Guest Blogger Friday is ready to kick off your weekend with a wide variety of topics to cover courtesy of our pal Andy from the exceptional local music blog typanogram.com. Baseball, to social media, to the violent, destructive tendencies of my wife, dive in head first and soak in the greatness...
Best of 2011
As the calendar gets ready to turn over to November, there are going to be a rash of year ending, authoritative sounding Best of 2011 lists being released – whether it’s for albums, singles, movies, TV shows, iPhone apps, nipple slips, etc. I’m warning you: everyone makes one for something, and everyone thinks theirs is the definitive one on that particular subject.
What is it about lists that fascinate our feeble minds so? I will read any list I come across, judge it harshly, and probably leave a comment on where I believe it was wrong. But in reality, who the hell cares whether the new Black Keys album is placed at #4 on one list or at #5 on another, when I think it should be at #3? (Note: this is an example, and is not what I actually think about the new Black Keys album, since I haven’t heard it yet.)
Every list is arbitrarily made, most are hastily thrown together, and none of them are going to encompass the whole of the continuous march of culture that has taken place in the past 12 months. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from making one. Why? Because they’re fun as hell, and even if you’re not a critic, it’s fun to play one every so often.
Make a list, share it on Facebook, tweet about it, email it to everyone you know. Make it about whatever you like most in life. Beer you tried, humiliating Yankee losses, jokes about Steve Jobs’ death. (Too soon?) But God help you if you put the Bon Iver album any lower than number 5 on Best Albums.
There has been a rash of discussion on Twitter about a service called Klout – whether it’s useful, how it measures people, what everyone’s score is. Klout describes itself as “the standard for influence.” What that actually means is that they attempt to measure, when you tweet, how much it’s acted upon, and they give a number that represents that action. If you haven’t tried it to see your own score, go ahead. I’ll wait. Put your score in the comments so we can all laugh at how little sway you have over anyone else.
But here’s the trick: no one should care in the slightest what that number is. It’s a made up number, arrived at through fancy algorithms and inane bullshit, and it’s not relevant to anything outside of Twitter, which is already the least effective tool for judging anything.
My Klout dropped a point! *sob*
If you’re looking to converse with people about a certain topic, don’t you already know who the influential people are? Besides, it doesn’t seem like it really knows what the hell is going on. I mean, Klout will tell you that Mike Danger is influential about Religion & Spirituality. Maybe he’s talking to other people about his thoughts on the Abrahamic religions, but I’ve never seen it.
Stick to who you know. Stick to who they know. Chances are, if you’re already following someone you like, you’ll probably like the people they follow as well. And if you don’t, just unfollow them. You don’t need fancy metrics for that. And if someone ever, anywhere, asks you in a serious manner what your Klout score is, you should immediately cease conversing with that person.
The End of a Baseball Season
No one, except for me and Ken Burns, cares about baseball anymore. Sure, six billion people show up to watch baseball games each year, but no one goes for much more than the ambiance of being at a baseball game. Speaking as a fan, even I could wander around Frontier Field for the entirety of a game, eating hot dogs and fried dough and drinking Rohrbach’s Red Wing Ale. How many 6 to 3 putouts can a casual fan be expected to take in over the course of three hours?
With the completion of the World Series this week, we’ll all have to wait until next April for that experience again – unless you’re in Florida or Arizona, in which case you only need to wait until February.
I saw Danger’s story about his wife keying the hell out of some poor bastard’s car when they first met, and the accompanying picture of a “You Suck At Parking” card.
When I was in Urban Outfitters in Buffalo not long ago (waiting for my girlfriend; I perused their vinyl and kitschy book selection), I saw them selling whole books of those tickets that you could tear out when someone offended you with his or her terrible parking job.
The best one? “The way you pulled in makes me wish your dad had pulled out.”