(human and canine alike).
Has the intimate personal friendship given way to a digital simulacra of friendship with all the permanence and depth of a 140-character tweet? William Deresiewicz thinks so..
I can’t remember where I first came across the essay Faux Friendship by William Deresiewicz, but I hadn’t set aside the time to read it until just recently. The essay is a bit verbose, but completely worth the read. It has had a serious impact on how I view my interactions with the people I might call friends without really thinking about it. What Deresiewicz’s essay really calls into question is the true value of Social Networks, and therein, I believe, is the truly important message of the article: Social Networks may provide a feeling of friendship, but the value of such relationships, if they can even be called that, is highly questionable.
For those of you who have no intention of reading the article, allow me to summarize its concepts as best I can. Mr. Deresiewicz is lamenting what he seems to regard as the loss of true Friendship in the information-centric world of the Digital Age. He spends a great deal of time using history and classical literature to illustrate that Friendship, as a social construct, has attenuated in value through the duration of modern history.
Dear Esquire Editors:
I enjoyed my subscriptions to Esquire for years, and as of late, with all my moving about, have been buying them from book stands. After today, though, I am done.
As a male, I have a tendency to let misogyny slide. Bad, I know, but I do – so I would have let “sugar tits” go. As a gay man, however, the term “shit-sniffing f*ggot” is beyond anything I am willing to ignore. Would you have printed “motherfucking n*gger”? Would “fucking four-eyed ch*nk” have made the cut? How about “piss-drinking sp*c”?
The word “f*ggot” is unacceptable in any level of discourse, be it the office, the bar or the bullpen. Esquire should know better. You’d think, with the rapid decline of print media, you’d do less to alienate one of your principle subscriber groups. Goodbye.
I have a new favorite blog, which you should all go check out. It’s called I’m from Driftwood, and is the brainchild of Nathan Manske.
The morning after I watched the Gus Van Sant-directed, Sean Penn-starring, Dustin Lance Black-written Milk, would you believe I was inspired? But funny enough, what inspired me was Milk more so than Milk. An image I recalled wasn’t even in the film. It was a photo of Supervisor Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S., riding on the hood of a car in a San Francisco Gay Pride march, holding a sign that reads, “I’m From Woodmere, N.Y.” The sign was intended to show how far people came to attend the San Francisco rally, but it meant something more to me. It meant that there are gay people in every small town and every big city across America and the world.
Nathan’s blog isn’t really written by Nathan, but rather by the dozens of contributors. As Harvey Milk did, they tell the stories of their origins, so that others can know that they are not alone. The stories are beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking or heartwarming, and sometimes hitting awfully close to home.