As a great man (me) once said, "Fame is like peanut butter. You have to spread it."
And Facebook provides the right ... peanut-butter-spreading knife for the job.
OK. How to start? Well, as a stand-up comedian (of rare gifts and pluck, mind you), I have a wide network of friends, fans, peers, and associates. And it's very, VERY easy to balloon this on FB. My FB clique is around 1,300 right now (they don't let you have more than 5,000, I'm told, which I'm already irked by). You collect names at shows, you see performers you like, you find people, you say "yes" to whomever asks to be your friend (Why not? You can always block people who go weird on you - I've done exactly that 5 or 6 times already), and in no time, voila: you've reached some critical mass where you're kind of hanging around a massive, perpetual party of people, yapping and commenting and yucking it up back and forth any time you like.
Which ... for me is pretty often. What can I say? I'm a middle-school girl at heart. My preferred comic weapon in life has always been the snarky, sotto voce quip in the back of class. I'd either whisper or (better yet) actually write down in my notebook some wee bon mot designed to get a laugh from a pal or a cute girl.
How could you beat that? That's my M.O. Speaking "truth" just out of earshot of power.
Oh lord. I've gone a long way around with this, haven't I?
Back to Facebook. "Status updates" are your chance to make that comment in your notebook in the back of class. I love that they're short. I love that they're stupid. I love that they're throwaway. I love that now other people (most of whom I don't know in real life) can make some jack-ass comment right back at me, or give props or bust chops--or whatever. The whole thing is like candy to me. I absolutely love writing them. I love being snarky and annoying. And having 1,300 people be able to see it? Bliss. I'm not kidding.
And ... yes, I actually have "fans" of my status updates now. You think I'm kidding. I'm not.
And I SAY my comments are "throwaway," but that's just me trying to be cool. I'm not an idiot. I have an RSS feed that collects all my status-updates so I can go back and turn them into whatever book ideas or stand-up premises I might hatch later on. I'm aware I'm spinning gold, yo.
Oh, and here's how I claim the authority to write so vainly about my experience: I GOT WRITTEN UP BY THE PRESS FOR MY EFFORTS! That's right. Eat it. They said "We can't all be consistently witty with our update status like a ROBERT BUSCEMI [that's me], but can't we at least strive for some occasional insightful insight?"
How sweet is that? They're basically admitting that I am King of Earth.
So anyhow, an illustrative (and VERY middle-school-drama-ish) FB story. This one Poor Bastard (we'll call him "PB") literally didn't "get" several status-updates of mine in a row (he'd asked if I was speaking some kind of "code" the day before), and I had to school him in our comment-exchange after the fact, for all the world (all my 1,300 friends, anyway) to see. The exchange:
My update: "Robert ... needed to move just 20 yards, but it was from cliff to opposite cliff, so he had to go down in the gully, then 30 hard miles south to get out, then back."
PB commented immediately: "again, what are you talking about? Is this from a movie?"
Poor, poor, slow-on-the-uptake PB ...
My response: "PB! it's just a bit of imagery. mildly funny (i hope) floating poetry of sorts. i was actually thinking about stand-up, if you must know -- how it's a long, long road to a short place: me being funny on stage just like i used to be funny at parties. in one sense, no difference (20 yards). in another sense, a long, long, long, arduous trek through the treacherous desert (7 years of stage time). capice? now please, stop making me explain. just open your mind and go with 'em or ignore 'em. they don't 'mean'-mean ANYthing. dig? and i don't quote movies, PB. people quote me."
Then, after "Steve" intoned, somewhat cleverly (" '30 hard miles south to get out...' It may be hard Robert, but you can lick it!"), I added, perhaps belying too much pique: "See, PB? Steve took it on what appears to be a sexual turn. It works well enough -- you have a canyon, you're 'going south,' and it's sexual-prodigy ME we're talking about. Just go anywhere, baby. This is the '60s, after all!"
Don't you love how I'm the hero of my own story (thanks for the assist, Steve!), and how I circle my prey like a pack of hyenas?
So get bent, all you I-Won't-Go-On-Facebook snobs. I make no apologies. I love the crush of idiocy that are my status-book updates and their devotees who try in vain to match my comic heights.
(I write tons of text-messages too, if you're curious. "Eat it, sofa-butt!" is in my text-message outbox as I type.)
What can I say? It's a literary age. And before you throw stones, just remember: You're not writing Proust either, Einstein. Though it occurs to me that the minutiae of Facebook information parallels Proust more closely than, say, Faulkner.
Did I just hit on a dissertation topic?
Just search "Robert Buscemi" on Facebook and I'll pop up. You can friend me. Then you can see for yourself what a ninja I am.
Oh, and here are a few short compilations of my better status-update work.
See you on Facebook, suckas.