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FakeBook Wisdom

By Kartheik G Iyer

The internet is the mother of all lies, and the social network popularly, and unpopularly known as facebook, is its lovechild. It is the gorgeous, ravenous, filthy, irresistible creature that grabs you by the neck and shakes you till you're to dazed to do coherently think of anything else. Most of you agree with this. To the people who think this is utterly, completely wrong, facebook is a website that you make an account on, and sit and wonder what to do, because you have no friends. Not even artificial, grown-on-the-pot ones. And to people who don't know what facebook is, well, its just one of the things 'this arrogant new generation' chooses to drug itself with.

Well as far as introductions go, i'm not sitting here to do PR, so you'll have to make do with that much. And if you need more, for god's sake just Google it. (Ah, Google, another of the net's lovespawn, but I'll come back to privacy infringement another time. I'm afraid you'll have to wait.) And as it stands, i can't afford to sit and write about facebook as a whole. There's simbly (imagine a Malayali accent) too much to cover. I won't be touching on how good, or bad, a publicity agent it has turned out to be, nor the meme culture, because that's way older than an upstart like fb, not the pron groups, or the hate groups, or the i-am-a-depressed-goth-kid-who-would-like-to-be-alone-because-nobody-cares groups, because by definition, those shouldn't exist, and as for those of you who post the pouted-lips-short-skirted-self-shots, you just wait, i'm getting my whores-of-babylon column ready. Today's just about those small snippets of valuable knowledge that fb-users so liberally dispense, in the manner of a monarch distributing his largesse among the needy crowds.

The world's grown smaller, and there's a new set of cool people in town. The new set needs new rules. It goes by a new dress code, one apparently aimed at uniformity across the globe. It has a new language, where messages are shortened, unnecessary vowels cast aside like vestigial appendices, and flowery turn of phrase scorned in the manner of the black plague. But above all this, it has a new playground. A social one, a virtual one, where the players and occupants learn the wisdom that will serve them for the rest of their life.

What better way to illustrate this than with stuff straight from the source, the spring of perpetual horniness, er, knowledge. Let's start with everyone's favourite, relationship advice, 'Son, someday you'll make a girl very happy, for a short period of time. Then she'll leave you and be with new men who're ten times better than you could ever hope to be. These men are called musicians.' or, 'Dear god, please turn me into an asshole so that i can be attractive to women.' or, 'friends are like potatoes. when you eat them, they die'. Moving on to ethics and conduct, we have, 'why kill them with kindness when you can use a hammer?', 'smile, listen, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you wanted to do anyway..'(Robert Downey jr), and a billion others. On every conceivable topic.

It takes all kinds to make a world. Some are doubtful in nature, some are misleading, some are blatantly false. These, i need not go into, it comprises most of what's out there. Some are political, ''First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.'(for Anna Hazare)', some are aimed at pop culture, 'i think lady gaga just puts glue on herself and rolls around in random items'(Orlando Bloom), and others at religion, 'Retards. We all know one'. Some are lame, 'wanna know what makes me smile? face muscles.', some are corny, 'birthdays are good for health. studies have shown that people who have more birthdays live longer.', and some, plain crazy, 'the ocean gets its saltiness from the tears of misunderstood sharks who just want to cuddle.'. Some turn up the corners of your mouth in a wry grin, 'destroy racism. be like a panda. he's black, he's white, he's asian and he's chubby.', some are so true they leave you feeling awkward 'the moment when you have so much shit to do, you decide to take a nap instead.', and some are truly inspiring, 'the important thing is not to stop questioning. curiosity has its own reason for existing.'(Einstein).

For a generation that increasingly seems to display the average attention span of a baboon on shrooms with a rectal infection (or, as i've been told, Bill Clinton), the only true knowledge is that which can be summarised in a hundred and sixty characters. That being said, there still remains the minority of the populace (this being you and other similar minded people who could at the very least read this entire column) who appreciate that there just may be more to it than that. Look for it, that elusive bit that completes the picture, that goes beyond the 'lol' that etches itself on to your keyboard after a funny message, the bit that makes sense. It lies just beyond the page.

You don't need to leave facebook and exile yourself to a cave in the misty mountains. You don't need to go on a world-changing-candle-march demanding that facebook make sense. All i ask, is that, at least some of the time, use your brains.

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