From Thanksgiving things to furry kings, a review of the week online
I haven’t been able to celebrate Thanksgiving since 1997, when that Barney float in the Macy’s parade tore itself open on a streetlamp and I suddenly realized how empty he was on the inside. But for the rest of you, it’s still a treat to bring the whole family together so you can all look at your phones in the same place for a few hours. Twitter upheld its yearly tradition of crowdsourcing anthropological expeditions into family homes in search of forgotten treasures like ancient bottles of Herbal Essences and Tylenol, stolen valor Harvard tea sets, and 90210 throw pillows. But it also introduced some traditions we’d never heard of and would really like to go back to never having heard of, like Al Roker’s sweet potato poon. Trying to eat over here, Twitter.
It was Black Friday, so you know what that means. (No, Pam, it does not mean call the police to report Friday. Phone down.) It means that tens of thousands of Americans gathered at the mouths of various malls and -Marts in their most shock-absorbent parkas to push and smoosh and grab and swing and charge and claw their way to big savings on bigger TVs to replace the ones they got two Black Fridays ago. It also means another favorite holiday tradition of mine: having a prime parking spot at the mall, throwing on my reverse lights, and just sitting there indefinitely, talking on the phone or maybe even eating lunch. Come say hello if you see me doing this!
Elsewhere in public shames, a facial recognition system in China designed to capture and display the faces of
fugitive jaywalkers mistakenly targeted and identified a woman whose picture appeared in an ad on the side of a bus. “I couldn’t help but wonder,” typed Ms. Bradshaw in her hit sex column, “if a sophisticated dystopian social policing network had no problem spotting me in a crowd, maybe Mr. Right would too?”
And finally, I can’t imagine you’re doing much of anything this weekend (are you?), what with all the leftovers and difficulty moving/functioning and whatnot. But if you have a small animal or child handy, you can participate in the hot new Internet trend/self-perpetuating marketing campaign that’s sweeping the virtual savannah. In anticipation of Disney’s high-res reboot of “The Lion King,” pet owners across Twitter are posting photos of unwitting (and visibly unwilling) pets getting the full presentation-of-Simba treatment by hoisting them overhead like furry newborn kings. Which reminds me, tune in next week for a bunch of videos of people remembering they have ceiling fans.
MICHAEL ANDOR BRODEUR