, odeo, Ning, viral videos, ROFLcon, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Furl, Mixx, Reverbnation, Trig, Twitter, Fanpop, trackbacks, NoFollow, DoFollow, LinkedIn, Wayn, Spock, Plaxo, Sharethis, and every other goddamned way of clamoring for anyone who I ever met or whomever I met has met that might exist.

Found objects in space.

Found objects in space: a user created profile image

And it’s done.  The US has its first ever dark-skin colored president, the Dems control the house and senate, the DOW goes up and down faster than the mechanical bull at the Saddle Ranch and its time to move forward.



Web 2.0 is over.

In my last post I announced the death of viral videos.  Now I am speaking with some certainty that Web 2.0 has to lay its head in the loam and expire its last breath.  No it’s not because I “want real, meaningful relationships back.”  It’s because it’s just, in toto, a glorified SPAM button that leads to nothing more (I promise you) than Google analytic and Adsense report mashing and at best the world’s biggest flash-mob-cum-grassroots-electoral-campaign.  That does not discourse make.  Mobilize?  Perhaps.  All good, but now what.  You got 80 years ’til you give up the ghost – what else?

Joel Salatin is a farmer that produces beef, poultry and pork.  He will not ship his non-USDA, totally natural product to you via any means because it defeats the purpose of his obsessively local-grown ethic.  When pressed he will confide that he is not a beef-manufacturer or a Luddite, traditionalist, purist, or grassroots, return-to-the-way-things-were thinker, but rather a post-industrialist.  He is looking at what’s here and how to expand it into new ways of approaching our well-being, continuity and enjoyment of things,  dealing in complexities not often ascribed to the “humble farmer.”  He will tell you that he is a grass-farmer.  And that the cheeseburgers we eat are the product of what the animals over which he lords, ate.

That’s where I am headed; not a return to some puritanical  time before Facebook, but rather to the next iteration.  A better-sustained dialogue into the experiences possible and the evolution of what this mass-consciousness means.  The Tweets are nifty, but let’s form a paragraph.  Let’s not dally.  Things move faster now, but that is not a strong enough argument to settle for ADDled brevity.  There is something beyond that thought, and if you have the courage, you may find unclaimed territory.  I want to meet you there.  Press me, challenge me, let’s climb the next summit together, because we sure can’t do it flashing postcards at each other from the digested murmurs of our fragmented IDs, Twittering and FB updating away, grasping for attention, lost in the sea of unformulated meditations on the boundless ecstasy in which life itself revels.

I import the indelible experience of Web 2.0 into this uncharted space, honoring its potency, and expect something that builds upon its Mind-Meldish, Chrysalid potentiality.  But enough is enough.  I have no idea where that leaves me, us, yet.  Isn’t that, again, exciting?

psst go go get your life back…

Opine, damn you.