Oh shit, blags,
We have to stop meeting like this. Ready to do this again? I haven’t posted in a while. I get it. I used to be ostensibly Catholic (read: the normal kind of Catholic), so guilt levels are pretty high on a daily basis about this and so many other things. One time I had a few drinks and said something to someone, then I felt bad about it all the next day because I wasn’t sure if I worded it perfectly. Like I mispronounced a word or accidentally gave a lady my man-handshake. Last weekend I was at a sports bar and referred to Richard Dawkins as “Hawkins” between one and two times. I’m still not over it.
OK, I gotta get it together. I’ve had a few cups of coffee and I’ve been feeling kind of manic today anyway (I actually drafted this a few days ago, but it’s happening again right now), so things around here are way, way more energetic than usual. I’m typically operating around 2-5 on the personality dial. We’re banging along at around a 6 or 7 (e.g., somewhere in the ballpark of Steven Wright on a low-key coke bender) right now, so I’m attempting to focus this surge into a laser beam, so high-powered that it would make the MIT nerds in my neighborhood shit their pants in a fit of technolust. My brain is now the ultimate power in the Universe (the force is bullshit).
All that said, I don’t know what I’m going to talk about because I presently don’t care about anything. Not in a nihilistic sort of way, but in (what I like to think of as) an adult kind of way. Sure, I have interests. Roughly half as many as I did when I was a college kid, but they’re there. But I’m not driven by “care.”
Take Occupy Wall Street, for example. Is it still going on? I don’t know. Sure, I support the idea behind it. But I’m way too old (almost 27!) to be getting active in that sort of thing. My version of maxing out my commitment level to an interest I have is checking the app store to see if there’s anything that will give me easily digestible updates on the topic. If there’s no app, it stops being a thing I care about. This isn’t the fucking ’90s.
Give me a moment to think of a really great metaphor for how people used to be into things, and how they are now …
OK, so, let’s compare it to diet. A really long time ago (and also now, in Appalachia, where people consist on wild squirrel, Mountain Dew and engine coolant), people had to chase their food, catch it, kill it, dress it, prepare it and consume it. Now, we just sign up with Nutrisystem® and it’s delivered to our houses, apartments, re-purposed shipping containers and other manner of human nesting-cubes. It requires only the initial thought and commitment, then the rest is handled by the source as we sit back, relax, and watch the pounds shed away.
Now let’s match this up with interests: There was a time when you’d have to read little flyers about things you might want to do, then call a phone number and sign up for a mailing list, or read the newspaper, or meet, befriend, and then speak with people who were also into whatever thing you were into. It was a real hassle and it required the kind of commitment that would, ultimately, make you even more committed to the interest. You literally had to follow it.
Dump that methodology into a ceramic jar and place it over your fireplace, because it’s fucking dead. “Following” now exclusively refers to something you do, with media, using your phone, on Twitter or whatever other social media application, and it’s an almost completely passive enterprise. The obvious benefit is that you can now like all sorts of things, without actually having to use up valuable parts of your brain in the process! If you were to ask me, “BLAG editor, what are your favorite movies?” and we were in some sort of tunnel, I’d have to say, “I’ll tell you once I have reception, because I need to check Facebook to see what I like.”
To anyone who complains about the Big Brother that Facebook has become (that we all literally signed up for), and how all of our information will be stored there forever, even if we delete it: It’s too late. You already need it to be this way. Good luck writing your memoirs without checking your Timeline for crib notes. That is a test you are going to fail unless it’s open book, or you cheat, like I did in high school physics class.
It’s already too late for your brain. Facebook is now your social life, Twitter is now your public awareness, and StumbleUpon is now your sense of wonder. Drink the rest of your Kool-Aid and enjoy the sweet, manufactured taste, blags.
Also, follow me on Twitter (it takes like no work): @alex85j