Social media, I suspect, will never, ever run out of dumb pastimes, and to the extent I think I can get away with it, I practice the First Law of War Games: "The only way to win is not to play." This is not to say I'm too good for a Twitter hashtag game; I didn't come around to #FakeOklahomaBands until it was too late, but I admit to having yielded up a chuckle or two after encountering "Durant Durant," and a couple more for "Jethro Tulsa."

Actual graphics, however, tend to leave me cold, especially if said graphics are supposed to resemble ourselves, as I am not especially fond of looking at me. I don't quite have the stereotypical teenaged girl "I hate myself" syndrome — I pretty much have to accept the fact that this old bod is about worn out, and spare parts require the kind of budget NASA used to have — but I'm not immune to casting a glance at the mirror and going "Geez, how are you still alive?"

So when we (whoever "we" are) were challenged to contrast a current photo with one from ten years ago, I backed away at first: most of the pictures I allow to circulate for public consumption are already ten years old, and my Facebook profile shot is nearing twenty. I toyed for a moment with sending up a mid-2000s shot of myself standing behind a sweetgum tree, wearing essentially nothing (the word "behind" is critical here), but having since lost that tree and its companion, I felt like a grave-robber in a nursery, or some similarly challenged simile. So finally, I decided "Screw this ten business," and then dug out and blew up a picture from 1978, a time when I (1) still had hair and (2) could tie a tie without having to resort to clip-ons and such.

I tried not to look at any of the Facebook commentary that attached itself to the photo; I am quite aware, thank you very much, that this picture dates back four decades, and I was, um, less unhealthy in those days. Worse, during the days when I was, if not eye candy, certainly something better than eye kale, whatever attention I attracted, I quickly drove away, on the dishonorable basis that I only had just realized how much of a douche I could be, and worse, how much I enjoyed it. I suppose I could claim that I've mended my ways, but how could I possibly test that claim?

So I think I'll leave that photo up for a while, since it is, after all, part of the historical record, but I may scrape away any of the accompanying description. If someone should ask "Who the hell is that?" I'll look the other way and whistle. (I do know how to whistle, don't I?)

The Vent

  17 January 2019

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