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A dear friend did what people in our brave new world do when they encounter a good article on the internet and emailed one from Salon by Mary Elizabeth Williams titled “Death to Smiley: why emoticons need to die :-(”
Williams finds the birth place of the smiley before it became an epidemic in text messages and emails across the nation. Like most things on the internet, the emoticon was invented by a geek before it was adopted by the cast of The Hills and Perez Hilton, who I presume texts a lot of smileys. It was birthed on September 19, 1982 by a Carnegie Melon computer scientist.
But Williams hates emoticons. To her they are a lower and simpler form of communication that reveal desperation on the part of the sender. They are childish and require too much effort; one has to turn her head sideways.
What is it about the emoticon that fills me with such loathing? Maybe it’s the wastefulness of the enterprise, the redundancy of it, the implied lack of confidence in the writer’s ability to communicate, or mine to comprehend. If you say, “I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight,” I think you’re looking forward to seeing me. If you say, “I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight. :-),” I think you’re not sure I understand the extent of sentiment in that seven-word message. And if you write, “I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight ;-),” I think your assumption of getting laid this evening may have been a bit premature, Winky.
I, however, like emoticons. Once you discover that a colon and a closed parentheses looks like a sideways smiley, you can create a variety of alien smiley’s and other fantastic facial expressions. They are fancy exclamation marks with more versatility than the conventional ‘!’ or the ‘?’.
Sure they may be reminiscent of the failed “happy experiment” of the 70s. But the yellow smiley face of the flower children of the 70s has grown up, it has adapted to amuse us in our texts and emails while still making great foggy-mirror art.
I don’t know why Williams has to be so cranky about emoticons =] They do nothing but shed a little joy on our increasingly demanding digital existence. My personal favorite is the Cyclops *) which admittedly works best on the cell phone. Dollar signs make great shades too $).
I suggest that hating emoticons is like accusing Barney the purple dinosaur of plotting to convert children into large purple beings. I suggest that those that have issues with emoticons are revealing deep flaws that are probably the consequence of severe trauma.
I suggest that if you hate emoticons, you visit a qualified and prestigious psychiatrist and inquire about the latest psychological disorder making its rounds around your neighborhood. I suggest that if you hate emoticons, there is something wrong with you. 😉
Emcees Thes One and Double K comprise the LA underground hip hop group People Under the Stairs, a.k.a. PUTS.
Since 1998 PUTS has released seven albums. Their latest release is the exhilarating ‘Carried Away’, which came out on October 13.
Peruvian Thes One (Chris Portugal) and LA original Double K (Michael Turner Jr.) met in the early nineties and soon released their first album, ‘The Next Step.’ Since then they have maintained a relatively low profile while continuing to produce better and better material.
‘Carried Away’ is the album you want if you are hosting a house party. See if this video makes you get up and dance:
A short while ago, world-renowned cello master Yo-Yo Ma gave a gala performance at Powell Symphony Hall in St. Louis as part of a fundraiser for the many programs provided by the city’s world-renowned orchestra. It’s always the case – as I suspect it might be with others – that after I go to a concert it’s mandated by some unseen force that I listen to that band or performer on repeat for at least a week. I’ve never quite been able to explain why.
The Hooten Hallers never fail to disappoint with their rowdy, fun, loud performances. They took over the Blue Fugue Saturday night, yelling, hollering and reaching pitches I didn’t think possible for a crowd of 30 to 40 gathered tightly to the stage.
The Blue Note was alive Saturday night with the floor crowd dancing wildly to the Hipnecks, a band that describes its music as rooted in “the fertile grounds of the American Midwest.” Filled with incredible fast-paced guitar solos from guitarist Zach Harrison and the husky, smooth voice of guitarist, vocalist and harmonica extraordinaire Pat Kay (who also happens to play the mandolin, banjo and djembe), the Hipnecks kept the crowd jumping through their hour-long set.
While most Missourians were mourning Mizzou’s loss to Oklahoma State last night, another group was caught up in their own celebration.
Last night the CoMo Derby Dames trounced the Capital City Crushers. Benefiting the Safe Passage Women’s Center, the “Bootleggers’ Brawl” featured some impressive skating and some even more impressive spills.
Think the rough and tumble of football…on wheels. Read the rest of this entry »