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5/29/2009

I Don't Care What You Did Last Summer... or This Summer... or an Hour Ago... or...

Twitter has taken off like a wildfire, hasn't it? And it's funny to see Facebook trying to mimic some of that popularity via its status updates. But I gotta say, I've noticed a disturbing trend for my update-happy colleagues.

Guys, let me serve public notice right now: I don't need to know your every move. I'm not the FBI, nor am I the federalis. I'm not a sadistic T-800 sent back in time to hunt you down only to spawn some crappy sequels from the year 2000 on.

I like Twitter, I appreciate the concept and see its usefulness. It's especially interesting to see how big companies, sports teams, news networks and even athletes on what's going on. Bill Simmons of ESPN has commented on how revolutionary this could be regarding the sports world, and I agree. There's oodles of potential with this site. Facebook has obviously caught wind of it, and, like MySpace before it, has tried to capitalize on that appeal.

However, Simmons has also provided resistance to Twitter, which is understandable. He did not want it to become one of these "frequent personal update" motives, such as, "I'm walking my dog," or, "Grabbing a skinny mochaccino at the Starbucks on Main." He did see the potential for one-liners, though. And I like that. A way to entertain/engage/inform his readers and fans... just a way to be creative.

But there are some who take the former road to new levels of extremism. This is what originally left me leery of the website. I have a handful of friends who do nothing but offer personal updates with these sites. And it gets to be overwhelming at times.

More than that, it tends to be obnoxious.

There is a certain self-importance that comes with always putting the focus on oneself, and I fear Twitter and Facebook are only serving to augment that egocentric theme.

Now granted, I'm as guilty as anyone of offering the occasional window into the life of Rick, but I try to limit it. I also try to put a humorous spin on things that are happening to me. Sometimes I succeed.

What really kickstarted this for me was a pair of trips about three weeks ago to New Orleans and Washington DC that saw me observing more than usual. Little things that I just felt the need to tweet about by text. It was actually an interesting experience, and that's where I saw the potential for this site. Well, at least for me.

Truth be told, it inspired me to climb back on the fin-adorned soapbox know as Landshark Sandwich and return to commentating (as opposed to commenting) on social trends, quirks, absurdities and curiosities. So I can't be completely against the site.

But that said, all things need to be in moderation. Daily updates that would put CNN's news ticker to shame are unnecessary and heavy-handed. If it's something like a promotion or a new car, then yes, by all means celebrate and tweet to your heart's content. You deserve to inform your friends, you have the right to and it's justifiable.

But if you feel the need to provide information every hour on the hour about your daily fiber intake or the magical musings of The Secret, spare us all. Please.

Some may enjoy such mundane self-glorification, but most of us will roll our eyes and mutter about what an annoyingly arrogant prick you are.

One thing I have learned in life is that certain accomplishments warrant announcement and pride. Others simply deserve the quiet appreciation for your personal growth, and that's greater than any cyber-pat on the back you get.

Please, tweet with caution. The 11th Commandment was really "Keep thy business to thyself."

5/27/2009

Back with Another One of Those Block-Rockin' Beats

It couldn't have lasted long, this makeshift "retirement." I'm too outspoken for my own good to be so objective I can't speak out. I need to be unfiltered and this forum works for me. So here's where we'll stand:

"Landshark" will be where I vent my opinions, frustrations and observations of universal human absurdity on an "as-needed" basis. Given all that's going on right now, that could be frequently.

New to the blog will be titles (long overdue and wonderful in summation). I doubt I'll use tags since the range of topics could be expansive. Moreover, I prefer readers to read a piece based on overall appreciation for the blog rather than specific subject matter. If it isn't to your liking, simply go ahead and "X out."

I also have a Twitter account that can be reached at www.twitter.com/LSharkSandwich. Feel free to leave feedback or check in on my random thoughts.

Furthermore, there will be zero revisionist history. Any and all grammatical or spelling errors will remain, no titles will be added, nothing about the prior posts will be changed in any way shape or form. As you're about to learn, revisionist history never works anyway...

Lastly, "Rolling" will be an ongoing work in progress taking a more sophisticated look at American culture. Posts will likely be less frequent than here as they require much more research and time to temper an objective response.

We good.

Now, permit me to begin by unloading on our former VP, Dick Cheney. This man has made a point of remaining in the public spotlight since the end of Bush's term in January. In spite of the public perception of him both as a politician and human being, he insists on remaining "relevant." At least by his standards.

Now, most of this has been central to accusations of torture under the former administration. Cheney continues to hem and haw around the facts regarding waterboarding. Claims of innocence or debates around the so-called "enhanced interrogation technique's" status as torture are asinine and embarrassing.

Cheney didn't speak this much when he was VP. Never thought I'd admit to this, but I almost wish Bush would resurface for a few comments. At least he could be fodder for the late night show hosts.

But Cheney's reasons for being so vocal are what really frustrate me. This is less about exoneration and more about vindication. Revisionist's history is a topic that aggravates me. From Christopher Columbus to Han Solo shooting first, trying to paint the facts differently always comes back to bite you in the ass. Yet some continue to hold dearly to a mere illusion of reality, perhaps driven by their own imaginations.

Consequently it comes down to a matter of delusion. At least in Cheney's mind. There's something so alluring about "preserving one's legacy." Truth of the matter is, history will speak for itself.

You can't get around it. You can't change what people feel. The information that was once suppressed is now out there, and it ain't pretty. The best Mr. Cheney can hope to do is "defend" the previous administration's decision to apply torture tactics. And I use quotations because there is very little doubt that waterboarding is torture, plain and simple.

The only people who are leaping to its defense are the far, far right. These are also the individuals in the GOP who are slowly alienating themselves from the moderates in this country. Believe what you wanna believe, but don't try to delude the masses into singing along with you.

I've been watching these people closely since November and even more closely since January. All promises of bipartisanship have been tossed out the window, and the Cheney's, Limbaugh's, Palin's, Jindal's, Steele's, O'Reilly's, Coulter's, Hannity's and Hasselback's of the world are looking very, very foolish right now. Something smells like sour grapes.

And it sounds like a half-assed attempt to cover up a Mona Lisa of shame... painting by numbers which don't add up.

Y'know, I never thought I'd say this, but for once I have to give credit to George W. Bush. He has largely stayed out of this mess, and all related clusterfucks courtesy of his former associates and supporters. He's been content to live out in the Lone Star state as... well, a lone star. And good for him. After all the damage he's done to his party, he's finally making amends by not adding to an already piss poor reputation.

For his former understudy, however, the tone has been markedly more vocal.

Winston Churchill once said, "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." History, however, will not be kind to Dick Cheney and his colleagues in the Bush Administration, because there is no way to rewrite it. What's done is done, no way to sugarcoat it.

You've already scribbled your legacy down, Dick. Soak it up. The folks at Gitmo did, after all.