Sunday, April 12, 2009

430 Friends and Counting:

If you’re currently reading my blog entries I’ll assume you have access to the internet. It’s also a safe bet to say if you have internet access you are a member of The Facebook. If you’re like me you probably have at least a few people that are listed as “friends” you have either never met or haven’t spoken to in several years. Personally I rarely search someone out to add as a friend. Typically if I am introduced to someone I don’t even think about adding them on to my friends list but eventually I receive an invite or suggestion to be friends with this person and gladly accept. When Facebook was first launched publicly you had to be a college student to use it and provide your college e-mail. It has since expanded and even fictional characters have their own profiles. I am friends with God and Professor Xavier of the X-Men. I have always found the Facebook to be something to entertain myself with, either funny wall post between friends, an irrational “status” message, or putting photos of crazy evenings up. Things have sadly changed.

Granted Facebook pretty much lets you post whatever you are thinking and as long as it is not pornography almost any picture you can imagine, trust me, I have several that I would not want scrapbooked. With this knowledge employers started looking at potential hires and current employees personal pages; after all, it is a public forum. This allows the employer to see their staff without the confines of a suit and in an office atmosphere. Once most companies started feverishly monitoring Facebook and MySpace web sites members needed to drastically alter there web pages. The profile picture of one doing a three story beer bong was replaced with special moment with their significant other and their new puppy. “Hungover from a fourteen hour drinking binge” status updates were switched to “enjoying coffee with friends”. I have several friends who once upon time held legendary Facebook profile pages who have began careers now and have had to fine tune it into a secondary resume.

I guess I just think it is a disappointment that something that was once very personal and an extension of ones personality has needed to become another disguise to convince ones superiors that they are just as professional in their personal life as in the workplace. Recently I have deleted several pictures that I was “tagged” in by friends. Granted these pictures were morally objected but I view my Facebook page as a time capsule for the life I have been living. It is a timeline of good times I have had with my friends and the relationships I have partaken in. Now even when I post a quick update for my thoughts it is something that can be scrutinized by hundreds of potential employers. It is discerning that we are given freedom of speech but in the end if someone doesn’t like what you said it is going to cost you. I am hoping in time there will be something that can take the place of Facebook allowing you to share your actual thoughts and ideas without endangering your career. As for me I am going to delete some more photos and add some quotes from movies that are supposed classics, and then put all of the photos of that Tijuana donkey show in a shoebox where they supposedly belong.

Friday, April 3, 2009

If You’ve Got Lung Cancer Hold One of Those Sticks Up!!!!

So it’s that special time of year again, the seasons change, the days get longer, and the smokers find something to bitch about. The topic of the season is the taxes going up on cigarettes increasing the average cost per pack up by 62 cents. A lot of people are up in arms about this because a tax increase during this recession seems unreasonable. While the subculture known as smokers cries in their beers (another luxury item) let’s look at the facts. Our economy is in the shitter and raising taxes on services would be bullshit. Cigarettes are not a service; they are an item that is unnecessary for daily life. Now every time I go shopping lately I make note of the items that I typically buy and compare the change in prices over a months span. I also compare the brand to its generic counterpart. On several food items I have watched them climb steadily over the past few months, not to an extravagant difference but about 75 cents higher then previously. There are other items however that have gone down by about two dollars, Wal-Mart truly is rolling back those prices.

Here is my point, I am not rallying a group of people to burn down the Nabisco corporation because my ‘Nilla Wafers have become more costly. The news is not reporting day and night that frozen chicken dropped by two dollars. It always comes back to the same group of people complaining how they are ostracized because they suffer from an addiction they cannot control. It’s not like this is a thirty-five percent increase on tap water or an oxygen tax. This is a frivolous expense, if you can afford to buy premium gasoline maybe you shouldn’t by the Porsche. Go figure Americans being upset they cannot live outside of their means.

Along with an increase in tobacco taxes, my good friend alcohol is receiving the same treatment. The same thing happened when I was in college, armed with my trusty fake I.D. I was buying a case of high-class heaven known as Keystone Light. As I was being rung up at the counter the toothless bastard who worked there told me to buy up now because they were raising the price on all beer. He was correct, next weekend the standard ten dollar case was skyrocketed to thirteen dollars. Now I am a man who likes a cold beer after a long day, I don’t drink a case in a day, let alone a week at the ripe old age of twenty five, it is not expensive because I do it in moderation. Not only is that good for my wallet but I am sure my liver is appreciative as well.

So there it is, my one vice (one of many) went up by a fairly drastic amount, I was also living in a college town, and the topic came up often on how it was bullshit we were paying thirteen bucks for piss water but we didn’t have another option so we sucked it up and spent the extra dough. For an extra sixty two cents I think the smoker nation really needs to just bite the bullet on this one. This isn’t about government intervening in the consumer market, inflation occurs to many products so it was only a matter of time before tobacco was affected as well.

Before a shit ton of smokers try to burn a giant novelty cigarette in my yard as an effigy, I get it, it is very hard to quit smoking, it’s addictive and cost a lot of money to pursue a habit you don’t even like. The thing is, no one forces you to smoke, coffee use to cost a nickel and we all know that is not the case anymore, get over it. Vices are expensive, drinking, smoking, gambling, and depending on your geographic location; hookers. That is what makes them vices, they are shit you don’t need and typically over indulge in. Now if you catch me on the news bitching about how Bud Light is twenty cents more a can I give you permission to punch me in the face. Until that day lets give it a rest and keep bitching about gasoline and stocks.