Introducing GramMaster C

Posted on Posted in Wanderwriting

Netflix has recently announced they were seeking skilled Instagrammers with a passion for travel, television and film who feel they excel in digital photography.  Those requirements basically describe everyone with an Instagram account.  These four lucky recipients with a keen eye for storytelling snapshots, whose impressive image gallery has the ability to move (the most) people, are promised a desirable reward for their talent.   Netflix plans to send the chosen ones to Europe and The Middle East on on all-expense paid round trip simply tasked with taking a few behind-the-scenes pics at film and TV sets.  But I’m sensing a catch here.

Does this mean Netflix is showing their appreciation and altruistically giving back to their loyal fans?  Have they set out to help us struggling, disadvantaged app users of the world gain the ever-elusive exposure we need for our crafts?  And take a joy ride on the back of a camel during filmed safari scenes in Abu Dhabi?  Or is this an apology for trying to force feed us all that misinformation on Making a Murderer?   You’re not forgiven, but thank you anyway for the thoughtful gesture.

A friend of mine who faithfully followed my overseas adventures during the past two years was the one who first brought Netflix’s hiring ad to my attention.  She is convinced that this job was fatefully created with me in mind.  I’m more of a skeptic about both my rising destiny and these grandiose social media opportunities, but was intrigued nonetheless, so I lightly entertained the idea.  I browsed through the contest guidelines as bathroom reading material to discover it’s as easy as 1-2-3- photos on Instagram using the #grammasters3 hashtag.

Unfortunately by the time I had pulled up my pants and washed my hands to do more research (doing research is my favorite hobby, ask me about the Titanic, or Megalodon, or the benefits of coconut oil, or international women’s organizations that I plan to fund once I have disposable income, please, ask me), the word was out.  The announcement was rapidly appearing all over my newsfeed, travel blogs and online groups.  The competition immediately exploded as there were almost hundreds of thousands of filtered images now flooding Instagram donning the designated tags.  I was still only in research phase.

I got too caught up thinking about the logistics behind the alleged job opening only to determine this couldn’t be legitimate.  Rather, the obvious scheme was to garner awareness and hundreds of thousands new followers for Netflix in compliance with their sneaky demands.  Brilliant marketing, eh?  Is #NetflixAndChill already losing steam?  Will #NetflixAndCamelSelfie be the newest craze?

I may not have learned a whole hell of a lot when studying for my Advertising degree, but this started to resemble a textbook gimmick.  Essentially, hoards of Instagram users with no chance of being selected are now following Netflix and drawing even more free publicity to their account by tagging the competition.  Meanwhile, they’ve probably already selected the new batch of recipients internally by hiring the company’s executives’ privileged children solely for having the invaluable prerequisite known as “birth.”  But I’m sure they had to work really hard to get their own $200 Dead Sea spa-pedicured foot through the door, just like everyone else.

To be fair though, the Instagram candidates don’t have anything to lose, except maybe their cool when they don’t get chosen.  Because they’re certain that their classic airplane wings over the ocean photo or city sunset panoramic is sensational, definitely unlike the millions of others in existence exactly like it.  Their particular smartphone picture-taking abilities are legendary.  I predict that it’s only a matter of time until a scrappy entrepreneur capitalizes on this industry and Selfies 101 or Food Photos for Dummies start popping up as college courses and best-sellers.  Actually, maybe I should get on that.

Personally I try to approach these open call platforms with an err of caution and level head; one wises up after repetitive failures from harboring high expectations.  I’ve also dropped the ball a long time ago on Instagram, due to a combination of stupidity and laziness.  I downloaded the Gram in 2012, but didn’t understand its marketing merit until recently.  Plus, I didn’t really have anything to advertise other than my alcoholism and subsequent bad decisions.  I’ve done a bit of traveling in recent years (26 countries in 19 months) and still failed to see its potential until I returned to the States and built my own website a few months ago.

After the new year  I finally decided to clean up my old Insta profile and start from scratch.  I’ve been making strides to recreate my account by consistently posting “quality” images with common hashtags and links back to my site in cahoots with other social mediums.  I feel like I’ve been working really hard juggling between creating, writing content and managing 7 different social media sites without tangible progress.  Social media isn’t fun anymore; it just seems like extra work sprinkled with righteous opinions and engagement pictures.  I’m aware that the world is crumbling around us, your wedding was stunning and someone else posted a nude photo, but could you please take a moment to share my satirical obituary?  If you could somehow pass that along to Ellen as well, it would be most helpful.

Unfortunately I realized my mortal mistake too late as I am now an IG bottom-feeder with fewer than 500 followers.  What completely perplexes me is when someone who has newly joined and only posted one image of their sleeping cat has instantly gained 3,000 followers and awarded 500 likes?  What am I doing wrong here?  I have cats too!  All I get for their photos is sympathy because they’re not very cute.  I’ve been trying to increase my social media stalkers organically by adding photos of past trips captioned with popular tags, but it’s been a slow arduous process.  According to my Insta, I was in Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines all within the past 72 hours.  Talk about flashpacking.

This warrants backhanded comments from “friends” who feel the need to make snide remarks about my uploads.  Yes, I do realize that I am not currently in Asia.  In fact, I know better than anybody that I am sitting in my parents’ home in Pennsylvania where I’ve been jobless and depressed for the past five months.  Thanks for pointing that out there, Captain Obnoxiously Obvious.  Please DO post more photos of your children though!  Sitting on a sofa, on the floor, on a bed and maybe a chair as well, because they’re absolutely riveting.  I mean, as long as they’re currently up-to-date of course.  Apparently Instagram has a clause I missed detailing pivotal instructions about posting former photography.  I guess I broke the cardinal rule of social media and posted a #ThrowbackThursday on #ManCrushMonday, my mistake.

Even more annoying are the twats who follow you for a hit back and then not-so-slyly delete you afterwards.  I have so few followers that I can pinpoint exactly when this happens.  I know that it’s only social media and one should not be affected by such superficial nonsense, but this really irritates me.  It’s so telling of the types of self-serving people social media has created, who have such a sense of entitlement.  They feel everyone should feel thrilled to follow their carbon copy pages, but they’re far too superior for my feeble feed.

The pages I seek out on my own volition are because I have an active interest in their material, not because I think I know what is best for them and that my social contributions take precedence.  I wouldn’t encourage a perfect stranger to follow my activity through devious methods and then delete them once they do.  You’re not the Adele of manipulated IG photos!  That isn’t how this works!  You don’t get to have millions of followers and not be subjected to my Mayfair mountain scenes or Rise yoga poses in return!  When you drop a Gram that revolutionizes the art of photography, within the groundbreaking ranks of Adele’s 25 album, then maybe you can behave like a sought after rockstar.  Until then, listen up!  Your pug is ugly and I genuinely don’t care to see pictures of your protein powder, now cut it out already.

If you don’t actually care to have daily updates of my awkward selfies and shitty iPhone 4s photography, then just move along and I’ll show you the same courtesy.  This goes out to all the “dependable travel chicks” out there who probably won’t even read this as they’re far too busy posing for faux reflection photos in sun-drenched cave openings while seated alongside endorsed leather camera bags.  STOP following and unfollowing me.  I see you.  I don’t wish to follow you or read your cookie-cutter crap.  ENOUGH!  You are banned from my page herein by this day through this informal written agreement.  Same goes to all those pages dedicated to genitals – why the hell does my account keep attracting crotch shots and bare asscheeks?

Nothing is original on these sites anymore!  Not gratuitous tit pics and not even this post itself complaining about other attention-addicted narcissists.  Does that make me a narcissist too by default?  Am I just as bad as those three annoying girls publicly arguing online about Yelp dismissals?  Perhaps, but at least I’m not ignorantly under the delusion that I’m the most important person in the social universe and everyone should dote on my every update…  just my blog content.  It’s transcendent.  Seriously, have a look.  For I am Queen CCStuffington – the Almighty Creator, now blindly follow my work.

So, on that not serious note and in line with the spirit of self-promotion, I’ve decided to compile a list of  ten reasons, including photographic evidence, as to why I would be the best fit for Netflix’s distinguished GramMaster position.  I have no hopes of gaining anything, although a couple (hundred) more IG followers would be nice so I’d have a larger target audience to pester into reading my blog.  I haven’t even “applied” through their rigorous qualifications process so am not gunning for candidacy.  That isn’t to say that if Netflix did contact me through anomalous intervention, I wouldn’t eagerly jump at the opportunity to wander the world for compensation.  Anything they’d offer would increase my current salary by 100% since it’s held strong at $0 for months now.  My credit card could certainly use the break.

If nothing else, maybe someone will see my clear talent for social media and hire me to teach one of the new courses I’ve suggested?  This does go against my core literary belief that lists should never be intertwined with the delicate craft of writing, but I can’t depend on the average reader to follow without a numeric count.  You’re welcome!  Now, please allow me in introducing myself, the exceptionally underrated, GramMaster C.


10 Reasons Why I’m The Great Gramsby

1.   I do what scares me,


even if that means embarrassing myself in the process.

#firstscubadive #fearthefrenchriviera #jawsphobia

2.  I’m excellent at imitating iconic movie scenes


and looking damn sexy while doing so.

#thedrowningmermaid #partofyourworld #chandrassong

3.  I’m a skilled multi-tasker,


one who can take exciting action shots while navigating the elements.

#goprohero #shamelessselfies #tourdetamcoc

4.  I am always up for an adventure,


even if I lose my bottoms, I never lose my wandering spirit.

#leapoffaith #bottomsup #nolifeguards #jumpatyourownrisk

5.  I can stay flexible and balanced during difficult situations,



or flawlessly fake that I have it under control for two whole seconds.

#lifesagreatbalancingact #blessedaretheflexible #upsidedownworld #feetintheclouds

6.  I’ll stop at nothing to get the photos that matter


because the people have a right to the truth, and famous artworks.

#forbiddenphotography #romeisrising #themichelangelocode #evicted

7.  Even if I have to suffer the consequences of my actions,

IMG_9347 (1)

I’ll go down in smiling style.

#orangeisthenewberlin #developingarrest #freedomofphotography #netflixnod

8.  I’m constantly reinventing new ways to do the mundane

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 4.53.30 PM

because I won’t settle for anything less than extraordinary.

#bethechange #youwishtosee #inthepub #hongkong #buddhabeer

9.  I’ll risk life, limb and a healthy digestive system


traveling to the most remote corners of the earth searching for the gravitationally impossible.

#goldenlegends #defygravity #intimesoftyphoid 

10.  Because I, too, can capture gorgeous sunsets,


yet they’ll never be nearly as stunning as in the moment.

#athousandsplendidsunsets #sunsetslayer #writecreatewander 


For more puns of suns, but no buns, please see to ccstuffington.

My dog, Bentley, has recently started his own account and he cordially requests your presence at bboyruffington.


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