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The swirl of attention for the sixteen minutes of fame generated over the internet sensation “last Friday night” has me amused and a little puzzled. That our internet culture elevates a run-away “youtube hit” featuring drug and alcohol induced memory-fog, disarray of life in general and law-breaking alongside Congressman Anthony Weiner’s resignation makes it a peculiar news week. The contrast is mighty stark. The very thing that is sensationalized and held up as entertainment is cast down as unforgivable when found in real life rather than entertainment about real life.
In the search for excellence, the quest for personal insight and self improvement I think we may have left our sight for the dark side of our humanity behind. We all have shadows. It is what happens when we stand in the light – we cast a shadow. A shadow of varying lengths depending on the light and where we are standing in relationship to it. The metaphor is practically singing out, isn’t it?
THIS Friday night I’ll be setting aside any attention to “Last Friday Night,” Ms. Black’s copyright issues or Katy Perry’s play on the event…and focusing on THIS Friday night. Now, metered verse is so far from what I do that I can hear all my friends screaming, “Don’t embarrass your self! Some things don’t belong in print.” They may be right. And this may be the very first time in my life I’ve included the word “farty” in anything. But for your snickering and entertainment pleasure – Imagine a music video of four long time friends gathered at home, playing word games, telling stories and having a mindful, unencumbered, lawful blast!
This Friday night old friends are driving near
I count the minutes, I know they are almost here.
Projects and deadlines get set along the way because
THIS Friday night all we have to do is play.
THIS FRIDAY NIGHT I’m grateful to stay home
Just because we’ve got gas doesn’t mean we have to roam.
We’ll travel light (sofa bound) with funny stories that we tell
And the rest of the news? can go to, Well,
let me say…
instead of THAT- a different way -
THIS FRIDAY NIGHT we’re staying healthy and strong.
We’ll party hearty while not doing anything wrong.
No innuendo or crisis will make us front page news
Because we’re simple and stalwart and we don’t have to choose
Between creating harm or having fun…
Because if it hurts us we aren’t one
to claim it in our party
That might make us “old and farty”
But in the larger scheme of things between resignations
and singing dingalings…we’ll pick the path that
has least resistance because, in truth,
we’ll go the distance
along with our friends,
simple life in tow,
THIS FRIDAY NIGHT
will be a quiet but memorable show!
It’s available signed and personalized at my author site:
Stand often in the company of dreamers…they tickle your common sense and believe you can achieve things which appear impossible.
You are the time worn pages of my favorite book.
Like bridges between mountains comes the introduction of a friend.
When you have one friend, you hold the hand of the world.
©mary anne radmacher/ Conari Press/ 2011
It’s in every news cast. The latest on Congressman Anthony Weiner’s personal sext scandal.
Sext. A new word delivered to us via advances in technology. The merging of sex and text. The phenomenon began in the younger demographic of our country and is moving through all age groups.
This personal struggle and very public embarrassment draws attention to much larger issues we are all facing. Technology grows faster than our guidelines. Simple as that. Systems exist without any specified structures and mores. Plenty of wiggle room in the the cyber community for line crossing. Boundary pushing. The challenge is the line is declared after it’s been crossed. The Boundary is Defined after people have pushed it.
A PR professional was ranting on his (ironic) blog the other day about how “friends” on Facebook are no friends at all. He cited his recent experience of wishing Facebook friends happy birthday and receiving any acknowledgment back. For decades our society has had Miss Manners and Emily Post and a host of other societal/manners guides to help us all get along in all manner of social exchange. For a lot of people “showing up” in social media is like thinking you are going to a contra dance and ending up in a Rave. Quite a surprise. Most of it not pleasant. Some of it even dangerous and … line crossing.
Aside from the very sorry story of a man in politics struggling with sexual/power/prowess issues (I sad Sorry, not Surprising) we are missing an incredible opportunity to have essential conversation about a whole new way of community. And an entirely new way of communicating. Each month we move closer to the material of science fiction books ( think of the “replicator” of Star Trek and know that the nascent technology is unfolding as you read this). And with each of those steps we move further out on the unsupported branch of cyber community.
Cyber community, Instant Communication is not the end of the matter. It’s only the beginning. This is our era’s version of the Wild West. The West was WILD because it was all new. Up for grabs. Uncharted. Ungoverned. Anthony Weiner’s personal issues are a call for public comment and discovery. NOT about Anthony…but about the very platform that allowed his personal problem to be articulated. This isn’t a call for legislation and oversight: this is a call for exploration, openness and a willingness to come, as a culture, to some civil agreement on how we all get to play together in this new, world wide, community. It’s a big playground – some basic ground rules are essential for the safety and well being of all who play there.
So the next moment somebody brings up the specific, small subject of this one man from New York who is facing his personal demons in a very public arena, lift the conversation up a few notches. Swerve around salacious gossip and go for solutions. Talk about the bigger issue and see if you can extract some meaningful value out of what is quickly disintegrating into unqualified stone throwing.
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