Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Late Period Emoticon Crafting

Being a professional copywriter and someone who aspires to achievement in creative writing beyond e-mails, blogs and creating cryptic post-it notes in Emergency Rooms with text plagiarized from the Magic 8 ball and sticking them on the backs of complete strangers walking around ("It Is Decidedly So!"), I am guild-bound to never use emoticons in ANY communication I originate. I am not even allowed to retard my thought process to the speed of emoticons. That also goes for those other things...what do you call them, you know: LOL, ROFLMAO, BTW. Acronymicons?

But today at a construction site, I was sitting out on the end of a girder that juts 50 feet out beyond the framing on the 105th floor, far, far above the tiny streets below. I was eating a sandwich and looking at the ants below. I wondered how they got on my sandwich. Stowaways? If so, what amazing premeditated planning! And mystery: why?! [didn't really happen. Just having a go with a little theater of the mind.]

I was also thinking about emoticons and wondering if their use was on the wane. I reasoned that if simplistic icons representing  vague categories of inflection were being used by people who didn't appreciate the nuances and refinements of thought and emotion words can conjure up, their ability to convey meaning would be in the process of winding down, not up, and eventually they wouldn't understand emoticons or acronymicons either.

For them, the alphabet would start looking like a line of proof at the end of Einstein's chalk. These people would gravitate to jobs at cash registers where you push buttons with little pictures of the product and make change based on images of presidents, birds and state flowers.

Now, I realize emoticons forged from a standard keyboard have probably all been figured out, but the ones I made are ones I've never seen except for the first one, which was originally put together by my friend. She called it "jalapeno slice", I believe. I just went a different way with it.

Picasso Faced, as in, “Whoa, that quart of tequila I chugged through the enema hose got me totally Picasso Faced!”

: $ 
Braces. (sideways)

I am so bored I could tickle a lion's balls.

\ \\// 
live long and prosper

Damn, that salsa is muy caliente!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

20 Billion Tweets

I read that Twitter recently passed 20 billion tweets. That’s amazing -- that I know what that first sentence means. I come from a different time.

BWIWAK (Back When I Was A Kid), we didn’t have “reality TV” we had windows you looked out of. The only Internet was the Sears catalogue. Newspapers even then printed lies and damn lies but on Sunday, out of respect, they wrapped it in funny papers.

Gas was 15 cents a gallon and that included the pumping, window squeegee all the way around, oil check and air for the tires, even top up the radiator sometimes. No tip. And while that was going on the attendant and your dad talked about what was new or what was old and there was always plenty of both to discuss.

You did things deliberately that you would pay no mind to today, like “break a dollar”.

There was more time back then because we made time. We stopped doing that now. Now we chase the minutes and never catch up. A whole load of digital confetti got dumped over much of what really matters and we spend our days digging through the confusion.

We had mobile phones back then too. They were the ones with the long cords in the kitchen. My mom could walk around the kitchen, even sit in the dining room, without interrupting her conversation. But beyond that, we didn't need mobility. If you needed to talk to a friend, pretty much, they were right next to you or within hollering distance. That's why they were friends. Anybody else could wait till you got home or untill the mailman delivered the mail.

But this “tweet”. I don’t know. It’s folks continually presenting themselves. Broadcasting the molecular particulars of their life.

All the world’s become a stage, but BWIWAK we also had audiences.