Friday, November 18, 2005

Your Life Movie, Complaints, my take on The Exodus, and the Friday Five

First - a fun quiz :)

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho
If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?


Lamentations, 3: 39

Why should any living man complain, any mortal, in the face of his sins?

The power in this statement is undeniable. In all of our complaints, our struggles, our traumatic experiences, truly, what right have we to complain? Are we perfect? Are we flawless? Do we live by Natural Law, extending to ourselves and others all that is moral, just, righteous and good?

I am not that person and I know of noone that is blessed with such gifts. I have done others wrong, and I continue to hurt them, and in that vein, by having courage to look at myself from the outside I see someone who has no right to lay down his cross in complaint. It is my duty, my obligation, to pick up the crosses I have and carry them as best I can, with no complain, and calling for help when it is needed. That's love. To embrace my faults and failures, and to do so without complaint - that is humility.


The Friday Five:
To play, just post your answers in the comments below or in your own journal then provide us with a direct link in the comments. Submjit questions and themes and we'll spotlight your journal!

1. If you choose to leave AOL over the ads in our journals, what will you miss most? If you choose to stay, what is your motivation to do so?

I choose to stay. I write for inspiration. I write for courage. I write for hope. I write to share those values with others who may need them or might find something else in my words. I write because I need those things myself. And while so many of you may leave AOL because of this scandal, others remain here. I do not look on myself as a preacher, but I am a part of this community, and I will not leave because a bad neighbor moved in down the street. I will stay. I will lead the life I've built here, and I will not support those ads or click on any of them - but I will not be driven away by their presence. Those that leave are but a fraction of those who will stay and I cannot make my community a better place by leaving. I choose to stay and fight.

2. Given the great exodus of people over the ads in their journal space, do you think the AOL community in J-Land will suffer?

Absolutely. But, if there are others like me, who choose to stay and fight, and work hard to fix the system, instead of leaving the system because it is not to our liking, then at its core, J-Land will become even more supportive of one another.

3. Do you believe that AOL will respond to the many complaints? Why or why not?

I do believe they will respond, because we know that blogging and scandals in the media are something AOL wants to avoid. Will they remove the ads? No. AOL is a business, folks, and they are in it to make money. I subscribe because it is a community, because I like the content they offer. I do believe they will either move the ads, allow us selection in the ads, or give us a portion of the click through profit.

4. Why did you start to journal in the first place, and will you miss it if you leave?

See number one. And I'm not leaving.

5. Will you miss those who stop reading your journal, if you leave, or if they've left, and will you take steps to continue reading their words?

Yes, I will miss those that no longer read my journal, and I will try and keep up with those that have left - but let us all be honest. AOL was a convenient way for us to all stay in touch. And like so many relationships in our lives and so many friends from high school, college, or past jobs....many will fade - some will stay.


Now - my thoughts on the Ads.

I support AOL's right to advertise in its space.

I support the right of people to leave AOL if they do not like where AOL advertises

I do not support AOL using space promised to me as my own to advertise its clients.

I would support AOL advertising if I had a choice in selecting the advertisements - why? Because advertising does pay the bills, and frankly, I love my J-Land community and if we need the ads to keep it, then let me choose the ads I show. Give me a percentage of the click-through property.Let me choose to have more features if I show ads and less if I choose to not show ads.

Most importantly - talk to me. J-Land folks are some of your most ardent and long-time subscribers. I have been on AOL (in one form or another) since 1991. We're talking a soon to be fifteen years (yeah, my Dad paid for it up until May, but sue me) and I know there are others of you that are the same way. We have brand loyalty, regardless of how much we pick on AOL. As subscribers to this service, we are AOL's clientele. We deserve to be a part of  a discussion that intrudes upon space that was promsied to us as a part of our fee.

Moreover, I will not leave because I am more effective here, than I am fighting from somewhere else. Why? Because civil strife is far more destructive than external war. Don't believe me? Ask Gandhi or Martin Luther King. Civil Disobediance while still a member of J-Land is the best method of fighting this mistake and affrotn. Leaving J-Land gives you no clout. The kitchen got hot - and you left.

Don't be insulted by that statement, please - it is simply a viewpoint; one way of looking at the glass. And, so, my civil disobediance begins. I will start every post by discouraging readers of my journal from clicking ads, and I will discourage outsiders who stumble upon my journal from joining AOL until they can be assured their private space is their own. I will find other ways to provoke AOL from within AOL as time passes.

Gandhi was once asked when he was participating in his Great Salt March what he would do if his march failed to create change; he said he would provoke them again, and again, and again, and again, until silence could no longer be the answer receieved. Everybody has buttons, and you just have to keep pushing them to effect change, and I will do so in a civil way. Again, and again, and again, until the ads are removed. But doing so as an AOL member gives me far more clout than someone that left. Your dollars are already gone. You're a lost cause. By staying and fighting - I'm revenue that is a pain in the rear - and that is far more dangerous over the long term.

So to those that leave, I hope you will continue to read my entries. To those who stay, I encourage you to join with me in civil disobedience.