In case you missed it | Update your status


Update your status

These days nothing is real until it happens on Facebook. People live entire lives online with Facebook serving as a public square of sorts, so it’s only logical for us all to post our relationship status and sexual preference in our profiles, along with our favorite bands, political philosophy and deepest religious reflections.

There was “Single” for single people. “In a relationship” for those who wanted to keep things vague, perhaps even from their somewhat significant others.

There was “Engaged” and “Married,” “Separated” and “Divorced” — all pretty obvious. Then there was “It’s complicated,” which we pretty much figured was put in place for polyamorists and Mormons. However, there was no “out” option for gays and lesbians.

But last week, Facebook announced with little ado that it would be expanding its options for romantic status to include civil unions and domestic partnerships. (If only it were so easy in real life!) But why stop there? In the post-privacy age, surely there are other relationship status options to explore. Here are a few:

Single By Choice On the Rebound Looking For Chance to Cheat Going ‘Fatal Attraction’ Porno Only/No Real People Will Dump Current Fling for Anyone Hotter Prefer BOB (battery operated boyfriend) But wait! There’s more! A new application designed for Facebook monitors other people’s relationship status and notifies you when the object of your lust finally breaks up with him/her/them. The Breakup Indicator app will no doubt revolutionize how quickly someone can switch his or her relationship status. It became so popular Facebook had to shut it down, with 3.6 million users potentially creating too much traffic for the site to handle. Here’s to hoping it comes back soon, so we can use the next new relationship status: Waiting for Mr./Ms. Right to Dump That D-Bag.

Want my ZIP code? Get lost!

We’ve all been through it. You go to the store to buy a CD or maybe a tube of lipstick. The cashier smiles and asks you for your ZIP code. And most people, assuming this is a necessary part of even cash transactions, simply give the information. Those who don’t get the evil eye, as if they, not the cashier, are out of line.

Consumers in California will no longer have to put up with this thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling that found asking for a ZIP code infringes on consumer rights. The state has long had laws protecting consumers’ private information; the court ruling simply adds ZIP codes to the information now considered private.

According to consumer rights advocates, most people have no idea that the company they’re buying from is trying to mine them for marketing information. There is no legal basis, nor any legitimate security reason, for retailers to demand ZIP code information.

So the next time someone asks you what your zip code simply smile and say, “No.”

Perhaps privacy isn’t dead after all.

Save civilization! Fund the NEA!

Sure, Congress needs to cut spending, balance the budget and do something about all the money we owe China. But do they have to cut funding for the arts?

Right now, the National Endowment for the Arts’ budget is facing a cut of $43 million, which will result in massive loss of opportunity in theater, music, fine arts, dance and literature. And the last thing we need in America are seriously frustrated and depressed artists. Think of how different the world would be if only Adolf Hitler’s painting career had taken off.