Boy, how embarrassing is that?
I joined for the most foolish of reasons–which I can admit here, because it is not a secret. I, quite frankly, signed up in order to be able to spy on a much-loved child, and make sure no shenanigans were taking place. The child and I were both quite open about this and, in fact, give each other quite a lot of space. But, we poke each other regularly and the like (Hey, it’s a Facebook thing; what can I tell you?), and all seemed to be well.
But then, it turns out–oh, the ignominy!–that Facebook has games. Lots and lots of games. I like games.
First, I was playing a game called Triumph. There were soldiers involved. It seemed like great fun–until it got entirely monotonous, after a remarkably short period of time. (I have subsequently discovered that most of the people in the game were cheating madly, and creatively, and that was what made it continue to seem entertaining for longer periods of time.) But, I was bored, so I moved on to Dope Wars, where I joined a predominantly Malayasian drug cartel–and became remarkably good at the game, and made many new friends from all over the world.
However, it was awkward, when a bright-eyed, bespectacled nine-year-old in my life asked, happily, in the elevator, if I was currently selling crystal meth–or heroin? And I, without thinking, said, “well, the profit margin for the crystal meth seems to be higher.” I won no friends among our fellow passengers.
However, the Dope Wars application was fatally flawed, and one entirely un-golden day, I could no longer access said game, without encountering dreadful configuration problems. So, it was on to King of the World. King of the World is excellent. I now belong to a large and ruthless multi-national alliance–with an absolutely dreadful reputation within the game; mostly because we play with great abandon, and display remarkable teamwork for people who live in wildly varying time-zones.
But, teamwork requires a non-stop flurry of messages on each other’s Royal Walls, and our discussion boards (plus, the friendly conversations I generally end up having with the people we are attacking), and Facebook decided I must be a spammer, and sent me what is known as The Dreaded Red Box–wherein, I was to be eliminated from the site at once, if I did not mend my garrulous ways.
So now, I am trying to be very, very silent–which is hard. My teammates and I can take ourselves over to MSN, or even use good old-fashioned email–and how scary is it that email seems slow and clunky and antediluvian, in this context?–but, it’s just not the same. I am trying to stay quiet for an entire week, which is thought to be the amount of time the mysterious Orwellian Facebook Police (who respond to no forms of contact, answer no questions whatsoever, and are known to make arbitrary and final decisions) require, in order not to delete one’s account.
But, this has made me think about a couple of things. First of all, does it make any sense that a social networking site would go out of its way to discourage–socializing? If anyone has an answer to that paradox, I would be deeply curious to hear it.
The situation has also made me think about teams. It is a subject which has come to mind often lately, particularly since I am a member of a few teams–which directly resulted in my being injured in a very frightening, egregiously unsportsmanlike, and unnecessary way last week, with an uncertain prognosis. (the details are not particularly relevant, or interesting.) But, this event has–much to my dismay–definitely put me in an “exactly when is it time to hang up the old cleats?” frame of mind.
I have been a Democrat since I was a small child, and always considered that a team, except that once the Party embraced Unity, it turned out that the only change was that it is now making a point of excluding millions of its former members in a startlingly hostile and dimwitted way. Then again, I continue to be one of those old-fashioned and currently unpopular people who really do support the 1st and 4th Amendments–and believe in the right to privacy, the freedom to marry whomever one wishes to marry, and a person’s unfettered ability to make personal medical decisions for him or herself. I also do not like off-shore drilling or abrogating the separation between church and state, or denouncing and repudiating–and insulting–anyone who dares to disagree with me–which means that, apparently, I am no longer a Democrat.
Which leaves me with very limited options politically–and little or no stomach for continuing to follow the current campaign season, except in the most vague and casual way.
Luckily, I have a more reliable and entertaining team to watch. One of the best right-handed hitters of the modern era was traded to Hollywood–and the Red Sox are so very much better off. Tremendous talent did not change the fact that he was hurting the team, and his replacement certainly seems to be working out, so far.
Few things interest me less than the New York Jets.
Finally, on the subject of teams, this episode has its moments, but is not one of my favorites.
I want to read this, and am already reading this one, but expect to have better things to do than spend good money on this. Fortunately, the world is full of fine libraries.