Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Festivus, One and All

Christmas CarolsDing Dong Merrily On High
I love carols, it's more than nostalgia - we all know the words (and harmonies) to Wham's Last Christmas, but I don't get quite the same feeling en masse or the urge to sing it in a big cold, spicy smelling room lit by lots of candles.

The more committed I become to the Richard Dawkin's fan club, however, the more I struggle with how much I love Christmas even though I know I'm in a long line of other belief systems co-opting the seasonal festival for my own gains.

In my case those gains include not only carols but also the exchanging of gifts, time with family, pickled walnuts and marrons glacé. I would include mince pies but I now put myself on a self-imposed mince pie ban as once I pop (one in my mouth) I really can't stop.

So whatever you're celebrating be it Chrismukkah, Festivus or plain ole Christmas, I hope you have a joyful one full of whatever seasonal jollies do it for you.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Facebook Faux Pas: A Tribute to the Recently Departed "is"

As some of you connected to me on Facebook are already aware, I've got mildly addicted to updating my Facebook status with quite pointless updates to my life.

For those of you who don't know, a Facebook status is a sentence about you that you publish as frequently as you like, and friends connected to you via Facebook can choose to see via a sort of news feed that they receive when they log onto Facebook.

This status message starts "Louise is ..." with a gap where you fill in the details of what you're up to via web or phone. Or at least the "is" was there until this morning, when I found it had been removed, leaving my posted status message reading "Louise frosty in a nice way" which needed at least a colon to make some kind of sense.

Missing "is" aside for one moment, this weekend, as an example, you would have found out I wrote some Christmas cards, played a lot of Guitar Hero III and went to see the Arctic Monkeys. All true, mildly interesting if you know me, and pretty harmless. I do love reading everyone else's updates too - it's really an accessible form of microblogging. This morning I've discovered one friend is ill, another working too hard, and one lucky bleeder made it to Paris for Christmas shopping.

This weekend, however, you would also have spotted a message informing you "Louise is stopping herself from writing rude things in her status every day" because whilst in recent months I've toyed with the vaguely obnoxious - "Louise is wonderful", the pointless film quote - "Louise is doubting your commitment to Sparkle Motion", as well as the dull - "Louise is out of the office", I've never ventured where I'd really like to go - the plain disturbing.

So as both an exorcism of my status temptation demons and a tribute to the recently departed "is", here is a selection of things you wouldn't want to read on a status update and for some reason I've been sorely tempted to write. Here goes. And forgive me.

Louise is...

1. ... dying to tell you about an amazing investment opportunity
2. ... dying for a poo
3. ... going to poke your ex that's still on your friend list and then make friends with them
4. ... touching herself
5. ... the messiah
6. ... menstruating
7. ... completely nude
8. ... off the stalking charge and already within 50 metres of your house
9. ... horny
10. ... dead

There, now that's over, they're all out there, and it marks the end of the "Louise is ... " phase of my life. Like every annoying user that anyone's ever researched, I'll miss the "is" more than anyone who complained about it, but I suppose what the statement starting "Louise ..." lacks in temporality, it gains in freedom, whilst retaining the weird frisson you get when describing yourself in the third person.

Louise is wondering whether you have any statuses you've ever wanted to post.