Essays, Poetry, Observations, Etc.

Farewell, OKCupid, at least for now

In Uncategorized on August 8, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Back in the first half of the 2000s I was having fun taking random personality tests as part of a course in psychology I was taking. There was one site in particular, tickle.com, that had not only the standard pop psych self surveys/tests, but also allow for user written tests. At the time I was using a dating site, matchmaker.com. Sometimes the contacts I made there would share the results of tests they’d taken on tickle.com. It was fun. From the standard Myers-Briggs tests to the what kind of lover are you, the results were at least entertaining.

And then I was busy teaching and didn’t have time for such frivolities. Forgot the site existed along with my password. Then I get an e-mail telling me I’ve been invited to join a new dating site, OKCupid. Why? Well it seems that OKCupid had all of the tests from tickle.com. If I joined OKCupid they were going to use my test results and those of other people’s to match us! Whoopie. It seemed better than self abuse so, I figured, why not.

Turned out to be quite enjoyable. Met some very interesting people on site.  Several  friends and lovers came out of the experience.  Also learned some very interesting things, anecdotal of course, about the limits of self honesty when people answer online surveys and questions.

It has been a fun ride. And today I disabled my account.

Why? As usual, there are many culprits. A few years ago a change in ownership and control prompted a series of changes and site redesigns. The personal blogs associated with the accounts suddenly became more difficult to find and ultimately disappeared.  Gradually OKCupid managed to become less fun. It seemed the harder OKCupid management tried to make that fun connection, the more it missed the mark.

I suppose I should note that, at least for me, OKCupid was more of a leisure activity, a tool in my life to quell my desire for a relationship and sex. It wasn’t an everyday thing, more of a couple to a few times a month thing. Truth be told, I just don’t have the time nor the funds invest in a serious dating habit.

Now I understand that sites like OKCupid must make a return on investment. People are dodging ads so the site must increasingly focus on charging for admission. It needs to find that one thing that if they take it away from the free site enough people will come over to the dark side and pay to keep the service. This month they took away the Visited You feature.  One of the only features I truly use. It helps deal with those short, introductory e-mails that will typically consist of very few words, often just a single one, Hi.  (Advice to online features: I am far less likely to respond if you haven’t bothered to even look at my profile.)

I suppose what I found most frustrating is the past few months with OKCupid is that their active subscriber base seems to be vanishing, at least in my area. It has been the same pictures and the same profiles, predominantly, for the past six or seven months.

Now, speaking of same profiles, I also include the one profile that always comes up, of a woman who has been using the same picture since she was on matchmaker over 12 years ago. The picture she has is an old one, judging from the quality and resolution.  Her age has remained within the same range over the same time. Oh, to be forever middle-aged. I find great humor in the fact that she evidently lives in my neighborhood. And the one time I tried to contact her about 10 years ago she was friendly until I pointed out our relative proximity to one another. Vanished in a heartbeat.  I will miss her.

Goodbye OKCupid, where ever you are.

#OKCupid  #OKCupidGoodbye

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What a Marvel-ous Age!

In Uncategorized on July 13, 2015 at 12:32 am

This is the age of the comic book movie. This is the age when the 2-D heroes of 50 years ago become the 3-D superheroes of today.

In the 1960s, Stan Lee and Marvel comics set out to deliberately create superheroes that fit specific markets. Specifically, the comic book buying male audience between the ages of 11 and college. It was almost counterintuitive. Comic books were like Westerns. You made them with likable stars and hoped the audience liked them. If not, you made another. But to actually design a hero and build in flaws that connected to the reader, that was different.

In 1964 I was 11. Up till then I comic book tastes were the usual DC fare. I could quote you Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Batman, Flash, etc. chapter and verse. DC comics published 25¢ collections of previously published comics in the 50s.

Then along came The Fantastic Four. The first four issues were, how can I put this, meh. Then came issue five, the introduction of Dr. Doom. And then it seemed to take flight.

Spiderman. ‘Nuff said. It was as if it spoke to nerdy junior, now middle school, boys who were smart enough to be wondering what high school, life and love, oh, let’s get real, sex, were going to be like when we became “men”. In the fifth and sixth grade, both of which were in elementary school back then, I became very adept at drawing profiles and depictions of the female anatomy, particularly the mammary aspects, ahem, if you’ll pardon my gradeschool bluntness. It may not be politically correct, but your average pubescent male is not the least concerned with politically correct behavior, if they even understood the concept as applying to them!

Marvel comics became the comic book of choice right as the peak of the baby boom past o’er these hallowed shores. They did quite well for themselves. And they kept trying to replicate the development structure throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s. And it worked. X-Men and many others kept the enterprise profitable.

Pushing the 2-D format into the 3-D world, or at least the simulated 3-D world of movies, was always problematic. Special effects are the killer and comic books are, if nothing else, about the special effects, the boldness of the form. They tried. Nick Fury, Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spidy, never were quite belivable beyond animated form. Just moving comics, but still unreal.

And then came Columbia/Sony who showed the way with the best special effects they could afford for Spiderman and the X-Men series. Marvel took notice and set about establishing their own corner of the universe.

First they needed money and backing. As long as the original investors in creators only increase their income they were fine with Disney buying them out, as long as they retained creative control. It worked.

Marvel/Disney have created an entertainment juggernaut. And, just as in the past, the fans, the new generations of fans, both young and old, create the backbone of this forms profitability.

Every age has its Jules Verne, its Sherlock Holmes, its popular fiction that grabs the attention of people starved for excitement and adventure. The Marvel series, the MCU, is this age’s answer to that.

At 61, if I have properly understood their plan in creating their movie series, I should be able to enjoy the completion of this particularly enjoyable entertainment cycle.

Excelsior!

Procrastination

In poem, poetry, procrastination on March 31, 2014 at 10:15 am

What darkness of the spirit possesses
that corrupts the flesh and weakens the spirit
that says, let us wait, let us do it tomorrow
and then tomorrow comes
and tomorrow becomes today
and we say, let us wait, let us do it tomorrow
and so on till the end of time.