It’s hard to complain about Facebook and social media, because I tend to think about it like this: If you don’t like the show, you can turn it off or pick up a book. But isn’t it twisted, the way in which we come to know people through Facebook statuses and the photos and links that we share (some with more regularity than others)? And that our in-real-life personas become challenging to discern from the Facebook personalities you see your friends and loved ones broadcasting across the Internet, like they haven’t a care in the world who sees it and reads it? Of course, we have privacy settings, and this greatly affects who sees what and how, but there’s not a single one of you reading this who hasn’t lost some esteem for an old high school classmate, potential suitor or even employer based on how they project themselves through this social media crutch that’s become so engrained into our lives.
I’d like to share some observations and thoughts I have on the matter, if you don’t mind.
It’s miraculous the way that Facebook and Twitter immediately make you aware of something: a news event, a television show’s cult-like following, the popularity of certain Internet trends, a national catastrophe, or a diva’s judgable moment. Oh, did you know exactly what I was talking about? I’m hinting at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, American Horror Story: Coven, BuzzFeed’s goddamn quizzes and hash-tagging everything, stuff like the Boston Marathon bombing or Sandy Hook, and the merits and demerits of a few pop stars (Biebs, Bey, Madonna). Mind if I tick off a couple one by one?
PSH: A great actor in our time, a rare creature in Hollywood who seemed genuinely talented and interested in breathing life into characters, fictional or not, and a life cut short by addiction and drugs. This is a story we hear, at minimum annually, and it manages to get more suffocating every time it happens. The eulogies as Facebook statuses start pouring out, the sharing of obits, and soapboxes of condolences get stood upon. While there are filmmakers and critics in the digital sphere that I expect poignant and thoughtful ruminations from, you, dear fairweather fan who watches a couple movies a year and didn’t know who he was until he started showing up in Hunger Games movies, can keep your heartfelt expressions of grief to yourself. It cheapens the entire process. Why do we feel the need so strongly to shout out into the empty digital universe that we’re sorry for his family’s loss? They don’t know you, won’t see it, never will, and you sound shallow for sucking on the teat of the like-machine popularity contest with your sad face emoticon. Please.
AHSC: Now, I know the following is a lot more applicable to the gay community than, I would imagine, it is to the hetero community. But there’s a show called American Horror Story: Coven that just saw its season finale, and the queers were fucking gaga over the witches, their power struggles, their dynamic performances and the cliff-hanging conclusion. Approximately 75 percent of the gays in my Facebook interface managed to express some kind of “I cannot!” “Yassss,” “Work, Myrtle” or “Miley Cyrus is #thenewsupreme,” or some such eye-glazing utterance, so as to make absolute sure that everyone knew their cultural intelligence quotient. It’s a great show! I haven’t kept up with it episode-to-episode, but the wave of statues and tweets that washed over me within hours of the show’s airing made me want to wring from my brain every memory left of lingo and plotlines and never let my eyes feast upon Sarah Paulson’s magnetism again. Why do we have to beat into the ground the cultural flashpoints that, yes, are great water cooler and brunch chit-chat? But your posting “SURFBOART” or “COVEN = LIFE” is so tiresome. It’s like farting in a quiet room and expecting everyone in it to acknowledge that you let wind pass out of your colon with high-fives and congratulations.
BZFD: I will also admit to falling into the “Which city should you be living in?” BuzzFeed quiz and sharing my excitement that I got Paris. But for some reason, even friends with discernible taste don’t seem immune to taking them and telling us that they’re really “Alanis Morissette” (”Which ’90s Angry Rock Diva are You?)” or that they should be a nurse (Which Career Should You Really Have?). It’s kind of like how people sometimes still invite you to play Candy Crush, and you get a notification that makes you think, I thought everyone agreed this was a stupid thing to do.
BM/SH: When brutal tragedies beset communities by means of terrorism or natural disaster, it is often Facebook where folks go to make sure their friends know they’re okay. Did you have some friends running in the marathon or a cousin that lives in Somerville and she’s locked down in her house by the FBI? Interesting, what’s their takeaway? No involvement whatsoever—but you’re so deeply heartbroken and sad? SHUT IT. This is not your place. And whatever happened to privately-offered notions of condolence and support? Guess those are too unseen and unheard by your real friends: your most active Facebook friends.
And we really got over 100,000 people to sign a petition to deport Justin Bieber, but we can’t get 100,000 people to sign a petition for an equitable tax code? You, who have never performed on a stage in your life, feel compelled to shit on Beyonce’s stage presence? We still need to make sure folks know that you saw Madonna warble out “Open Your Heart” during Macklemore’s Grammy performance and that you have a stance on its quality?
It just feels like we’re drowning in GIFs and text-speak and investing way too much in how much power is left in our phones, and it’s making it really hard to not become more mired in the allure/enchantment of being in on the joke/story/new thing/future/conversation. But resistance isn’t futile, friends. It really isn’t.
The other day, via her Twitter account, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino announced her upcoming clothing line for Urban Outfitters. Set to hit stores this May, there were no other details given about the line, with the exception of the photo below, courtesy of Cosentino. The breezy romper, featuring a duo of fabrics, angular pocket flaps and paired with a cross necklace is a great look for hanging out in the city on a sunny day this Spring and Summer.
As far as the price range goes, we can only guess that it will be similar to UO’s 2009 collaboration with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, which ranged from $54 to $98. There’s no word on whether or not the line will include shoes and other accessories.
Cosentino’s personal style mixes retro California, grunge, urban chic, and vintage, and as a result is effortlessly cool and fun, having it come as no surprise that Urban Outfitters wanted her designs. In February of 2011, I saw Best Coast perform here in Philly; Cosentino may have spent the entire day beforehand sick in the hospital, but that did not stop her from giving a great performance, as well as wearing heels throughout the entire thing (with sweatpants, but trust me, she worked it.)
A maker of addictive hazy surf rock along with personal style that has character and variation, Cosentino is just as excited about releasing her line as we are about seeing what’s next to come.
Hop on the Tweets train with none other than The Sartorialist. Scott Schuman now has ownership of @Sartorialist on Twitter so you can get your favorite quips from your favorite street style photographer all day long in 140 characters or less. We suggest heading over to his blog as well, the recent snaps from Paris Fashion Week are brilliant!
—Leave it to Courtney Love to be the first celeb to ever get sued over her TWEETS. Yep! Fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir apparently didn’t like that Love called her a drug-pushing prostitute. NME
—Friendly reminder that HG TV Design Star will be hosting a casting call in Philadelphia on Monday, January 10. For details, check out Fajr’s post. PWStyle
-–Looks like Elle and Women’s Day might be sold to Hearst for some COLD HARD CASH. Meredith Corp. seems interested as well though, so who knows? Adweek
—Philly newsstand with a history of the South Street Militia, Rocky Horror Picture Show and fat cats (no really, it was 23 lbs.) re-opened on South St. The Inquirer tells us more on the varied past and hopeful future of Paper Moon. Inky
—There’s nothing like sipping delicious drinks by a fire on a cold night? Am I right or am I right? Thankfully this city has plenty of restaurant and bar options with fireplaces for those of us minus a hearth of our own. UWISHUNU
—Tonight brings us another inane awards show where we mostly just ogle what the celebs are wearing. The People’s Choice Awards start live streaming of the red carpet online at 7:30 p.m. People’s Choice
Arcadia Boutique has been sale-crazy as of late. Follow them on Twitter to get daily updates on what new deals they are offering. Tomorrow they are also hosting a trunk show of items by Chelsea Pearce of Canoe Crafts.
Philadelphia photographer with a flare for the outside-of-the-box portrait Zoe Strauss will be at B2 on Wednesday with signed copies of her book America. Be there between 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. to nab a copy from her limited stock of 30 books.
Christmas sale at Abakus Takeout—buy one item and get one 60% off through December 24. Perfect for some last minute deals before the holidays!
Sugarcube has extended hours today through December 24 and they recently started carrying Richer Poorer, a line of men’s contemporary socks that would make any dapper gentleman on your list grin with holiday cheer.
Three Sirens Boutique is still offering free shipping on orders if you enter the code HOLIDAY2010 and they are also holding special holiday hours. Everyone loves free shipping, especially when it is this close to Christmas.
Spool has joined up with Ann Kelle for a giveaway of Ann Kelle’s Remix fabric line. Check out the Spool blog for details on how you can enter to win a pack of 45 five-inch squares, perfect for quilting!
-Naomi Campbell received a Special Recognition award at last night’s British Fashion Awards. Erratic and sometimes abusive behavior TOTALLY deserves a reward. Good job Camps. Yeah, that’s what her close friends call her. Did we just make that up? Of course we did. British Fashion Awards 2010
-John Lennon— music, social and fashion icon was shot and killed 30 years ago today. Fellow PW blog Make Major Moves gives us a few videos for perspective. Make Major Moves
-The Shops at Liberty Place are celebrating 20 years. Yes, 20 years of mall-like shopping without the flashmobs of The Gallery. Philly Chit Chat
-Ruh roh Mastercard, looks like you’ll need more than Scooby Doo and those pesky kids to go up against the “hacktivists.” TIME
-Hey Philly, get a headstart on that “lose 10 pounds” New Years resolution. Registration for Philadelphia Sports Network winter team sports opens today. PSN
-Don’t worry label-hungry shoppers, the rumors are all false! Fashion’s Night Out has officially been confirmed for September 2011. Fashionista
-Natalie Portman is the new face of Dior fragrance Miss Dior Cherie. Women’s Wear Daily gives us real-time updates from today’s press conference via Twitter. WWD
Arcadia Boutique shared a little news via Facebook and Twitter last night. We thought you might want to know it too. Methinks I’ll be swinging by 20th Street today to check out the new digs! For a Google map, check my earlier post about the newest Arcadia location.
Arcadia Boutique Rittenhouse 265 S. 20th Street (corner of 20th and Manning Sts)