Facebook is an inadequate medium to satisfy most of our
online needs. It think this is proven by the fact that that I see so many post by my LJ friends complaining about it. Facebook is not generally a place for refection or involved thoughts. It’s the place where most of my co-workers gather online so I do get up-to-date snippets from their lives sooner than I would otherwise and I enjoy that. There are a few performers that I follow there, but I think that I know all of them personally. Mostly for me though, it’s more a place to run into people I once knew, chat with them excitedly for a few minutes, then realize that there’s a reason I don’t see them very often.
You may have a desire to read that negatively. I don’t mean it that way. I find it incredibly satisfying – sometimes even cathartic – to communicate with folks who I used to see every day -- people who were crucial to life at whatever time they touched it – and see they are doing good things, raising children, and living in exotic (to me) cities like Cleveland and Baltimore. But I don’t have much unfinished business out there. And the reason I don’t see those folks much, no matter if I miss their daily presence, is that they are busy doing something else.
I know that’s obvious. But between 1. Living in a city that people live in and leave quite often 2. Growing up in a town that’s too expensive for most kids to reside in when they grown up 3. Working very public jobs 4. Historically being a sometime anarcho-tourist and 5. Going to college across the country from where I grew up, I know a lot of people that I don’t know anymore, if you know what I mean. Facebook is good for seeing that those folks went on somewhere
. It might be just me. I’m overly nostalgic. But I like the frequent reminders that they are carrying on, even if I will likely not see most of them again in real life.
My girlfriend from 1985-1986 found me recently. We haven’t communicated for about 20 years but there wasn’t any bad feeling. We just went in different directions. Well, not totally different directions really since her husband (who I’ve never met) worked with my friends (who he didn’t know back then!) Tia and Carl (Whose New Orleans documentary “Trouble the Water” just got nominated for an Academy Award!
But she had bad news along with the good. A friend – her name was Young -- from back in those days had died. My ex had stayed in touch but I hadn’t seen Young since 1987 or so. The three of us had spent a lot of time together back then but all I can really remember about Young was her intensity and her loud, crazy cackle-laugh. I can’t claim to be in mourning, but it is sad.
I promised I would look for pictures and the only one I had of her is actually really fitting, even if it was taken on Halloween. Young is on the top right, my ex is hugging her and two of my housemates are in the foreground.
While I was looking for that picture, I found another one of another person from those days that I heard was dead. As I type this, I can’t remember who would have told me that information so I’m a little tentative to spread the word. I feel like it was someone I trust, but have no way to know.
Here’s Becky (on the right) having a drunken snow fight with the singer of Mutant Breed sometime in 1985:
This was the time of year that, to commemorate my friend Ron Apple’s stupid death, I used to call for people to post their memories of friends who died Stupid Punk Rock Deaths
I called for an amnesty for one day on the pain they caused in order to remember the good things about them.
I am not calling for that today. (Though if you want to remember a friend use the link in the last paragraph). Today I’m just thinking how weird it is that a medium like Facebook can be so ephemeral and content-less yet also provide the opportunity for these fulfilling and/or intense interactions. I’m still figuring out my relationship to it I guess.