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No Facebook status is as good as it appears, although sometimes, not often, it is better, but that will not last. Not one is as bad as it seems: all is worse.
In a way, that's a nutshell way of describing life. We tend to put our best profiles up front. Those who do not have good photos of themselves, they substitute something else. I'm guessing, but the substitute pictures depict things which make the presenters feel good or comfortable.
Landscapes are good substitutes. Mountains are for those who want to ascend to higher things in life; churches are for the religious who favor spiritual over material considerations; the sea for travelers to far, foreign lands across the waters, maybe to escape unpleasant settings.
Comic and anime characters are popular profile pics. For the young, an anime hero represents the power which compensates for their inadequacy -- the handsome/pretty faces and body they aspire to have, and the easy confidence they wish for. For the young-once, a cartoon figure takes them back to earlier and happier times, when life seemed as simple and innocent as comic book stories.
Decades ago, comics and movies and TVs were not allowed to show graphic scenes of sex, decapitation and other evidence that real life is brutal and senseless. Sure, we had Conan, but when he sliced an enemy's tummy open, we did not see the intestines falling out, presumably with body fluids dripping out. When he chopped off a head, we did not see the red hot blood gushing out from the stump of the enemy's neck. Happily, all that changed with the arrival of the Kill Bill series.
Now, when Hancock shoved a prison inmate's head into another's butt, we laughed. I also laughed when Bruce Almighty made a monkey pop out of a gang leader's ass. The arms and legs blown off in Saving Private Ryan took a lot of skill and effort to bring home the hard violence of war. A Nazi pushing the full length of a bayonet into a GI's chest made me see, as scenes in the Godfather made me see, that reality favors neither the good nor the bad.
Was it just a year ago that I heard someone in TV say "Shit"? I thought then that the scene slipped through the government regulator's eyes and ears. Now I realize that it was I who had been out of sync with the trend. A movie or TV episode with SPG (Super Pogi or Strict Parental Guidance) rating is allowed to let fly an earful of bitch, fuck, shithead, asshole; and brains being blown off (or bits of brain matters splattered on walls and gunslingers), bodies sliced in half (lengthwise, crosswise, diagonally), arms and legs torn off brutally (How else? Try tearing one off gently. It's not KFC chicken, folks), and necks snapped sideways left and right, backward and forward. Imagine anything gory that can be done with the human body and I expect to see it soon on The Walking Dead. The comic book episodes also attract a lot of fans and dollars.
I digress. Going back to our Facebook topic, I also wonder about those who time after time change their profile pics, like me. So I ask myself: Is it discontent that makes me try to improve my image? What for? Other causes may be anxiety or angst, very different from angas, which exudes extreme ability and confidence. Happy are those whose profile pics, or cartoonized versions, smile -- until things eventually deteriorate and the smile turns into the angry frown of a Naruto or of a Zatoichi.
There are still a few who have no profile pics. Most are new to social network sites and are just preparing or choosing which side of themselves to show to the cyberworld. I feel a certain sadness when I see a profile pic deliberately left blank. Do you feel so low that you cannot step forward and face people? Why show half of your face only? The other half hides the sad aspects of your life, or there is a line wherein nobody, except close friends maybe, are allowed access.
Some deface their photos, with a smear of makeup, a frown. Some hide their face behind a part of hair colored canary yellow, bright orange, or veggie green. I think of Nikki Minaj, who has survived hard knocks in life. This Thursday she looked pretty on American Idol, with the normal flow of long, flat and blonded hair, without the weird hats she uses as chips on her shoulder (Excuse the messy metaphor). But her face is creased with a frown, which goes away when a contestant performs rather well, and deepens when she snarls at one who delivered a "pageantic" song. Minaj, like many who have found their way out of a bad fix, looks pleasant now, like those who have replaced their shadowed profiles with pictures of themselves with kids, spouses, classmates, pets.
Artists, billionaires, megastars are people too, subject to whims and heavy mood swings. When a Facebooker uses Batman or Spidey as profile pic, he obviously wants some action, not just sit around the house but to swing above rooftops and clobber some evil mayors and congressmen. Others who can conceal their anger or sadness opt for sedate tokens to represent or efface themselves: a Chess pawn (Does he know he considers himself at the bottom of the food chain?), a King (Ha! I'm on top of the world), or a simple stethoscope (I will listen to your heart and, if need be, I can heal you.) Boys looking for mates should beware of girls who uses money as profile pics, especially if the girl is ugly: No compensation there, all headaches.
There are more variations, I'm sure, as there are species in Facebook. I may be wrong in some of my statements, but I'm just having fun. Because that, my friend, is what life is all about.
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