Saturday, May 15, 2010

Are you frikkin' allergic to Google?!?

Okay, so I know I can use some big words and some esoteric references. I can hardly help it. I'm a smart guy, I'm well read* and I'm a bit of a sponge for factoids. I don't expect everyone else to have the same knowledge set as me, or even the aptitude for acquiring it - we all have different strengths, that's the way of the world. But it's not like I'm Dennis Miller. You don't need degrees in History, Literature and Theoretical Physics to follow along with my Facebook statii.
But yes, I recognize that on a regular basis my status will be eliptical and vague if you don't have the foreknowledge of what I am talking about. I accept that many of my one-liner Facebook statii are going to go over many people's heads. But here's the thing - any joke that has to be explained is not going to be funny. If you 'get' it initially, fantastic. If you don't - that's unfortunate, but when you DO get the next obscure reference I make you have the added benefit of feeling superior over the rest of those folk who you damned well know didn't have a clue.

But here's the thing... I am officially stating for the record, that I am no longer going to be responsible for illuminating the details. If you 'get' the joke - congrats, you are 'in' (for what little that is worth); if you don't 'get' it, either let it go and wait for the next one ('cause really, I'm not so clever that every lateral thought I have is going to be a worthwhile gem, so you probably aren't missing anything), OR (and here's the crux)... muse on this: If you have Facebook in front of you, you also have the awesome power of Google in front of you. You can figure out what I'm referring to much more efficently by searching on one of the interwebs than by adding a comment to my status that reads "????" or "Huh?" or anything else that doesn't really add to the conversation. The ONLY way that is going to be more efficient is if I just happen to refresh the page the second after you post your query and I happen to be looking at that specific comment thread. Even then, you have to get me in a good mood - which the simple act of displaying your inability to use Google will almost certainly ruin - AND I will have to feel that I can explain the detail more succinctly than a quick trip to a relevant Wikipedia page can (good luck on that one).

If you are actually in the room with me... thats a different story - asking me is then a social act that is actually likely to get you the answer faster. Otherwise I have better things to do than type out an explanation for you that will almost certainly not be funny, and if anything, will ruin the joke for everyone else.

In almost any obscure post I make there is bound to be a word or phrase that is unique enough that even the most clumsy of Googlers can craft a search string (I use that term so loosely - in most cases said "string" will be a single word) that you'll find the info you need in order to understand my gag within the first page if not the first hit. A few recent examples; a link to their first hit (excluding news) in a google search:   Sisyphean; Evel Knievel; Preakness; "down two with the hammer"; "I stab at thee" - the first hit, EVERY SINGLE TIME (with no special search terms or symbols except for the quotes around the phrases) gives relevant context.

If by some chance you can't find an illuminating reference on Google, then chances are that the reference was a more personal one - one that while not actually private, is actually intended for a select group of people. If you aren't one of those people, then you just have to let your need to know go.

It may seem that I'm making more of this than it warrants, and perhaps I am. But I have gotten so tired of explaining my more esoteric references that I've taken to simply ignoring the requests - and I know that that in itself doesn't solve anything. So this is official notice. I can't imagine any likely circumstance where a person might have access to Facebook but not Google and therefore I hereby assume that any request for clarity on any of my left-field witticisms is nothing but either outright intellectual laziness or, more charitably, a failure to realize that there are far better ways to get the answer than by tossing a "WTF?" in the comment thread. Either way, don't expect an answer. Sorry, I'm not doing your homework anymore.

But I WILL do this:
If you don't really know how to leverage the best results out of Google, here's some handy and very simple tricks. Now you can be a Google ninja.

*When I say I'm well read, I am including the voracity with which I consume all media - including TV news and podcasts... indeed I actually don't read all that much these days, and am a slow reader anyhow.