Friday, August 3, 2012

Just Type (Friday LINKS)

The well is still coming up empty, so I'm going to limp into the weekend with some navel-gazing, a phrase I hate as much as its practice.

Over the past few days, especially in the midst of the Chick-Fil-A imbroglio, I've been thinking a lot about social media and what we put out into the interwebs.  I've posted before about how social media simulates the base need for human interaction in the same way sugar simulates nutrition.  We're getting empty calories.  But that's high-minded preachy nonsense.  It is what it is and this is what we do.  The more important question is: How does this all play out?

As someone who gushes their thoughts onto the internet on a daily basis, I sometimes wonder if it is a talent or a defect.  "Dear sir, have you lost the ability to contemplate within yourself?  Have some decency.  Harrumph."  But for me, this is another new, interesting way to have a conversation.  I say a lot, then you say a little (or a lot), and we both get a little sugar.  I almost always come away from a post having a better idea of what I was thinking after writing 4-5 paragraphs then when I started with the blank page.  But yet I could do this in a journal.

In fact, I have.  For three years leading up to this blog, I kept a journal.  The limits of time have made me choose between the journal and the blog, but I still miss it sometimes.  Just having an idea that I want to write down and keep to myself.  Sure, I still do that from time to time, but keeping a journal, just like keeping a blog, takes practice before you get any real benefit from it.  (You spend the first few weeks writing "This is a little weird that I am typing to myself" particularly in an age where we are so often compelled and encouraged to share the written word).

That's not even to mention the permanence of all of this.  I could probably say that I am as sincerely proud of as many posts as I am truly embarrassed of others.  Balance is seemingly inevitable.  Heck, the other day, when I linked to my "Pizza and Oysters" post, I was embarrassed that I said I didn't like Facci pizza.  I love Facci pizza!  What was going on that day?  Sometimes I'm embarrassed about a post before I get to work.  But there is something...artistic?....freeing? about cutting off the idea, checking back for typos and complete mistruths, but letting the idea stand.

And don't look down your nose too much at me, you Facebook-fiendish folks.  Social media compels embarrassment in the way it says "Tell everybody something.  We all want to know.  Just put something in this box so I can share it with the world.  It will be awesome."  Pay no mind to the varying moods of the human mind, alcoholic beverages, or the irrationality of anger.  Just type.

And we do.  And we diminish those embarrassments with dilution.  Nothing shocks me on Facebook anymore.  I am no longer "surprised" that someone I know or love writes something that disgusts or angers me.  I just keep scrolling.  I compartmentalize that "sharing" as not part of the person I know or love.  Just as the Internet has broadened the choices of shoes I can put on my feet, it has also broadened the way I choose to experience those around me.  Using each instance as a matter of disgust or anger would be exhausting.


The Flier calculated that the costs associated with removing Allen Dyer from office came to $63,000, not including "meals and gas" expensed by Board members (including Allen Dyer) in connection with this impeachment.  There's no doubt that this is a runaway train and we are really far past trying to get it to stop.  I really do think it is disingenuous to blame this on the sitting Board members without spending a significant amount of time talking about why the impeachment was necessary.  Sure, Dyer lost in a primary, and many folks may say that his loss was predictable, but there is no way this should have been allowed to continue into a second term.  Arguing removal after electoral ouster sure feels silly, but no moreso than buying insurance for an improbable event.

This may be unfair to say, but I really wish my religious minded friends had spent more time talking about yesterday's homeless fair in Baltimore City than they did about a fried chicken sandwich.

Less than a month after Kevin Kamenetz bragged about his fiscal responsibility in the back pages of the Baltimore Sun, he is borrowing $25 million from his County's pension fund to pay for a recycling facility.  I have no doubt that County Executives across this State are enjoying a chuckle over their coffee this morning.

I had an opportunity earlier this week to speak with Arthur Hirsch at The Sun about the proposed HOA legislation currently under consideration by the Columbia Association.  I think he did a particularly good job laying out the issues at play, objections by outside groups, and how CA plans to respond. 

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Well & Wise has a list of events around town that you should check out.  As I say all the time, these types of posts help enrich the manner in which we experience our community and are a true benefit to readers.

That's all for today.  Have a great Friday doing what you love!