My Social Media Diet

Many years ago I discovered something. Each morning I would leave for work in a fairly decent mood. I would be freshly caffeinated and ready to take on a new day.  By the time I finished my thirty-minute commute I was angry. In the beginning… I struggled to understand how or why my mood could swing in the span of leaving my front door and arriving at my job. What event was affecting my state of emotional well being?

war_news

Then it clicked.

My morning commutes usually had my nose deep into a novel until I discovered the free newspaper. I’m not talking about Now or Eye Magazine, I mean the mini edition of the news. It was a new phenomenon that had men and women shoving them at you as you graced the threshold of the subway station. Eventually, I was enticed and began reading them on the way to work. An unusual step for me and one I now understand I shouldn’t have taken.

newspaper2

Most of my life I have avoided the six or eleven in the evening news, it has mostly been a radio droning on in the background with my ears occasionally picking up the odd important bit of news. When the paper arrived I would pull out the entertainment, fashion or Arts sections of the newspaper. Something that drove my father nuts. Why waste your time on the fluff, the real meat was in the news section he’d say. You see, my father is a bit of a newsaholic. He will read the paper cover to cover and does so every single day.

newspaper3
Why was I avoiding the news part of the paper?

I have always had a dark imagination and can go down some very horrible rabbit holes and because of this hearing about the horrors of the world affected me greater than others. I’m sensitive to it. I always have been. Growing up during the 80s there was always a threat of nuclear war and that weighed heavy on me. I would go out of my way to avoid reading or talking about it. It upset me.

nucelarwar

Fast forward to today and the news of the of the horrors of the world still does and to the point where it will throw me into depression. I realized this one weekday as I stared down at the free newspaper that was open in my lap. That was what was making me angry. That moment the bells went off and I chucked the newspaper into the recycling and haven’t picked one up since.

Oh… but wait… welcome to our new future. Welcome to Social Media.

facebookmeme

When I first joined Facebook, I loved it. I was able to connect with communities, find new friends and check in on old ones. It was an actual fun place to be. Now… not so much. That fun went away when they added the newsfeed. In the beginning, it wasn’t so bad. It was generally full of horrible Meme’s and false worlds created by the user. Then… that all changed. My feed was full of fake news that people thought was real, photos of animals being tortured and many other awful, angry posts. People took on new personalities thinking that this platform was a free for all to shit out any and every thought they were having. Yes… I too was guilty of this until that moment when I realized I was doing it. I would try avoiding the feed, but it was always right there when you logged on. On a few occasions, I would deactivate my account only to realize I needed it to help promote events. I hated the fact that I relied on this social media platform to connect with audience members and communities. I hated being on a platform that wasn’t social at all.

300007-metropolis_productionstill_300dpi_09

Then I started feeling depression creeping in again. This time I knew what the culprit was but didn’t know how to throw it in the recycling bin. I wished there was a way to promote myself, my event and run my Vintage Groups without logging on. Someday I will find a way, for now, I have a temporary solution.

Wow… that was a long way around to talk about my social media diet….

I am now limiting myself to only five minutes a day on Facebook. It can be five minutes in one shot or over a few logons. But once those five minutes are up, that is it for the day. Oh… I also don’t look at the feed. As a matter of fact, all I do is check my notifications, my events, my groups and see if there are any other events I might be interested in and then I log off.  Let me tell you, not only has it lifted that heaviness I was feeling, I realized how much of my day was wasted on there. I now have chunks of time to fill in. I’ve started drawing again. I have dedicated time to sew my own clothing. I actually feel like being social again! I’m almost to the point where I don’t even need to log on at all. There is an app for messenger, there is an app to check my pages. I believe there may be one for events, now if they would just bring back the groups app!

Miranda, Carmen_04[1].jpg

This all said I do still use Instagram. The difference here is I customize what I see. I follow vintage, artists, and people I like. I am inspired by much of what I see. It is a happy place for me.

Do you also avoid Facebook? Are you willing to try the five-minute diet?

 

Advertisements

Interview with Foote and Friends on Film

Hello!

Please check out our recent interview with Foot and Friends on Film. The interview was by the multi-talented Heather Babcock!

http://footeandfriendsonfilm.com/2018/08/18/interview-with-killer-b-cinema/
Please also check out our next show on September 1st!

killer-b-cinema-postcard__sep-2018

Killer B Cinema: Battle in Outer Space & Turkish Star Trek

killer-b-cinema-postcard__sep-2018September Killer B Cinema has an outta this world double bill!!! Battle in Outerspace and Turkish Star Trek will not disappoint! The perfect double bill and all for the low, low price of $5. That’s right FIVE DOLLARS! And there will be trivia with prizes! Spacesuits are optional! Audience Participation approved!

Doors (back performance space) open at 8 pm and the movies begin at 8:30 pm.

Imperial Pub

54 Dundas St E, Toronto, Ontario M5B1C7

Battle in Outer Space is a 1959 Japanese science fiction film produced by Toho Studios. Directed by Ishirō Honda and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, the film starred Ryo Ikebe, Koreya Senda and Yoshio Tsuchiya.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the summer of 1960 by Columbia Pictures.

Turkish Star Trek is a 1973 Turkish cult comedy/drama science fiction film, produced and directed by Hulki Saner, featuring Sadri Alışık as a Turkish hobo who is beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise.

Each month join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a double bill of B-moves from the 1930s to 1980s!

Thank you to the Imperial Pub and their staff! They make our monthly event extra amazing!

We hope to see you at The Imperial!

Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/456204541455651/

Look for the helpers. Look for the kindness. 

There is a lot of awful happening in the world right now and it’s found its way into the city I love, my city of Toronto. I don’t need to rehash it all here. Just go to any news source and you will get an eyeful. Oh yes, what a rosy way to start off this blog post. There is a point for this and I will get to that point. Please allow me to go on for a moment.

In the last few weeks, I have been trying to find ways to remove myself from a certain ‘Social Media’ platform. When I first joined in 2007, it was a fun way to interact with people. People I knew in person, people with common interests, people from all over the world. We had a lot of fun interacting, sharing and experiencing. Then… the fun stopped. It actually stopped a few years ago. The platform went from being actually social to a newsfeed filled with animal torture videos, reposts of mean tweets, horrible news stories of what was happening around the world… people just being cruel to other people. It was no longer a place to keep in touch with friends on the other side of the planet, contact long-lost childhood friends or find fun events to attend. It just became this horrible, horrible place. A place I no longer wanted to be a part of because I don’t like how it is making me feel.  But I didn’t know how to escape.

I’m a writer, performer and I run a small side business. I use Social Media as a place to promote myself, my events, my business and to find like-minded people. I, let’s say, need it. Or… do I? Raise your hands if you remember how we promoted all of this stuff prior to 2007. Show of hands, please. Just one? Just the guy way in the back??? Oh boy. Are we in trouble here? Well… how we use to do it was through postering, placing events listings far and wide, handing out flyers at other events and word of mouth. It was a lot of work and ‘Social Media’ not only made it easier, but it gave us a further reach. I run Vintage Groups on Social Media and we have members from all over the world! ALL OVER THE WORLD PEOPLE! Could I have done that pre-2007? Could I? That is my major conundrum, how do I go back to pre-2007 and still have the same impact? How do I get away from all of the awful?

Many moons ago I stopped watching the news and reading newspapers. I would go to work in an ok mood and by the time I got to work I was depressed, angry or both. Why? I had started grabbing the ‘free’ paper they gave out at the subway. It took me a while to figure out why this was happening, why I was feeling this way and then one day when the paper landed in my hand, I had bells going off! It was the culprit! I also figured out that I am super sensitive to all of it, so I stopped. Social Media is now having the same effect on me. Well, at least one platform is, the one that shall not be named. On the other side of it, platforms such as Instagram are having the opposite effect. They are bolstering my creativity and helping me build my business and career. I love how you can customize who and what you can see. It’s my happy place. I need more happy places.

Oh… right… the point!

mrrogers2

Last night, my fella and I went to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor? It was a documentary about Mr. Rogers and an incredibly beautiful tribute to a man who taught us that we are special and that kindness is important. Kindness. Something I myself have been trying to pass along as an important message. Kindness. Something this world really needs right now. Humankind seems to be forgetting the lessons that Mr. Rogers taught us. We need to figure out how to change this.

Along with Mr. Rogers, I also grew up with other shows that taught us the same message, The Gentle Giant and Mr. Dress Up. We need more shows like this and not just for children.

As I watched this movie, I was continually reminded of how important these shows were to me as a child. How they taught me what was ok and not ok. How happy they made me feel. If Mr. Rogers, Mr. Dress Up or The Gentle Giant were with us today, they would be horrified by the state of the world right now. There is a scene in the movie that deals with 9-11 and seeing how sad, how upset Fred Rogers was, broke my heart. You could feel this happen collectively throughout the audience. This movie touched me, touched the audience. Most of the theatre was in tears by the end of it. So… here’s the thing. Can we start remembering what Mr. Rogers stood for? Can we stop being so cruel to each other? Can we be patient and compassionate? But most importantly, can we start being kinder to each other?

Thank you Mr. Rogers for reminding me of what kind of world I want to live in. Look for the helpers. Look for the kindness.

It’s Such a Good Feeling

Written by Fred Rogers | © 1970, Fred M. Rogers


It’s such a good feeling
To know you’re alive.
It’s such a happy feeling:
You’re growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
“I think I’ll make a snappy new day.”
It’s such a good feeling,
A very good feeling,
The feeling you know
You’re alive.

It’s such a good feeling
To know you’re in tune.
It’s such a happy feeling
To find you’re in bloom.
And when you wake up ready to say
“I think I’ll make a snappy new day,”
It’s such a good feeling,
A very good feeling,
The feeling you know that we’re friends.

Killer B Cinema Presents: Starcrash and Plan 9 from Outer Space!

killer-b-cinema-postcard__july-2018.jpg

July Killer B Cinema is out of this world! Starcrash and Plan 9 From Outer Space will not disappoint! The perfect double bill and all for the low, low price of $5. That’s right FIVE DOLLARS! And there will be trivia with prizes! Spacesuits are optional! Audience Participation approved!

Doors (back performance space) open at 8 pm and the movies begin at 8:30 pm.
Where: The Imperial Pub Performance Space, 54 Dundas Street East
Facebook Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/1963093910686899/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/killerbcinema/

Starcrash (94 minutes) is a 1978 American space opera film directed by Luigi Cozzi and written by Cozzi and Nat Wachsberger. The cast includes Marjoe Gortner, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer, David Hasselhoff and Joe Spinell.

Plan 9 from Outer Space (80 minutes) (originally titled Grave Robbers from Outer Space) is a 1959 American independent black and white science fiction film, written, produced, directed, and edited by Ed Wood, that stars Gregory Walcott, Mona McKinnon, Tor Johnson and Vampira (Maila Nurmi). The film also posthumously bills Bela Lugosi as a star (silent footage of the actor had actually been shot by Wood for another, unfinished film just prior to Lugosi’s death in August 1956). Plan 9 from Outer Space was released theatrically in 1959 by Distributors Corporation of America (then credited as Valiant Pictures).

A huge thank you to this month’s prize sponsors! The Haunted Walk, Jeff CottrillLisa de NikolitsCaroline ColantonioSupertashToronto Poetry Slam AND a raffle for a special Plan 9 From Outerspace creation by Unravelled: Crocheted Items by Carlin!

Each month join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a double bill of B-moves from the 1930s to 1970s!

Thank you to the Imperial Pub and their staff! They make our monthly event extra amazing!

We hope to see you at The Imperial!

Important: The Imperial Performance Space is a licensed establishment, outside alcohol is not allowed. Anyone in possession of outside alcohol will be banned from both the event and the establishment. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.

Redheads Writing in Cafes and Chantilly Lace

Do you believe in ghosts? I sure as hell do. I believe there are many kinds of ghosts, some that can’t leave this realm, those who don’t want to pass over and those who show up once in a while like right now, to check in on you. I know this is fact because I just got a whiff of Chantilly Lace.

My Grandma Betty smelled of baking and Chantilly Lace. Whenever you hugged her you would always breathe it in and as a kid, I just assumed that was how she smelled, until the day I found the little pink box with the fluffy white powder puff. The minute I sat down this morning to write about her, I got a very scent of her perfume surround me. I’m now feeling extremely nostalgic, I miss that woman so very, very much.

874_101182740724_8544_n

Elizabeth Smart was more than just my grandmother, she was a force. She emigrated to Canada from Scotland, got married, had fourteen children and who knows how many grandchildren followed after that, however, she was more than that. She was neighbourhood warrior, standing up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. I’ve heard many stories about people being chased by the cops for minor occurrences hiding out at her place, she’d then talk the cops down from arresting them. My grandma was a badass. You also didn’t mess with her family. Oh no, you didn’t! Was my grandma Bonnie Parker, no, pay attention, she was a Betty!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The older I grow, the more I realize how much I am like her. When you met Grandma, she was welcoming, chatty and her laugh would fill the room. She loved to help her community, was loving and was always there if you needed comforting. She also relished time on her own, reading, knitting, sewing and of course, baking. Like myself, she was an Extroverted Introvert. She made the most incredible, melt in your mouth shortbreads, currant cake and pies. To this day, I’m the only one who has nailed her currant cake recipe. The one main thing we have in common, try to corner us, and we come out fighting. My Grandma put up with zero crap.

When I was fifteen, I went through a really shit time in school. I was the weirdo, the girl who dressed all in black, had the weird hair and carried books about ghosts everywhere she went. There were four particular girls who would verbally abuse me. As much as you interacted or ignored them, this still wears you down, especially if you are a teenager. Being told one too many times to basically suck it up, it can’t be that bad, I stopped talking to anyone about it and let it silently eat away at me and it really did. After one particularly horrible day, I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I started crying during my walk home after school. Little did I know, Grandma Betty was walking right behind me. I have no idea how long she was behind me, but I know it was long enough for her to figure out something wasn’t quite right, because her fifteen-year-old granddaughter rarely cried and especially not in public.

Then she was standing beside me. Just like every time I’ve needed her.

I told her what had happened and she listened without interrupting, then these words… the words that have always stuck with me, the words that I repeat over and over whenever anyone tries to belittle me, talk down to me or insult me.

Grandma: Why do you care what they think.
Me: (starts to explain again what happened)
Grandma: Yes, but why do you care what they think.
Me: (starts to explain again what happened)
Grandma: Why do you care what they think.
Me: (getting it) Oh.
Grandma: Those girls aren’t worth it. Who cares what they think.

My grandma stopped and hugged me. I finally got it. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You need to be yourself, do what makes you happy. Be the person you want to be. This is a hard message for a teenager to grasp and it did take me a while to accept it, but when you repeat it to yourself over and over, it does eventually sink in.

Did the verbal abuse stop. No. But I not only found a tool to handle it better, I had someone to talk to that would actually listen to me and not brush it off as teenage angst. For those who are wondering, why didn’t the school do anything? It was the late seventies/early eighties and trust me a small town high school… didn’t understand that bullying was a horrible thing for a kid to go through. That said, I did have one teacher who was also one of my heroes. One day I will write more about Mr. Bob Rix.

Grandma Betty is my badass, give no shits hero. I miss her every day and when I get that whiff of Chantilly Lace I know she is checking in on me to make sure I’m doing ok.

 

 

Redheads Writing in Cafes Except When It’s a Redhead Riot!

Similar to my previous post about Thea, Heather Babcock is another inspiring woman in my life who, when I met her, we immediately clicked. We discovered very early on that we were both obsessed with the 1930s and pre-code movies and vintage fashion. We instantly bonded, this was a friendship that was meant to be. Every day I am inspired by this beautiful woman!

The first time I met Heather was after she read at a Plasticine Poetry event. Her reading was amazing and she looked like a 1930s redheaded moll. During this time I was co-running The Beautiful & The Damned and my own show Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir. She was so incredibly sassy and talented, I knew we needed to book her and I wanted to talk to her on a personal level. My gut screamed that girl is super swell! My gut was right!  Eventually, I met her boyfriend Neil and they met Zoltan. Together we now put on a show called The Redhead Revue and we have all become incredibly good friends.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When I hear Heather read or when we talk about our interests or life in general, I am motivated to do better and to be a better person. After spending time with Heather, I always feel like I’m not working hard enough. She is one of those writers who, without knowing she is even doing it, kicks me in the ass!

Heather Babcock is an incredible writer, storyteller, poet and performer. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge about the 1930s and pre-code movies. In fact, she is a walking library of facts. Oh… and she also happens to be a published author! Heather’s chapbook Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards was published by DevilHousePress in 2015 and her novel Filthy Sugar is being published by Inanna Press. Please also check out her blog Heather Rose Babcock…Writing to Exhale.