Tag Archives: people

Oh, why yes of course there is…

This really shouldn’t surprise me, but even my jaded people-watching soul didn’t see this coming:

Even as rescued teenage sailor Abby Sunderland makes her way back home to California, a battle is shaping up over who will tell the story of her harrowing sea voyage — and what the story line will be.

Who will tell the story? What the story line will be?! What is the wha-what? Can’t believe I forgot there was money to be made off the event.

The possibility of dueling narratives emerged this week as a Los Angeles production team and Abby’s parents squabbled over the back story of her attempted around-the-world journey.

Heh heh. Just that there’s a “production team” involved tells me all I need to know. It sounds like a stupid story — pointless risks for a “world record” that will only race to the bottom, toward younger and younger solo sailors.

It remains unclear whether any type of film or reality TV show will emerge from Abby’s aborted trip. But the possibility has intensified debate over the Sunderland brand image and whether her story should be celebrated or serve as a cautionary tale.

Brand image! Awesome. Yes, do get the story straight, won’t you? I need to know which life lesson your inspiring personal saga should teach me. The article goes on to say the dad went on Larry King Live to defend himself which — I’m sorry, you wouldn’t need to straighten your story with anyone unless you intended to milk it. It’s true, buddy, you really can return to anonymity if you just resist the urge to feed the masses. But I’m betting you wouldn’t be here in this situation if you could do that.

This is one of those deals, like your average Kardashian what-not, where I’m sorry I’m even vaguely aware of who the person is. (Who are these people, where do they come from, and why do they try so hard to get us to care?!)

‘My Sextape Nightmare’

I have this disconnect, part of my love-hate relationship with my species: I like life. I like people. I feel connected to people. But boy they can sort of make me sick. I like stories. I like people telling me their stories. But my, am I turned off by people who live manufactured stories for the sole purpose of packaging them for sale.

I was in the long grocery store line today. (DAMMIT I always make the mistake of going to the curiously short line, which is always the line everyone’s abandoned because of the slow checker!) I was listening to my iPod, scanning strangers, eyes finally wandering to the tripe that passes for reading material in the checkout line. (I really should just bring a book.) My eyes stopped on some celeb-watching magazine’s cover that said: “Kendra: My Sextape Nightmare.”

…which of course cracked my shit up. There was something in the subhead about her worrying about her baby finding out about the tape or something. I don’t know who Kendra is (I notice I’m hearing her name more and more), but if you have a sextape, no one cares unless you’re trying to become famous. Even if you have a child, your child can probably get over the sextape (“sex is natural, hon’, birds and bees”) — unless of course the tape was in some way related to you trying to become famous.

I figure except for the extraordinarily strange and unlucky, if you have a sextape and the media cares about it, you either deliberately leaked the thing to become (more) famous, or you made it at a time when you wouldn’t have minded if it one day helped you become famous.

So I’m sorry about your nightmare and your kid, I guess. But unless you really are a mess (and signs point to … yes), the child will probably get over it.

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Under the sea

Just layin' cable...

I hate it when I learn about something from Cracked, but not as much as I hate not knowing everything there is to know about undersea transcontinental communication cables.

When as a kid we went to the beach, I’d stare at the vast expanse of ocean and think, “So there must be cables somewhere under there, huh? Unreal.”

I just couldn’t imagine something that long that was man-made and durable. I mean, seems like utility stuff broke all the time on our street, but they — and by “they,” I mean The Collective of Humans Who Make Stuff I Don’t — could string a cable across the ocean floor and keep it working? (This all sounds sad, but I did look at other things on the beach, too. A kid has lots of free time, though.)

And this was all well before I spliced shilled for a telephone telecommunications company, of course.

(Ah, memories: “That massive blackout sucked, huh? Even cell towers were out? Well that’s why you need a landline, which is independent of the power grid. It’s the safe choice. So c’mon, pay us.  … Oh, P.S.: About that plugged-in cordless phone you have connected to your landline…um, yeah, whoops.”)

Anyway, the best part of that Cracked write-up is this map of all the world’s undersea cables, which I could just stare at for hours and hours because it’s so beautiful. (I almost wish I were joking.)

I guess the second-best part was phrasing like this:

If enough of these high-pressure porn hoses were compromised, international Internet communication could collapse entirely.

Great capture of the spectrum of the Internet right there.

Sometimes I wish we had Internet-Free holidays or something, just so people would step outside for air and maybe look up from their phones mobile data devices for a moment. Then again, I don’t much like people talking to me, and I guess that’s what would happen if the Internet turned off.

To cut that off at the pass, I’d probably start talking about undersea cable.