The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

Get off the phone!

Posted by keithosaunders on February 18, 2017

Last night I played a very enjoyable gig at a trendy new jazz club in San Francisco called The Black Cat.  (There used to be an old Black Cat which existed before my time living here) It’s a basement club with tables packed tightly together filled with 20 and 30-something techies drinking $15 martinis and fancy mixed drinks.

At one point in the gig I looked out into the audience from the stage only to see half of the people buried in their phones.  There was a table with four young women right in front of the bandstand, all of whom were looking at their phones.

Can’t people go five minutes without checking their Instagram?  What’s the point of hanging out with friends if you’re not going to engage?

Is there any wonder we elected a dullard such as Trump?  We are building a nonintellectual, incurious, self-absorbed populace that is vapid and disengaged.  Wake up, people!

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Posted in San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

2016: The worst meme ever

Posted by keithosaunders on December 28, 2016

The latest sickening internet trend is the conceit that a random grouping of 365 days is a sentient being.  This is especially true on Twitter where people are trying to one up each other for the whiniest tweet.  Here’s an example:

So so sad to hear about the death of Carrie Fisher. 2016 has taught us one hell of a lesson.. don’t take anyone for granted! Hurry up 2017!!

I guarantee you I can pick any year and find just as many celebrities that died. Here is a list of notable deaths in 1955:

Albert Einstein, James Agee, James Dean, and most tragically, Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges.

Charlie Parker died in 1955. Bam. 1955 is exponentially worse than 2016.

Again, it’s all about the humblebrag. RIPing  Prince, Carrie Fisher, or ________________________ makes you seem like a sensitive individual, but the effect is to draw attention towards yourself and away from the deceased.

There is nothing new about the  gratuitous social media RIP, but this year came with a new wrinkle:  The anthropomorphism of 2016.  As if a year is a sentient being and that somehow 2017 will be more benevolent.

If I might offer a suggestion, try a different calendar. Why not go by the Chinese calendar? Or give the Jewish calendar a shot. Or the Mayan. It couldn’t hurt.

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Taking my act live

Posted by keithosaunders on March 13, 2016

After my previous post decrying the decay of western civilization through videos I decided to see for myself what it was like to produce to have a video experience of my own.  In the past week I had received a few notices on my Facebook feed about so and so being ‘live.’ I wondered what it was so finally I clicked one of the feeds and there was one of my ‘friends,’ – more like an acquaintance – live and in full pontificating mode.  He was all over the map but mostly he was bloviating about the coming election.

I found it kind of self centered and self-serving.  Until I tried it myself.  Then I thought it was fun.  I donned a beret and took ‘hater’ act live and beta test a five minute rant.

I started off be-scowled,  pontificating about people posting over-produced political videos with the sound track and fancy graphics.  I was segueing into the Academy Awards when I noticed at the bottom of the screen there was a display of who was viewing my feed.  Soon my friends began commenting and that’s when I lost it, breaking character in a fit of laughter.

I have to admit, as much as I hate to, that being live and having an audience was intoxicating.  It was visceral in a way that a written post is not.  The thing is, it’s too easy and the risk of crossing the line from detached, ironic humor into trite, self aggrandizement is too easy.  You’re trying to be funny in the moment and your friends are there — who knows what offensive bon mot may slip from your mouth in the moment. With the written word there’s a good chance you would take stock of what you are writing and edit out something potentially hurtful.

After 5 minutes I realized I was out of gas and said goodbye to my viewing public.  I’ll try to resist over-saturating myself on Facebook, but the lure of the audience is strong.  Pray for me.

pepe

 

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PC oranges

Posted by keithosaunders on March 9, 2016

 

Someone on my Facebook feed posted an article decrying downfall of society as a result of pre-packaged peeled oranges at Whole Food. I would counter that articles like this, which contain headlines that tell us how to think and feel, are what’s wrong with society.

I love how in the middle of the story the writer does a u-turn, talking about the backlash against Nathalie Gordon, the anti peeled-oranges activist: But some people are now pointing their anger at Gordon rather than at Whole foods, arguing that the pre-peeled oranges were helpful to the elderly and people with disabilities. From the looks of it, just as many people are ticked off about Whole Foods pulling the peeled oranges from store shelves as there were people who were ticked off about them being there in the first place.

BAM. A perfectly, but rarely executed, 180 degree PC turnaround!  I didn’t see that one coming.

oranges

Posted in life, media, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Better life through Facebook videos

Posted by keithosaunders on March 8, 2016

I’ll tell you what, I’m sick of everything being videoed and posted on Facebook.  Some middle aged guy rescues a duckling stuck in a chain link fence…WHILE HIS WIFE FILMS IT?! That’s not selflessness, that’s self aggrandizement.

I get that this is an organization that wants to promote kindness to animals…but I don’t care.  If I see a duckling, cygnet, or a baby hippo stuck in a chain link  fence I’ll do my best to set it free.  (well, maybe not the hippo) I’ll tell you one thing I’m not going to do. I’m not going to have my wife film it so that I can brag about what a superior human I am.

In the end what is this video going to accomplish?  You’re either the kind of person who’ll save an animal or you’re not.  No Facebook video is going to serve as a behavior modification tool.  I’d sooner watch a video of this guy having sex with his wife.  Now that’s a cause I can get behind!

 

Posted in life, media, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Troubling Times

Posted by keithosaunders on March 2, 2016

The Trump stuff is starting to get a little scary. He’s like a cartoon character — a buffoon – and it’s hard to take his platform seriously.  After all, other than promising to build a wall, or make Mexico build a wall, he really hasn’t said anything. If you go by his history he’s even a little more liberal than his hapless opponents.

No, what’s worrying me are his followers.  Trump’s jingoistic, xenophobic banter has brought to the surface a virulent racism in this country, so much so that I’m beginning to wonder if we’ve progressed at all since the 1950s.

Coded racism has long been a staple of Republican (and even Democratic) candidates.  One need look no further than patron saint, Ronald Reagan launching his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County fair, a few miles away from Philadelphia, Mississippi, a town associated with the 1964 murder of civil rights workers.  There, he used the term, states rights, a kind of code for tacitly approved racism.

But with the ascendance of Trump there is no longer a need for code words.  He can vilify Muslims and Mexicans, thus empowering rednecks across the land to speak their minds.  And I’m not just referring to the South.  There were plenty of racists in the New York metropolitan area six years ago when I lived there.  Drive ten miles in any direction from Manhattan and you’ll see what i mean.  Long Island and New Jersey are cesspools.

Even here in the Bay Area, one of the most liberal places on the planet, you can find racism.  A singer with whom I worked with just last night friended me on Facebook.  No sooner did I accept her request than I saw that her page was littered with racist posts.  One showed a pair of four or five year old African American boys teasing and hitting a white girl, with the implication that violence starts at a young age.  She also compared these children to Palestinians.

By itself the post is merely ignorance.  In light of the violence and bile we have seen at Trump rallies, however, it’s unsettling.  What level of racism would be unleashed should this man somehow gain the White House?

 

 

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Humble-bragging: The musician’s best friend

Posted by keithosaunders on January 19, 2016

I can’t stand a humble-bragger.  As a musician, my Facebook feed is filled to the brim with humble-bragging.  I can’t turn around without reading, “I was humbled to have played with [insert great musician’s name here].”  No, in fact you are not humble, you are a blowhard.

The worst is when someone famous dies.  An internet R.I.P. is the humblebragger’s catnip. If an H.B. has anything remotely to do with a recently deceased celebrity he’ll have a post up before the cadaver has cooled.  The idea of eulogizing someone on social media whom you have never met is repugnant enough, but to use it as an excuse for self aggrandizement is pathetic.

I’m sure the H.B. is not germane to the music business.  The internet is built on the backs of porn and humble-bragging.  The next time someone famous dies check your social media feed.  I’ll guarantee you will uncover some bragging thinly disguised as a eulogy.

R.I.P. tact.

Posted in jazz, life, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Enough with the kinder

Posted by keithosaunders on September 26, 2015

I suppose it was inevitable that as Facebook and the humblebragging that goes along with it have become ubiquitous so have videos of children precociously doing or saying adult things.  Today I saw a video of a young European girl playing the drums along to Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog. She had all of John Bonham’s fills down and you can tell she was coached thoroughly and that she was probably a quick study.  Except that it doesn’t matter.  All it proves is that she has above average concentration.  She didn’t create anything and to be honest she didn’t even groove.

I saw a video of two pre-teens dancing a sensual mambo.  They were resplendent in Cuban drag and they had all the steps down.  Impressive?  Not to me.  In fact I found it a little creepy having these two youngsters ape a sex-infused dance.

Then there are the pre-teen jazz musicians.  Listen to that kid wail on Giant Steps.  Wow!  But here’s the thing:  An important facet of improvisation is telling your story – it is the musical equivalent of your life’s experience.  What experience does a 10 year old have?  I would hope not much!

Parents, we know what you’re trying to do.  Congratulations, you have a ‘gifted kid.’ Now that your passive aggressive humblebrag is complete, how about tamping down your zeal and letting your kids be kids.

Posted in jazz, life | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The smarm offensive

Posted by keithosaunders on September 5, 2015

Thanks to the proliferation of social media as well as blogs such as this one, we live in a smarm society, one where mean-spirited sarcasm is used for political gain.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the web magazine, Salon. Nary a headline is posted that fails to tell me which opinion is right and which is wrong.

Here are some examples:

Donald Trump humiliates himself on conservative radio. 

No, Christians you’re not being persecuted, and Kim Davis is not a martyr.

The media’s breathless email scandal reaches new nadir.

At this point I’ll disclose that I am as liberal as they come, yet this kind of didactic, mean spirited, snarky reporting is as offensive to me as Fox news.  How are liberal publications any different then reactionary rags such as the New York Post? I would expect more from them, but what it boils down to is they attempt to be as sensationalistic as possible in order to garner readers.

Here is a particularly smug photo caption that someone posted on my Facebook feed.

I agree with most everything the caption says yet I had a viscerally negative reaction to this smug propaganda. What does Occupy Democrats hope to gain by this?  If I was a left leaning Republican this cloying, self-aggrandizing ad would almost certainly not sway me to vote Democrat. On the contrary it might inspire to urinate on Occupy Democrat headquarters.

To sum up:  Dems we’ve had a good run and things are marginally better than they were in the first eight years of the 21st century.  Now shut the fuck up!

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Groom dancers

Posted by keithosaunders on August 20, 2015

https://fbcdn-video-j-a.akamaihd.net/hvideo-ak-xpf1/v/t42.1790-2/11892782_10153050178321200_708825761_n.mp4?efg=eyJybHIiOjkwNSwicmxhIjo0MDk2fQ%3D%3D&rl=905&vabr=503&oh=9ebb3f931ffc45b25ad758b3599e2640&oe=55D63A0D&__gda__=1440099161_a64afba0b7aebc28a8a9eae982e868e6

Someone posted this on my Facebook feed last night under the heading, ‘ Without a doubt the best groomsmen dance ever.’  I watched a few minutes of the video before clicking off in disgust.  It’s one thing to surprise your bride with a couple of minutes of rehearsed dancing.  It’s cute, precocious, and slightly romantic in a contrived kind of way.  But to make your bride and guests sit through eight minutes of endless, cornball drivel?!  The conceit of it!

You see, this is what I’m talking about with these ‘viral videos.’   These people are out of control. Under the rubric of doing something romantic and selfless for the bride this nimrod has forced his captive audience to endure a two-bit vaudeville act.  And I’ll tell you what he’s doing.  He’s bragging.  This is a classic implementation of the humblebrag.  What is the humblebrag? It’s just as it sounds — one effects a selfless act while in reality drawing the attention to himself.  I see it all the time with musicians on my feed.  “I was so honored to get a chance to play with [insert famous musician’s name here]”  No you were not honored — you were blessed with the opportunity to brag en masse to your Facebook friends.

How much do you want to bet that these cretins forced their guests to travel thousands of miles to some remote location and pay for quaint and expensive B & B on some god forsaken island.  Oh yeah, they’re one percenters without a doubt.  I will have the last laugh however.  I’ll be onhand two years from now while they’re signing their divorce papers.  As they exit the courthouse they will be treated to my flashmob’s version of Cole Porter’s “Get Out of Town.”

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