The latest trend in corporate social engagement is Twitter polls and “you decide” promotions. The internet is asked to provide a name, or make a decision for a company. However, the internet is not so easily tamed, seeking to destroy at any opportunity.
The UK’s National Environmental Research Council asked the public to come up with names for their newest £200m polar research ship, and at the end of the poll the most popular name was “Boaty McBoatface.” The winner was ignored and RRS Sir David Attenborough was chosen instead.
There are several other instances as well: Taylor Swift asked the internet to pick a school for her to give a show at and a school for the deaf was chosen. Justin Bieber nearly played a show in North Korea thanks to internet trolls.
By now you’d think that people would have learned better than to ask the internet in an unrestricted poll, because in the same way that you can mess with the bull and get the horns, when you ask of the internet, you get the trolls.
Summer and sorta sad, sorta not
On “Paranoia,” Chance the Rapper sings: “I hate crowded beaches, I hate the sound of fireworks … I heard everybody dies in the summer, so pray to God for a little more spring.” This is kind of how I feel at the moment, on this, the summer before my last year at UFV, before I have to venture out and do something with my life.
Recently somebody asked me why I’m not more visibly happy. Well, the thing is that, while I may not be overjoyed, I’m not unhappy. I find myself passively wading through all the newfound free time I have (a result of the semester having ended), and I’ve realized that although I’m not as stressed as I was during the semester, I’m anxious because I’m not doing anything. At least over the semester I got a lot of writing done.
Summer’s spread out before me like this great, slothly giant, and I just don’t want to look back in September and find that I’ve done nothing with the four months of time I had.
I guess by writing about it I’m producing something tangible. That’s a good start, I suppose.
A Lunchless Lament
Come all you intelligent, beautiful, impossibly prescient people pulling your lunches from out of your office fridge; tell me your secrets. Tell me how to prepare my idiot self to pack a lunch that won’t get grossly warm and dry in my bag or disgustingly fridge-flavoured and damp in the old icebox. What can I do, poor and stupid student that I am, to not spend all my money at some restaurant when each lunch rolls around this summer?
I wish I could be like you, crafty enough to cook some miraculous pasta the night before, not EAT IT ALL, and have it remain tasty and normal-smelling enough the next day to bring to school. But alas, I am hungry and lazy and money never seems like a problem until I’ve run out. I starve in the early hours of evening when all the food dispensaries of UFV are closed, and I have only myself to blame. Let my failure be a lesson to all of you to get your shit together and pack a mother-lovin’ lunch.
Make 2016 great again
As I’ve written before, 2016 has been a pretty bad year, what with the whole “celebrity death” pattern that it’s fallen into. Now, I don’t have much of an awareness of celebrity culture, but I was pretty choked up when David Bowie died, disappointed when Alan Rickman died, and dejected when I heard about Prince.
Yet another month, yet another inspiring legend dies without warning. I know it doesn’t have a direct influence on my daily life, but still, it’s a reminder of my mortality. And if there’s something I’d like to forget, it’s the fact that I’m going to die someday. Sure, I won’t be ushered from the mortal plane with thousands of mourning fans, but I will end up being maggot food. We all will. And part of growing up, I suppose, is watching legends age and depart.
I guess I’m just going to have to brace myself for more of my childhood icons passing away.