Over time I have learned to loath Facebook. Social networking sites on the whole I can get away with as I feel they are a phenomenon which have stretched people's imagination and if used well can bring good things to your life, but Facebook I have decided is a force for evil and I have decided that I will shortly remove myself from the site. Why?
I used to use the excuse that it is a nice way for friends to share photographs and stay in touch. I even (unusually for me) managed to conveniently skirt around the dubious nature of the way they have collected information about us and sold on this information to advertisers. This is Facebook's business. The site is a friendly façade hiding the gateway to my own personal hell. It's a corporate wet dream.
Recently Facebook has undergone a few changes and without notification from the company itself we have been expected to know that information we had set as private has been reset as public and you have, via means of trial and error, ended up trying to sort it all out again to regain some degree of personal dignity. That was just about the last straw for me.
Even after deletion I am aware that all the information Facebook already has on me to sell will remain and that photographs of me will continue to be uploaded to the site. This is fine. At least I will no longer be feeding the evil.
So why not just go ahead and delete your account you whinging old tosser? Well… I do have some photographs on there I'd like to transfer to a Flickr account first and I also have to make sure that people I wish to remain in contact with have my email address. Also I do quite a bit of promotion on Facebook and this is one of the reasons I've felt a bit tied to it. I began to realise (probably about 2 years ago) that actually promoting stuff on Facebook is not really very effective as you have to make a connection with people before they can actually see what you are promoting, so really it's a much smaller audience than just putting up a link on a website. It's hardly 'the world at large' kind of demographic that you need to make any real impact.
Before Myspace was a mass graveyard of old band pages and broken links it was a far superior social network than Facebook. It allowed far more freedom and didn't restrict you to some rather petty rules. It even allowed you to gain some quite handy knowledge of HTML and your music page was much more like an actual web page. Somehow, Facebook got the foothold on the world and similar to the great injustice of the whole VHS or Betamax thing, it took off to new heights of global domination.
Facebook, I have also realised, has not for me acted as a tool to inform me of events, meetings or other happenings that I would like to attend but more as a tool to display to me what I have missed and what I have not been invited to. This really pisses me off and I'm sure this kind of thing has happened before and will continue to happen but I'd prefer if it was not rubbed in my face on such a regular basis. I've also had the misfortune to be misunderstood on Facebook on a handful of occasions and people have taken offense to things I have said. Sometimes (particularly if you are trying to be amusing) things don't come out in text quite as you intend them and that's a great flaw of the medium.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not on a crusade here and I'm not saying I operate at a superior moral code to anyone who has a Facebook account, nor am I being so self-centred that I expect all my Facebook friends to be in any way, shape or form bothered that I'm going to delete. It's just Facebook often upsets me and I don't find it any fun anymore so I reckon on that merit alone I should leave it. I think I as well as others am guilty of relying on it too heavily. So facefuckers… see you later (in the real world perhaps).
Social commentary is all very well but given the title of this website and given that I am essentially a songwriter-performer I should probably at some point get around to talking about music.
So here's a bit of news on what I've been up to:
Anyone who has been following me for the last few months will be aware that I am currently in the process of writing a new album. It is the first time I have even attempted such a thing for just over 10 years. I have officially released two albums in the past. The first was in 1999 - a self-titled debut, and the second in 2000 entitled The Melon Shark Legacy. In November last year when I finally got back to playing as Meiosis I made these two albums available again as free downloads. Hearing the old songs again and playing them live was quite a nostalgic experience for me. I doubt it was for many others as it's not as if they were widely available the first time round - but it all went down quite well and that's what inspired me to start writing a new album from scratch. I have just passed a significant point in the writing process which I am referring to as 'nearly half way through'. This is significant as I no longer have to say "It's early days" or "I've just started". No, no… "I am nearly halfway through" makes the end seem like it's in sight.
So I've started to think about how I should go about releasing it. I could stick it up on Bandcamp or I could see if I could persuade a little independent label to give it a shot? I am however a self-confessed control freak, so I'm going to give the DIY option a blast. Of course at this stage I don't have a clue what I am doing but I have an idea of what I want to do so if I aim towards that surely I will get somewhere with the whole plan. Of course then if it all goes pear-shaped I will only have myself to blame. On the other hand, if it all goes well I will then be able to release more material by not only myself but by others too, with my new-found skills.
There is a small but special and yet to be truly discovered culture scene in Newcastle and I'd like to play a little part in showcasing that to the outside world. That wouldn't be possible without this website and if you are one of the many who are returning to it to see what's been added or if you're just here to read some sweary rants on this blog then thanks for that. It is getting more visitors than I expected and wouldn't be worth pursuing if nobody was looking. So keep checking back as very soon we will be adding more material from other local music acts as well as anything else that floats our boat such as art and poetry. There will be a store where as well as my own music other people's music and the like will be available. I believe the first release on the Music By Meiosis label will be a new single from Captain Trips, a band I have been managing for the past year or so, closely followed by a Meiosis single to tide you over until both acts' new albums are complete.
And just so you know I am aware that I am a complete hypocrite. The 'Meiosis' Facebook page will remain!
Music By Meiosis: http://www.musicbymeiosis.com
Also at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Meiosis/117646428294642