Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up

29.4.10

Facebook

Being switched on hip media heads, you doubtless already know all the paranoid stuff about Facebook, how In-Q-Tel (CIA-controlled venture capital fund) invested loads of money in it (for use as a data-mining laboratory I guess), cops and employers and benefits and tax investigators and spooks trawling all over, all that stuff.

Yes, good to be aware of things, but whatever. It has allowed me to re-connect with people I would never have known what happened to them. I grew up in three countries and everyone I knew dispersed to thirty or forty more, and it has been nice to see someone you never expected to to become an Orthodox priest or raise a kid in a lesbian marriage or become a pilot or a professional poker player or join the French Foreign Legion.

Then there is this phenomenon of people who just promiscuously collect Facebook friends, just anyone, add 'em all, like it's a popularity contest. Get all these requests from "and who the fuck are you" people? "Uh, well, it said we might know each other cause we wrote an email to the same person once or something."

I do have some Facebook friends I have never met, though, and some of them do sort of feel like actual friends. Alex - (S)wine Alex - is a good one - I don't know who he is, but if he showed up at my door I would give him a place to live, feed him and get him extravagantly drunk without any questions. I'm also friends with Luke Reinhart, the guy who wrote The Dice Man, who is actually George Cockcroft, cause he seems to have liked my little review of his book. Oh, and with Andrew Bonner-Walker, who did Luke's website/Myspace for him, and who is producing a Dice Man film. And, yes, with Ed Conn, who guided me through the ibogaine space over the telephone (and David Graham Scott on camera).

When I last went to Afghanistan a couple years ago, it was about the time of the great Facebook explosion. At the time, the privacy defaults left most pages wide open to people who didn't realise. I joined the Afghanistan network, with its fake profiles (in Arabic and Pashto) for OBL, Mullah Omar, etc etc. I found servicemen's pages with wall posts like "Hey it'll be great when you guys from the 7-2 take over from us at FOB whatever on May 5 - we'll have a party when we're out of here. You guys are gonna have it so easy with the new Apaches covering your asses, but they've been saying we'll get em next week for a month now" or whatever. (And talking about paranoia - there were loads of weird goings-on on that Afghanistan network...)

I shot off loads of messages to loads of different people on different pretexts and with different stories and met up with some in Kabul. This is how I got to know Alex - Kandahar Alex - whose Facebook updates normally get me the big stories from Kandahar/Kabul days (or months) before the BBC or the press - and a few other people on the Kabul international scene. This is also how I met Wali Ahmad, who showed me his town.

Oh and then there are the Brazilian girls, of course, but they were socially promiscuous to begin with, before Facebook.

"Everyone I know is on Facebook, but everyone I want to know is on MySpace..." (-Zoe)

1 comment:

swine said...

i don't know who i am either. but one day i will show up on the doorstep, probably already pissed, so only a mattress on the floor will suffice. and i thank you in advance.