Steal These Images

You won't be caught in a napster-esque court battle over this pirated bit of Americana, courtesy of We Shall Never Forget: The Kids' Book of Freedom.  Where are the gas masks?


Go Finch Yourself

I'll readily admit that I put off seeing 'The Social Network' as long as I possibly could.  It was like knowing you need a tooth worked on and putting off the inevitable until the constant throbbing pain forces you to finally admit those Kirkland's Best fast-dissolve gelcaps are no longer enough to "take the edge off."  That was kind of how I felt when approaching David Fincher's biopic about the founders of Facebook; it could only be avoided for so long, and when it happened there was a risk of vomiting, dizziness, and in my case, unprovoked rage.

The film is a lot like getting a shot of novocaine.  A sharp sting accompanied by the vile taste of syringe fluid, two hours of weirdly unsatisfying numbness, all ending with the gradual realization that the once tiny pin prick is now a swelling boil that would send Michael Hutchens speeding to the Walgreen's drive through to get that codeine script filled, and that dude got wood from strangling himself with a necktie.

Nerdcore Rising:  Timberlake (left) and Eisenberg (right)
I did like two and only two elements of this film:  Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake (who barely beat out creepy identical twin jocks Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, both played by Armie Hammer).  Each actor played brilliantly against type with angel-faced Eisenberg as cold, calculating anti-hero Mark Zuckerberg and Timberlake as the cocaine-addicted founder of Napster, Sean Parker.  Neither is poised to be the next big thing and therein lies the appeal; both manage to leverage this lack of hype as an asset.  Eisenberg is a Dustin Hoffman at best, a Stanley Tucci at worst, and an Andrew McCarthy at rock bottom.  He easily could have been the next Michael Cera.  Who the f#%k is Michael Cera?  Exactly my point.  Timberlake already has record-industry bank, allowing him to take interesting (and usually self-mocking) supporting roles that provide maximum distraction from his checkered past of boy bands and pretend relationships with Britney Spears.

You may have noticed I'm already on paragraph four and have yet to say anything about the actual plot of 'The Social Network.'  I won't waste our collective time giving a recap.  If you would like to get a plot spoiler, find the nearest Borders and grab a copy of the Cliffs Notes for The Great Gatsby.  Settle into an available chair or patch of carpet, read enough of the overall summary to remind you how much you hated the book in high school, return it to the shelf, use their restroom and leave without making a purchase.  Hell, maybe check out a few free songs on the listening stations in the music section on your way out.  Then take the $1.50 Red Box rental fee and go treat yourself to a Red Bull and a Twix bar.

I would love to tell you your tab at the BP is "on me" but, well, it's your buck fitty.  If toxins and Twix aren't your thing, maybe 7-11 still has some of that limited edition Steven Spielberg-flavored 'Super 8' mix in the Slurpee machine.  Maybe mix it 50-50 with cherry in case the Spielberg flavor is tainted from too many uncomfortably long pity hugs with George Lucas.
George Lucas (left) enjoying a cool beverage on 'Free Slurpee Day." **

**Ok, so it isn't technically George Lucas.   The Lost Gen could only afford a pic 
of his stand-in, Joey "Hairy Palms" Zucco.  Price:  one Slurpee


When Ideas Go Bad: Blogging for Tips

This year, I realized that a disturbing phenomenon is sweeping the web.  This is happening at this very moment, as we unknowingly stare at our glowing, hypnotic screens for a quick info or image fix.  

My first hunch that something was amiss came in the fall of 2010, when I read advice for college students on writing a blog for school. The author painted the entire process as a mindless, annoying drudgery;  a necessary evil at best.  Not to say I blame the students for hating to blog.  The tips were in response to an anonymous institution of higher learning (probably most of them) where blogging was mandatory for all students, regardless of their field of study. Take that individualism!  Back in my day, we merely had to endure two semesters of 'Essay Writing: the NYU Way' and I am fairly positive none of them were published or will be, ever. (Assuming the instructor's response to students' work had any correlation with how well guidelines were met, the class of 2002 successfully created the biggest mulch heap in New York City.)

Hunch number two was in January when my fiance's younger brother had to hold back laughter as I innocently suggested he start a blog. Little did I know then what Gen Z has known since age 12:  blogging is past its prime.

A tipping point has been reached on the world wide web.  With so many people attempting to make a living by writing something of immediate use to others, we have run out of good advice.  No matter, though, because when the reserves of good advice are low, we Americans go running off to mine the abundant riches of bad advice with all the low-brow fervor of a hillbilly during the Gold Rush.

LostGen's Most Wanted List for Willing Participation in the Spreading of Obviously Bad Advice

Lifehacker.com  -  Oh, Lifehacker, what has happened to you?  Two of the worst offenses I have come across so far are on YOUR site.
Date:  April 15th
Time:  6:00 AM
The Perp: "Simple Habits You Can Do In Minutes to Change Your Life."
Conclusion:  Not only was this a review of someone else's crappy advice written on mandebt.com, but it was also a complete misrepresentation of said crappy advice.  Mandebt.com is packed with dumb advice, and the three examples pulled for this article managed to offend all who cared to comment.  Read for yourself here:

Date:  April 15th
Time:  5:00 AM
The Perp:  "Why You Should Carry Blank Business Cards"
Conclusion:  It is possible to write a personal note on a regular business card, which would achieve the goal of 'standing out' but wouldn't require someone to bend over a short, wobbly table for 10 or more awkward minutes.  OK, I'll concede that if the corporate world adopts the canine method of 'butt-sniffing' as part of a customary meet-and-greet, this may catch on.  Read the article here:

Bnet.com  -  You are run by the CBS network, so although you suck you have my deepest sympathies.  ABC could cause the reincarnation of Bill Shakespeare to slit his wrists in the third floor urinal just to avoid a "brainstorming session," but CBS is still making shows starring David Caruso.  That's both lame and boring.  Damn, its not even a good joke anymore.  It hath transcended all mortal interests.

Date:  April 18th
Time:  Unknown
The Perp:  "The Smartest Thing You Can Put on Your Business Card"
Conclusion:  Where to begin.  This is a review of the above mentioned lifehacker article, only Rick "Two Face" Broida puts an even stupider spin on the possibilities of whipping up an impromptu, hand-written business card on the fly.  He does cut it notably short when hitting on the potential drawbacks of this tactic,  thus preventing the revelation of his man-vs.-self crisis surrounding the bullsh*t article he's assigned to review.  Thank god he's an airhead. Read the article here:

If you spot any similar infractions upon the trustworthiness of advice from strangers, please let The Lost Gen know.  Sanity is on the line, folks.  Don't be a social loafer.  Be a Timberland boot.