Elusive Trope's picture

    I Heart Pandora

    I have had a love/hate relationship with computers, internet and the recent wave of technology for some time now. It generally tilted towards more hate than love, but this had to do a lot with the fact that my job, like a lot of people, had me staring at a computer screen (when I wasn’t cursing out the copier) for most of the day. If I had a nickel  for every time I said “I wish computers were never invented,” I wouldn’t be able to retire, but I would have a lot of money.

    Photo (c) 2015 Alma K. Papp

    There have been plenty of people who have chronicled the use of technology for not nice ends, such as identity theft. And for some the technology of drones and surveillance bad side outweighs any positive values. I am sure when I write the word “jihad” and publish this blog that one or more computers is going start blinking and whirling (or whatever it is that computers do). Maybe one of the “reads” will be a NSA agent who checks this blog out and goes “well, that was a waste of time.”

    Yet now, being out of the workforce for the time being, there has been a little more love. For instance, I really love my Pandora account. I sit at my desk working on whatever I am working on (like this blog) and I have Pandora streaming my little boom box. One of the great things about Pandora is that I am exposed to artists I would never had known about or very unlikely so, such as Madeleine Peyroux or William Elliot Whitmore. I can create a number of stations ranging from Dick Dale to Thelonious Monk to Rodrigo Y Gabriela to Annie DeFranco, hit shuffle and get this cool mix of music, most of it not out there on the radio, and definitely not altogether. I mean, where else am I going to find some station (even on the internet) that gives me Pink Martini, Fatboy Slim, Gillian Welsh, R.E.M., and Innocent Mission back to back to back. Oh yeah, I can hit the pause button when I need to walk away, gives the thumbs up to a song, or thumbs down so I don’t hear it again, or simply skip to the next song.

    Maybe I’m easily entertained, but even when I’m listening to one station and not the shuffle there is this little excitement, “What’s going to play next?” Sometimes it’s a song I already know and like, but haven’t heard for a long times, and sometimes it’s this song by a band I never heard of before and I really like it.

    I wrote about Dagblog, Tumblr, Facebook and sites like them in my previous blog, so I don’t have to repeat it here. But I do have one recent story that just happen the other day that would not have happened without our current technology. I was on Tumblr looking for images from the people I follow and came across this video the artist [his Tumblr blog] had posted from his YouTube account.



    One of my rules for my blog, so as to help me filter what I reblog (otherwise I would be reblogging nonstop) is that I don’t post videos on my Tumblr blog. I also say there are exceptions to the rule and so reblogged it and also shared it on Facebook.  Moreover, someone has recently loaned me their digital camera, so now I can make some nice quality videos, but how to get rolling? Inspired by this video, I’m starting out just doing these one minute videos near my home.

    I sent a message to him about all this, how his video inspired me, through Tumblr, and since it goes by real name I had to provide him with it to see the video (you can’t send links through Tumblr message system). So he found me on Facebook and we’re now “friends.” I don’t have a lot of friends (he was number 12), but they all have their friends and so on. The cool part is that he lives in Sneek, a city southwest of Leeuwarden, and as for 2011 it is part of the municipality Súdwest Fryslân in the Netherlands. We connected because of our mutual appreciation of photography and now I have friend overseas in Europe. That’s pretty cool. And there is a number of people I follow on Tumblr from all over the globe, like this one guy in Athens, Greece, so I get to appreciate and share his photographs with people who would otherwise never see them. That’s pretty cool, too.

    I have to say it has been awhile since I’ve been to YouTube and when I went there to create my own channel, I expected to have to sign in or create an account. Nope. Since it’s tied to Google+, it immediately knew who I was and took me right to the site where I can develop my channel(s).  That is a little scary, but what’s one to do. If one wants to use the internet, you can only be so anonymous.

    Until recently, I have tried, beyond Facebook, to remain anonymous (I wouldn’t use Facebook to sign into a site for example). I have hid various “stage names,” the most current is Elusive Trope, which I think I will keep for a while. But now I don’t care if people know who is behind that stage name.

    There is a value to being able to be anonymous. Of course some people abuse this, who use their anonymity to say foul things without having to take responsibility. Yet there are those like me who are like me and want to be anonymous because they’re too shy about putting their writing out there for everyone to read. There is a certain sense of comfort with being able to write and comment one’s perspective on things, which if I had to have to do so under my real name, I wouldn’t have done it.

    There are also some like me who don’t want people associated with their place of employment. I worked for nonprofit that was supposed to be apolitical. If one of key volunteers or donors who was a far-right religious Republican came across some of things I have written, let’s just say my boss wouldn’t be too happy. Or maybe someone wants to complain about their workplace or vent about how annoying a particular family member is.

    I'm slowly coming out of the avatar closet. So here it goes: My name is Doug Branson. There, I said it. Since I use the same avatar picture everywhere, it’s not hard to find me. And if the silent black helicopters come for me or somebody gets upset about what I wrote and wants to track me down, well, so be it.

    I’m still a little shy so here’s my self-portrait:


    Well, at least you didn't give us the finger, Trope. wink

    Probably in some culture it would be the same as giving the finger. There is the story of the first George Bush visiting Australia and driving by the crowd lined up along the road waving at him. He leaned out the window and did the Nixon-style two finger gesture, which in Australia is the way they give the finger. So they're all waving to him and he leans out of the window and gives them the bird with both hands.

    As it happens, lately I've been doing some thinking about my own "stage name". Only, it's not really a stage name. Although it is not the name on my birth certificate, it is the actual Indian name my mother gave me when I was born. Well, just the flower part. I suppose because I was born in the middle of the summer when there were plenty of flowers around and yes, it's true, Indians will name their kids after the first thing they see when they poke their heads out of the teepee. Disclaimer: I was not born in a teepee.

    The child part came later during my teens in the sixties and seventies when all that hippie stuff was popular. That's the cool thing about being named by Indians; you get several names during your lifetime, some good, some not-so-good, Stinking Bear Breath, and some stick to you for your entire life, like 'flowerchild'.

    Anyhow, 'flowerchild' has gotten me into trouble upon occasion because it is associated with hippies and some folks absolutely hate hippies. H8r's gotta h8, ya know.

    But, truth be known, 16 years ago when I first fell into and got caught in the 'net, I didn't even think twice about using the name my mother called me. What I did think about twice was how to spell it.

    How could I unleash 'wabigwanahbenooje' onto an unsuspecting internet? Which is what my name is in Ojibwe.

    Yeah, 'flowerchild' is much more pronounceable, so I opted for that.

    It's funny, Trope, that you mention making internet friends in other countries because my Aussie friend shortened my name to 'Wabby', which I like. Amazing how someone so far away can put a tickle in your life.

    So, I have been thinking about changing from 'flowerchild' to 'wabby'. Seems like a lot of work, though. But, I like being called 'wabby'. See? I can't decide! And of course, I would have to change Mr. flower's name to Mr. Wabby. I don't know if he'd like that or not. hahahahaha

    What's a mother to do?

    Wabigwanahbenooje is pretty cool, but most Americans would just think your cat walked across your keyboard when you were putting in your user name. You're right, haters are going to hate, but even those who don't hate hippies think they're out of touch with reality. But I like that, too.  Wabby is cool, and could just tell your husband he can tell people it's just short for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    It's on my brain, so I need to clarify that "l like that, too" was referring to "Flowerchild" and not to people who think hippies are "out of touch with reality." Now I can go and get to sleep tonight.

    When in doubt, do both - Wabbyflowerchild. Everyone's happy, your attorney doesn't evn need to know, & hubby will just be Mr. Wabbyflower, a perfectly respectable label.

    What exactly is in that box?

    Inquiring minds wish to know?

    Well, what the hell did the apple do for us? What did Satan wish us to know?

    What was the question again?





    Well, if it's Schrodinger's box it's either a dead cat or a live one.

    In an effort to honest as I can be, I have to say I didn't catch the connection of Pandora to Pandora's Box until you just posted your comment. From Wikipedia (the source of all the information of humankind):

    Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology, taken from the myth of Pandora's creation in Hesiod's Works and Days. The "box" was actually a large jar (πίθος pithos) given to Pandora (Πανδώρα, "all-gifted", "all-giving"),which contained all the evils of the world.

    Today the phrase "to open Pandora's box" means to perform an action that may seem small or innocent, but that turns out to have severely detrimental and far-reaching consequences.

    This gives my title for the blog a new twist.

    One of the titles for the blog I pondered was "Dr. Pandoralove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Technology." Maybe that would have been more approporiate.

    I should add that I contacted Alma Papp through Tumblr and asked her if it was alright for me to use her photo for my blog. She emailed me back after checking the blog and said it was cool. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I have gained a intense desire to give credit to whom credit is due. Protect the Creators! Amddiffyn y Chrewyr!

    I use my real name on Facebook and Twitter now and I was pretty nervous about it, too.  But so far, except for a few snarly comments coming from people I don't care about, I've really enjoyed getting to know everyone.  I like the fact that I can block anyone I don't want to encounter.  A click of a button and Poof!  They're gone.

    I looked for you on Facebook but didn't find you.  My name is Ramona Grigg if you want to find me. 

    Just sent you a friend request. The red nose looks good,

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