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Oh Crap, I Got Some Mainstream in My Lifestream

I was so disappointed with the behavior I saw on Twitter this past week, pouty little fits about celebrities on twitter, campaigns to unfollow anyone who mentions such and such a person. I’m sure most of it was meant jokingly, but as a collective group of interaction, there is a much bigger malevolence and fear at play here. Could it be? Geek snobbery as Diana Culbert puts it? Sadly, I think yes, the geek elite afraid that with the “celebrity endorsements” will come scores of mainstream people who discover the amazingness of twitter in the same awkward way that the rest of us did. Maybe people have forgotten that the beauty of this simple little tool is that anyone with internet access can use it, and one doesn’t have to talk to anyone they don’t want to, but can (attempt to) have a conversation with every user. Celebrity or no – we all choose who to follow. Whether it’s @aplusk, @oprah, you or me – twitter is empowering that way. I advise you to open your mind to the idea that twitter will grow, and in the meantime, fine tune your filters.

To follow or unfollow me find me here on twitter

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Interrupted

My cousin tried to kill her husband in his sleep via a hammer to the head.  While her three girls slept in the same house, she crushed his skull.  She called the police and told them she was protecting herself. I don’t know the real story of why, and my guess is no one ever will, not even my cousin (people who know what’s going on don’t crush other people’s skulls while they sleep).  Her husband died a month later in the hospital. Their 3 children now live with a grieving and bewildered grandmother, their father dead, their mother in jail.

I haven’t talked to my cousin in 7 years, haven’t seen her since I was 11.  I never met her husband and children. I didn’t even know about this horrible event until 4 months after it happened, when on a sunny day last week, while standing at the top of the tornado slide at the playground with my own children, my little brother called to tell me the news. (He’s always been the one to gently remind me that I have family outside of my own four walls – without ever making me feel guilty about staying as far away as I can.)

Mental Illness is a close friend of the family, as is long gaps in communication, and strange occurances with relations, heaven bless them, don’t really surprise me much these days.  I’m usually prepared … any time my brother calls, I am prepared to hear something shocking, prepared to hear that whatever it is happened months ago.  Prepared to cushion my emotions carefully by the hard calcification of expectation, but this… this is crushing me. There is not one person who I can at least seem to reasonably articulate this to, all so surreal when spoken aloud… the irony of putting it online for anyone to read. Maybe you can relate.