Alex Castle performs “Neat Freak” at the Brit Pack Theater, NYC, 9/12/14.
I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that people’s disdain for Facebook seems to be in direct proportion to how much they use it. It’s the people that post upwards of ten times a day that complain the most about how much they hate it. I can’t think of anything else that people use so much while simultaneuously professing that they hate it, other than cocaine.
Those same people are the ones most excited about Ello, the new social networking site that promises all the functionality of Facebook without any ads or data-mining or games or videos or events or other people to clutter up or otherwise ruin the experience.
My Facebook feed has been full of people ostentatiously bidding Facebook adieu as they jump to Ello. “This is the last you’ll ever see of me. So long, Suckerberg!” Something tells me they’ll be back.
Late last week the growing bubble of excitement that customarily accompanies the introduction of a new Apple gadget — in this case, the latest iPhones and the Apple Watch — quickly popped when Apple CEO Tim Cook welcomed aging messiah rockers U2 to the stage, and announced that their new album, Songs of Innocence, was being released exclusively on iTunes as a free gift to all iTunes users.
As people began to notice that this U2 album, that they had not bought or asked for, was already present on their iTunes libraries, the collective howl of Internet outrage grew until it was somewhere between the NSA data mining revelations and Kanye stopping his show until everyone stood up.
I find 21st-century U2 as pompous, overrated, and boring as the next guy, but I have to say the reaction to this is a little overblown.
This week Apple Computer unveiled the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, the long awaited new models of the little handheld computers that changed the way people all over the world sit on the toilet.
The new phones have bigger screens than previous models, have nicer cameras, longer battery life, etcetera etcetera etcetera. But the new feature I’m most interested in is the “sapphire glass” that the new screens will be made of, as opposed to the old “gorilla glass” on my phone, which despite its tough-sounding name should have just been called “don’t drop this phone farther than 18 inches or it shatters” glass.
The comedy world has spent the last week holding its collective breath and saying its prayers for Joan Rivers, who went into cardiac arrest during a procedure at an outpatient facility, was rushed to a proper hospital, placed in a medically induced coma, put on life support, and has most recently been moved out of intensive care and into a private room, where she remained on life support while her daughter, Melissa, reportedly had Joan’s hair and makeup done (presumably in case the pearly gates have a Fashion Police checkpoint). Sadly, Joan Rivers, one of the most driven and fearless entertainers of all time, died on Thursday at the age of 81.
Rivers’ cardiac arrest happens to have occurred just before Labor Day weekend, when in years past Melissa and anyone else in a hospital waiting room could while away the holiday by watching Jerry Lewis’ telethon to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Lewis had been the face of the charity for 45 years before an ignominious parting of ways with the organization three years ago under mysterious circumstances.
Suspicious timing, if you ask me.