Review: 1984 (aka Timely AF)

Last Thursday Kristen and I went to see the London-transfer of 1984. I’ve never read the book but I heard it was incredibly timely and she had heard it a great production, so off we went. We had great seats in the center orchestra and we eagerly waited for the lights to dim.

I will admit that I was a little bit lost for the first twenty or so minutes. I didn’t fully comprehend that most of the play was a flashback. But when we went back in time and this frightening world of Big Brother and constant surveillance was revealed, it was intense. It did get a bit graphic in the latter part of the single-act piece and it was a full- blown sensory overload; with incredibly bright flashing lights and defeating sound design.

The line that resonated with me the most was the line that went “they didn’t see it coming; they didn’t look up from their screens.” BOOM. Yup, that’s what’s happening now. (I say as I type this on my iPhone.)

Reed Birney was excellent (as always) as O’Brien. Olivia Wilde did a good job, but she was nothing extraordinary. The rest of the (I’ll call it an ensemble) cast did an exceptional job of bringing this unfathomably weird story to life onstage as well.

I hope they tighten it up a bit while it’s in previews. It’s listed as an hour-45 online but it was almost two hours in reality and it was a little slow at times, to be honest. But I think given the current state of our country, a refresher of 1984 is appropriate. So hopefully we WILL look up from our screens should we need to.

Oh, and props must be given where they are due. The social media team for 1984 is killing it. Both of our Instagram postings were found, scoured, and creepy stalker comments were left under our photos. Good job, kids.

Look, I know.

I know the convention is this week. I know it’s going to be a shitshow and I know Trump is the biggest, most bloated and asinine waste of human life since Hitler. I know all of this and yet I still think I’m going to stay off Facebook while this Cleveland rodeo is burning down everyone’s dreams of sanity. 

My Facebook feed is one meme after another trying to show off how much they hate Trump and how stupid he is. We all already know this. If you don’t, there’s no longer hope for you, as far as I’m concerned and I’m not wasting my precious time concerned with you. I’m not trying to change anyone’s minds. Clinton is super qualified to be president of the United States, but I would’ve rather been given the chance to vote for Bernie. Will I not vote in November? Nah, I’ll go and cast my pointless vote (for Clinton, and pointless because, come on, this is New York) and hope for a better candidate next time around and that we don’t get fucked with a Trump presidency.

I’m taking a break from Gawker, too, because it’s all so negative, just like my Facebook feed. I haven’t been reading Gawker regularly since I restricted my internet access during the day and I haven’t missed anything important. I don’t need updates on the candidates every move. I won’t even pay attention to the Democratic Convention because unless Clinton starts killing kittens, she has my vote.

A quite frankly, I don’t give a shit who can out-hate whom on Trump. 

Seen/By Everyone @ HERE 

Last weekend I was invited to see Seen/By Everyone at HERE down in SoHo. It was created and produced by the ensemble company of Five on a Match. Five on a Match is a collective making art that explores what it means to be a human being in the 21st century. 

The collective writes in the program that they did not “write” the show, they “collaged” it. They pulled from various forms of social media – I’d assume Facebook, Twitter, etc. – and created new characters that are not based on any one single person. The play was 80 minutes of vignettes of how people exist in the world when they post every second of their life to the internet. How they grieve; how they express happiness. 

Although it was a little hard to follow at times, it’s very avantgarde which is always fun and a change from the usual breed of standard straight plays. 

If you’re looking for something a little bit off the beaten path, Seen/By Everyone is your play. 

Self Control-ish

I’ve been making mistakes here and there at work lately. 

Ever since I took on recruiting for my company, it’s been a huge time suck. I love doing it, but it’s taken away a lot of my attention from other aspects of my job. No mistakes have been huge or unfixable but still annoying. 

You know what else is a huge time suck? Social media. 

So, what did I do today? I downloaded the app “SelfControl” and blocked Facebook, Tumblr, Gawker, BroadwayWorld (those boards are like a never-ending hole of insanity), and I’ll probably block Curbed tomorrow, too. 

And you know what? It worked. I didn’t miss Facebook at all because it’s just become a place to a) feel bad about your life, or b) a place to be an asshole and bitch about stuff. And my Tumblr feed has become insanely boring. 

Here’s hoping I can continue down this path of No Distractions. 

Unfriended

Facebook is a tricky mistress. You love it, you hate it. You can’t live with it, you can’t live without it. Blah. But what happens when you end a friendship with someone but are still friends with, uh….. their entire family? 

That was what happened with someone I used to be friends with and I finally rectified the situation last week. It was “hard.” I put that in quotes because in reality, it’s nothing more than clicking a button, but whatever. I was completely cutting myself off from people, who despite being really incredibly lovely, I really shouldn’t have contact with anymore. Because it felt weird to still be in contact with his mother, sister, brother-in-law, and cousins when I was no longer friends with the person who was my main connection to them.

Should it have been weird? I don’t know. I guess it was more out of common decency (?). It’s not like we’re ever going to hang out again, so what’s the difference?

I clicked the button and it was like pulling off a band-aid. Except a bit sadder. 

Onwards/Upwards. 

Rant: Count Me Out

There’s so much vitriol on Facebook during the presidential campaign this year, and also much reflexive meme re-posting (it’s all my family does, sigh). I’m not even talking about between parties – I’m talking about between Bernie and Hillary fans. It’s sick and I’m over it. I want none of it. Count me out. Who are we kidding, I will vote for whoever is running for the Democrats in the end.

After taking Facebook off my phone, I started posting a lot less. Do I still post too much? Probably. But not as much as I used to – also, yes, I was totally a reflexive-reposter, which was so stupid, and I’m trying not to do this anymore. 

I’ve had to unsubscribe from some acquaintance’s feeds because of all the anti-Sanders shit they’re posting. Sanders keeps saying he’s running a campaign based on the issues, not on personal attacks, and I wish Hillary groupies would do the same. I’m almost 100% sure I’ve posted at least a few things that are ‘Bernie yay, Hillary nay,’ but I’m trying to tone it down and knock it off. I refuse to post memes about who’s more pro-choice or more pro-woman. They’re Democrats, they’re all going to be pro-choice to the extent that they don’t want to reverse Roe V. Wade and blame it on Jesus.

The cyborgs running for the Republican party are a bunch of assfaced clowns who aren’t worth exerting the effort that I’m using to type this, so I’m not even concerned with stating why I don’t like them. Especially on Facebook. It’s obvious. The worst thing about Ted Cruz, besides being a sociopath, is that he makes Trump look not so bad. Because let’s face it, Trump isn’t a real Republican.

I might install a widget on my computer at my new job that doesn’t enable me to access Facebook between 10am-6pm. Facebook has become a place to brag and a place to spew bullshit. And post photos. I’m just a little bit over it.

A Break (Sort Of)

A few weeks ago some of my family members were basically having a discussion in the comments section of one of my posts on Facebook. They were both in the same place at that time so between twenty to fifty feet away from each other. They were home and choosing to debate something on my Wall. instead of in person. Back and forth, back and forth. 

That’s it. I need to disconnect, I thought. Even if it was just in the tiniest way possible.

Live and let live, I suppose, just not on my wall, please. I decided that night that I did not want to do this. My dude is, luckily, not on Facebook, or any social media. He loves not knowing what people are up to unless he actually talks to them. i think that idea sounds astonishingly neat. And such a simple thing to obtain! I have this blog, and an Instagram account (and Twitter, which I really never use anymore), so it’s not as though I wouldn’t have an outlet at all. For the most part I simply wouldn’t be giving people an outlet to speak their minds under my name (on my Wall).

I was also, in part, impressed by that chick Essena O’Neil, who said she was breaking her addiction to social media after earning quite a good living while modeling from it. I’m a tad bit confused about how she’s going about quitting social media because isn’t a blog sort-of social media? But that’s another conversation.

I realized I was getting a little too into how many likes my link posts and political ramblings were getting. They were often critical, and even more often knee-jerk reactions. I think that passion would be better redirected to this spot. At the very least it would at least have to be more thorough and thought out. 

So, on my train back to the city, I finally took one little step towards disconnecting and I deleted the Facebook app off my iPhone. For the rest of the train ride, I couldn’t mindlessly scroll through my feed and I read my book (The Knockoff, loving it!). 

I just want to experience that thrill of sitting down with a friend and having them tell me what’s going on in their life and not already knowing all of it because we’re Facebook friends and I checked their feed on the way to brunch. And it’s also a major time suck. 

My “Wall” will never, ever be a primary form of communication with family, or friends, or anyone. It’s not as though I deactivated my Facebook, but this was one little tiny step towards disconnecting and it felt good. 

New York is Baltimore and Baltimore is New York.

When I read on OWS’s Facebook page that there was a rally at 6pm tonight in solidarity with Baltimore, I was totally there. I couldn’t be there for long because I had therapy on the UES at 7pm, but I hung around, chanted, chatted, lent my energy, and took this photo from the second floor of Barnes & Nobles before leaving. 

The protest was mainly contained in the area near 17th Street but for some reason the NYPD had corralled the ENTIRETY of the park. Talk about fire hazard. (NYPD, I’m sure your guys could’ve been used much better, say, in Bed Stuy, where someone was probably getting stabbed.)

I so, so wish I could be with the protesters in Times Square right now, but hey, mental health maintenance is important too. I’m staying glued to the StopMotionSolo Live Stream and occasionally checking in on the MSNBC live stream (ya know, just incase they report actual news).

The Monthly Mixer

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I made it out to everyone’s favorite monthly mixer for the first time on Thursday in months, which according to photos, I haven’t been to since August. This time, since it was freezing, it was entirely within the confines of Sweet and Vicious. No outdoor space meant it was dark(er), crowded, and loud. Really, really loud. I could barely hear anyone I was talking to (for the twenty minutes that I stayed).

Luckily a couple of awesome friends rescued the night with their suggestion to go grab dinner. I said goodbye to the (very) few people I knew and escaped. 

Social media mixers used to be fun. I think. Or maybe it was just smaller, which meant more intimate, and I knew more of the people there. There was a time that Sweet and Vicious on Thursdays was like the bar in Cheers. Everyone knew your name. Now it’s a few sparse faces you know and a load of people that you’ve never seen in your life. I guess that’s what happens when you fall out of the scene. I guess it was also more fun when I went into it with the attitude, “It’s Thursday! Let’s drink! Woot!”

I went into Thursday night with the attitude, “Yes! It’s always fun to meet new people!” but I left feeling a bit more like, “No, no, it’s not. Not in a dark, crowded, noisy bar. Get me the fuck out of here." We dined around the corner at Grey Dog, chatting about our lives and the way things were back in 2009. 

Props should be given to the gentlemen that continue to organize these, as there’s always that opportunity that it will be the best party ever.