January: A Full Menu

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Today, we have an assortment of thoughts from this month. Here’s the full menu.

Appetizer: Le Weefee (“WiFi”)

I joined the 21st century this year and started off the year with wifi. I didn’t have wifi during my previous 5-6 years in this apartment. I subsisted off of my phone’s handy hotspot. #godbless This even got me through the confusing what-the-heck-is-happening days of the pandemic (hopefully, those are behind us). I am pretty sure not having wifi contributed to my old boss’ hate toward me (though I am convinced she liked no one, including herself). I think having le weefee, as I call it, has allowed me to dream a bit more as far as content creation and growth is concerned. I want to do it right, you know? As a society, it seems that the more we are given, the more laid back and unintentional we become. The only thing we are intentional about is becoming zombies… If people back in the day were hungry for knowledge, I want to use le weefee for good. Stay hungry.

Image from Pinterest

Beverage: India

I saw Gwen Stefani’s newest single “Let Me Reintroduce Myself” is #1 in India. I saw her thank you post. It made me smile because India has been a great supporter of this blog. So many people were reading my Javed Akhtar poetry posts the other day, I had to make sure he was still alive and that I hadn’t missed something. Thank you, India, for all the love. I see you in the stats, and you are amazing. Year after year. The love is mutual.

Image via Tumblr

Main: Silence

So, a bunch of people have been banned into what many are calling “Twitter hell.” This includes folks like Mike Lindell (the My Pillow guy). He has a pretty incredible personal story, by the way. What I think many people fail to notice is that Twitter has been sketchy with who it allows and who it doesn’t allow for a while now.

I will be honest– at first, I didn’t believe it, and I dismissed it; that was until my boyfriend (who has zero social media) tried to open/set up an account, and it refused to let him, for no reason. It was basically asking him for his ssn (I exaggerate, but practically) and stuff it had never asked me for to “authenticate”. He hadn’t even posted. (This was curiously around the election). Now, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Pillow started going down some strange rabbit holes and promoting his own little theories (which I personally don’t align with), but I don’t think this happens overnight. I think that over time, people are able to perceive when they are being censored or at least monitored. It leaves you with an unease– believe me.

This creates a distrust and paranoia that I believe ends up feeding people’s later behavior that we often think is so strange. Nothing ever happens overnight. There is usually a path that leads to a destination. Oftentimes, in our public discourse, truth lies in the middle of two extremes, and the more you try to silence one group, the harder it pursues whatever it is pursuing (plus they are seething). I guess what I am trying to say is that people being banned from certain platforms and being silenced is not new. And I understand that accountability and truth are important, but then the question becomes, who will hold companies like Facebook and Twitter accountable and responsible for the monsters they help create while they play their selective games? It’s dangerous to leave the power of silencing in the hands of those who reap a profit from the same they seek to silence.

Many people who are silenced now were actually silenced a long time ago when they actually had something valid to contribute to the discussion. I really believe that. I guess I just want to say, we will always pay for the silence. Sometimes in ways we don’t expect.

Side: Library Books

Remember when library books had that little card that you would write your name on and the librarian would stamp it with the due date? You could read it and try to see who had checked out the book before you.

It would be interesting if we could see today who is reading what (or who read something before us). Do we come to the same insights? (Probably not) Would you like the people reading the same things as you?

Dessert: CiCi’s Pizza

I heard today that CiCi’s Pizza is declaring bankruptcy. I remember the days when I would meet my family there after work to feast on their delicious pizzas (my favorites were the dessert ones and the brownies were off the chain). RIP, CiCi’s. The memories live on. If you never experienced the magic of a pizza buffet– I don’t know what to tell you. It’s one of the magical things we get to experience as humans.

Tea: Perceptions

Not long ago, I was walking down a street in Manhattan with my boyfriend, and it was a touristy area. You know, where you are flanked with street vendors. Skimpy Christmas lights were up and the tourists were few. The vendor on one side offered my boyfriend a “Gucci” wallet. My bf apparently looked like a fine gentleman who would appreciate a gentle knockoff of the Italian powerhouse money holder. (He is a fine gentleman, by the way– but not the knockoff type). Me? The vendor who approached me asked me if I wanted to buy some pot. I was stunned. Apparently, I do not look like the “Gucci” wallet type. #offended

It’s weird how we perceive people, how people perceive us, and the contrast of this with how we want to be perceived.

I hope this was a 5-star meal. Take home a mint wrapped in an “I (heart) NY” wrapper, compliments of the chef.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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