Saturday, February 12, 2011

A friend of mine de-friended me on fb the other day because of a comment I made to one of his many humorous status updates. His was a witty pro-Kindle provocation, and I responded in what I thought was a similar spirit, but in defense of those of us who still think that the old fashioned book has benefits that can't be reproduced by an lcd screen, back-lit or otherwise.

He must have taken it differently, though, as I found out during an awkward exchange when we crossed paths irl recently. The best, most painful, part of our conversation can be paraphrased as follows:

Me: "So, did you leave fb?"
Him: "er, no."

I guess my comment came across as irked rather than good-natured ribbing. I take the blame, though, in my defense, my comment did employ irony and self-deprecation in an attempt to signal my peaceful intentions. What remains to be negotiated is how we are to act when we see each other at our daughters' dance classes. Or if his wife takes their daughter, do I have an obligation to tell her, before we engage in pleasantries, that her husband has de-friended me? I would write a letter to The Ethicist about this, but Randy Cohen has been replaced, and I don't know if I can trust the new guy yet.

But at least I am still the friend of the book. Just look at The Leopard up there. I tried to start reading it late last night, but ended up just contemplating the spartan elegance of its cover for a few minutes before falling asleep on the couch.

The paperback of Adam Bede I am slowly rationing to myself lately is just as pleasurable to look at and hold. I've decided that one of the critical advantages that books have is their depth of field. They can pose for photo-shoots, for heaven's sake. They look different depending on the light, they have profiles, they can even be coy.
Just look at Hetty here, for example--it took me a lot of shots to capture this expression on her face. She is not the most cooperative of subjects. Whereas the Kindle is all about cooperating with, accommodating, the reader, pragmatism above personality. Who needs friends like that? Unless I am sneaking one into a wedding ceremony, my books are always too big for my pockets. They make me hold their hands, cause me to drop packages as I dig for the house key. By far, these are among the most unaccommodating relationships that I have.


LetsGoThrow said...

This is my favorite post in the long history of Monkey-Squirrel.

Mr. Hill said...

Whoa. That is huge props for me.

relentless said...

Okay so maybe I don't have an awkward facebook memory but I do have an awkward Myspace moment. Back in middle school when Myspace was the big thing there were surveys that people could fill out and post for everyone to see. I apparently made a girl from my school not too happy with me over something as dumb as a boy. She filled out a survey and one of the questions was 'if you could push one person off of a cliff who would it be?' And of course she put my full name and posted it up for everyone to see. That was awkward for me, but I think it was even more awkward for her when I saw it and told her how I feel about people starting drama on Myspace. Now a days we're actually friends, but I will never forget the time we both humiliated ourselves on the world wide web.

bloggeret16 said...

I have also had an awkward facebook experience. When my mom first made her facebook, she added me as a friend as expected. She did not normally comment on my pictures or status updates but one of the times she did, it was very weird. I had just posted some pictures of me and under was her comment. It said "your weird", "your ugly" and others like that. When I first saw it, I was shocked. After I asked her about the comments, I found out that she did not post such a thing. It was my sister who logged into my mom's facebook to play a trick on me. It did not make me laugh after. :|

Hmmm? said...

I agree with LetsGoThrow. Well, Probably.