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Entries in Twitter (3)


The beautiful madness of social media

(If yesterday's post got you riled up, imagine my reaction when someone within the film industry said that my commentary was total BS and that I was ill-informed. Um...to that kindly gentleman, all I can say is that my quote was V-E-R-B-A-T-I-M. Not sure how much room there was for misinterpretation?)

But, that's the beauty and interactivity of social media, which I love. Probably because I was using it when the online world was more like anti-social media--back in the days of BBS's, Prodigy, Compuserve, AOL, and now Facebook (I completely skipped MySpace because the interface was like a huge quantum leap backwards).

Which leads me to Google+, which was the new hotness last year for all of month. I have 129,089 followers on Google+ as of this posting. That's about 127,000 follower more than I have on Facebook, but my friends/fans/followers on Facebook actually interact with me. Whereas on Google+ I mainly hear the sound of crickets chirping. Which begs the question, who are these "social" followers on Google+?

I'm guessing they're click-farmers, employed by Google in some bizarre fashion to make Google+ seem--what's the word I'm looking for? Alive? Useful? Relevant?

And then on the other side of the ledger we have the official, validated pages of celebrities (like on Twitter) which are undoubtedly run by publicists. So here you have fake people tweeting to fake followers. Which has a zenlike irony about it.

So despite the vagaries of the web (and occasional heckler), I must say that I'm grateful for real people. Even the ones who are occasionally surprised that it's really me.


Somehow I grew up and became somebody's homework

Well, it's official, I've become homework.

I knew this was happening as each summer I'd get bombarded with a bevy of emails from high school students around the country all saying something like: "Um...Mr. Ford? Your book, Motel on the Corner of Sweet and Sour? Um...well, it's my favorite book of ALL TIME. And if you could just answer these twelve questions, I'd really appreciate it."

Well now I've been told that a group of intrepid social studies teachers have made HOTEL required reading in Washington State (for 9th graders). And as I was on tour last week I wandered into a local B&N and lo and behold what do I see but my book and this sign--right next to Sylvia Plath! (I'm not worthy...)

And in related news, I found a bunch of amusing and heartfelt tweets from high school students who are reading HOTEL:

@MoriahCobb - Nobody read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. It will slowly tear out your heart, and your will cry your eyes out. #StupidEnglishClass

@catchmeifyaKEN - Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet is actually so depressing...i can't read this. #thisiswhyidontread

@youroldpalnick - WHO HAS A STUDY GUIDE SITE THAT HAS "Hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet". Sparknotes didn't have it. This is an emergency! #PLZ

(That one kinda get's your "right there" doesn't it.)

@whats_GACCI - Anyone wanna give me a good summary of hotel on the corner of bitter and sweet!?... (willing to pay in cash)

@bananaalannah - I would rather read Animal Farm everyday of my whole life than fucking read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

@ex0hEmma - More like hotel on the corner of (this book sucks boulevard) bitter and sweet.

That last one is my personal favorite. I love it. Little do they know that I'm fueled creatively by the angst of teenagers. Happy reading, kids!


Faith in humanity +0.01

If you’ve been watching the news I’m sure you’re as heartbroken as I am by the horrible events in Connecticut. Watching President Obama tear up, seeing news anchors break down and sob on live TV, it’s enough to make me want to cancel my subscription to the human race.

I did the normal things we all do. I hugged my children and told them how much I loved them. I wandered around in a fog, trying to process such abject sadness, not wanting to even think about what those parents must be going through.

And I thought about one of my daughters in particular, who is already having an exceptionally terrible week at that sucking chest-wound we call high school. She’s the progeny of artists. She’s creative and brilliant, but in an environment where kids are valued by how much they bench-press or the cup size of their bras, she struggles.

So while watching the horrible news, I sent a message to Mac Miller, a hip-hop artist my daughter likes. I sat next to Mac on a flight a few months back. He was a cool guy but so young he couldn’t even order a drink in First Class, opting for a Coke Zero. And he was obviously road-weary from two years of non-stop touring. (Last year his album, Blue Slide Park, was the first Indie record to debut at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200).

It was nice talking to him. I respected his work ethic. I admired his knuckles, which were tatted “MOST DOPE”. And I understood his appreciation for a mother's home cooking. Plus he’s a social media fiend (answering tweets throughout the flight); so I figured what the heck? I mentioned that my daughter was having a rough time and asked if he could give her a little shout-out.

He immediately tweeted her one word: SMILE.

This is a guy with 3 million Twitter followers. I’m sure it didn’t take long to send that simple text, but sometimes it’s the little things that matter.

My daughter cried tears of joy on a very sad day. And suddenly my love/hate relationship with the human race wasn't so bad. Thanks Mac.