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I Love You, Let's Meet » Big Brother

Archive for the 'Big Brother' Category

match.com the McDonald’s of online dating

Big, bland Match has bought dating sites in France and China as part of its quest to fill the world with more empty American e-calories.

I assume in China eDodo doesn’t evoke extinction.

more rocks thrown at e-harmony

Yet another good diss of my favorite online dating Goliath.

for everyone who enjoys online dating so much

that they don’t want to stop after they find someone. You can stay in the eHarmony compound forever now, yippee!

fear sells

god, what’s next? one of those rubber masks that the villain or spy peels off in the action movie, suddenly turning Nicholas Cage, a-ha, into Bruce Willis? You could wear your rubber mask until you totally trusted someone.

I interviewed Herb Vest of True.com for the book and while it’s awful he suffered a bizarre personal tragedy (see Murder in Gainesville), I think it’s skewed his view of the world.

I love the end of the Washington Post article, though, about the Mom screen.

CEO sheiks and their captive harems

I hope this story from iDate — the yearly conference for the online dating industry — keeps this greedy CEO from ever getting a date through his site.

I’m picturing some nerd in a big Dr Evil chair laughing maniacally at the pretty-girl head shots: “Bwwwhhhaaaahhaaahhaaa. Mine! All mine!”

best year-end movie list

The Village Voice has fired everyone great in its film section except J. Hoberman. Thankfully, the Voice’s critics poll is being carried on by indiewire. I didn’t see a lot of their list, but my longstanding trust in this poll is borne out again this year: Army of Shadows, Half Nelson, 49 Up, United 93, Dave Chapelle’s Block Party and Old Joy were some of the few good movies I saw this year, amidst overpraised mediocre same-old same-old like Last King of Scotland and the Queen and Little Miss Sunshine and Infamous and Little Children and Prairie Home Companion. I didn’t see the product-placing James Bond or the Clint Eastwood movies, but I’ll still lump them with the crap, based on franchise histories of macho simple-mindedness.

The VV/indiewire list makes me even more psyched for Children of Men. Hoberman compared it to 12 Monkeys which I love and I also loved Y Tu Mamá También (same director). And then, like gorgeously smoldering icing on the dystopic cake — Clive Owen!

i can see for (too many) miles

this kind of sweet story got me thinking about all the Internet peepholes I wish I didn’t know about. Besides googling-the-ex, there’s also “Last Logged In [date]” on the dating sites as well as one that disturbs me so much I never use it — “Who’s Viewed Me.” The first time I realized my every idle peek was being recorded, I felt my brain had been invaded. I’m just looking, man!

Online dating friends tell me this is a whole form of communication, the viewing of the view, and then the return viewed view, but these shy cyber-glances had never been, as they say, the way I roll.

Does anyone else hate Who’s Viewed Me? And knowing exactly when everyone, including you, was last online? Does anyone else long for shades to shield you from peeping Toms out there and blinders for your own Tom tendencies/temptations?

You Screwb

Only four days left to sign up for Hook Me Up. Once bored office workers run your life, it’s bound to get better!

hello, fellow lab mice!

It’s obvious that online dating is a dream opportunity for market researchers — all that personal information to add to what the commercial/governmental They already have on us from tracking our movements around the Web. But this story from the Wall Street Journal about Yahoo hiring especially schmancy economists to sift our info even finer freaks me a bit further out.

[R]esearchers are looking at the information Yahoo collects about its users’ activities. That starts with nearly every click and includes what services consumers use in what sequence and which color of buttons they click on most. The company records over 12 terabytes of data daily — the equivalent of about half the information contained in all of the books in the Library of Congress, according to some estimates.

Yahoo and other Internet companies already use some of what they know about consumers’ online habits to target Internet advertising: A user who searches for “Ford Explorer” might see an ad for a sports-utility vehicle when he looks at a news Web site….. a challenge [for the sites] is not to creep out users with blatant matches that serve as a reminder they’re being tracked, such as switching all the ads to those for credit cards if a user clicks on a card offer.

I just know if I hit the blue button enough, an SUV will appear in my food dish, but damn, my paw is getting sore.

And I also know those studying our terabytes say to the Luddite objecters, ‘Lighten up. Super-targeted advertising is simply news you can use, nothing sinister in trying to position your product as close as possible to consumer desire.’ The story even reassures us paranoid hippies that this type of research will benefit mankind:

[Yahoo Poo-bah] Mr. Fayyad recruited Prabhakar Raghavan, a former IBM Research veteran who was also wooed by Google and Microsoft, to head the push. Mr. Fayyad told Mr. Raghavan he would be disappointed if Yahoo’s effort didn’t produce a Nobel Prize.

Which Nobel prize would that be? I’m guessing not peace, or medicine, or literature. The claims to mankind-betterment seem especially silly given the example of getting people to buy SUVs or this: “Researchers also believe collating Web activity can be used to predict future events, such as box-office openings and home sales.” Only in the Wall St. Journal Church of Capitalism do manipulatable sales of movie tickets and houses count as “future events,” like an earthquake or a flood.

I also love how these Nobel scientists are using their powers to keep The Wrong Sort of Man from bothering pretty women on online dating sites.

If I get sent an ad for Das Kapital after I post this, we’ll know the terabyte-sifting is working.

21st century power: bottom on top

A friend had forwarded me glamour’s call for puppets to have their dating lives controlled by readers. This gal bit, and the vitriol’s already flowing. The Gawksters’ faux-parodic bitchiness about her make-up, etc., will surely be the least of what she’s got coming to her.

Why would she do this? How did the opportunity to be publicly reviled become so appealing to so many? And how mean is it going to get? Fans have always turned on their idols for adultery or getting old or other mortal failings, but now it seems the celebs are being raised up specifically to be despised — the audience skips right over the adoration stage and goes straight to the turning-against.

My quarter-baked ruminations on masochistic fame-seeking started with this profoundly depressing article someone else sent me, about the Girls Gone Wild founder. I would hope that a story like this would kill this creep’s career, but I fear that his fame and monetary success eclipse his statutory raping, assaulting, threatening, and exploiting. Hey, so long as they know your name….
I also fear that, no matter what a sociopath this guy is, some readers of the LA Times story, especially fans of the show, will still reserve their contempt for the girls. The GGW fill an appetite for pretty, young naked girls, but the product isn’t their breasts, it’s their humiliation, their being out of control, their being, as one kid who Went Wild in the article proudly puts it, “a dirty slut.” (Another uses Warhol’s most famous quote to compare a tit shot on the show to a Faustian bargain: “If you do it, you do it. You can’t complain later. It’s almost like your 15 minutes of fame.”)

Simultaneously despising and ogling the girls scratches the same itch as Joan Rivers savaging the stars on the red carpet (Paris Hilton is a locus of the two sorts of stranger-hatred). The movie stars, apparently, deserve public humiliation because they have achieved the grail of being in front of cameras for a living. THEY even seem to think they deserve the mean-girl hazing, meekly bowing to Rivers’s microphone with no more protest than the girls pulling up their shirts for a trucker hat.

Being not-famous must seem like a real circle of hell if so many people long to be ripped apart in public. Or to gnaw on the scraps like hyenas Joan Rivers and the Girls Gone Wild guy.

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