Friday, June 17, 2011

The Digital Age

At the movie theater last night Darla and Harry were playing with a 2 year-old while we waited to get in. Darla took some pictures with her phone and I thought I saw the baby’s father give a worried look, like maybe she should have asked first, so I said, isn’t funny how nothing goes undocumented now? And he said, watch this, and handed his i-phone to the baby who scrolled through the apps, found the camera icon, clicked it, held it up (sideways to include everyone!) and took a picture. This girl still poops her pants.

There’s nothing wrong with documentation, blogs are part of that category, but when it replaces actual reflection or solitude, it gets out of control. It seems like 1984 is happening, only Big Brother is us. Everything is revealed, there is no order or progression, no thought edited out, no nuance or subtlety. Look at Anthony’s weiner, look at Sarah Palin’s 65,000 personal emails, Alec Baldwin yelling at his kid, some lady on a train swearing at the conductor.

Do I have to?

Don’t get me wrong, I could look at weiners all day. But I have the maturity level of a 13 year old boy. Is it ever not funny and utterly ridiculous to send pictures of your crotch? Did Weiner think: there’s a cute girl, I know I’m married so we can’t actually have sex, so I’m going to send her a mysterious photo of my waxed, shiny gym-toned belly with a close-up of my giblets, Get it? because my name is--- I sent her a photo of my—like the double entendray—you see? Oh this is fun. No one has to know.

But we do have to know Mr. Weiner, we do, because we love distraction, we seek it out, it soothes us and whispers in our ear and makes us forget our worries and fears and problems. You have forgotten that we are comforted by roadside crashes. It’s ok, it happens, you have been in denial since the first time 38 years ago when someone laughed after you said your name. But now, because of your “problem” and because of our computer and digitalized time, you will be part of our history. At least, I hope you will, I hope this kind of information will never become so common and appropriate that it's how we introduce ourselves. Hopefully in a hundred years, some fantastic 7th grade teacher, who is an encyclopedia of historical trivia, will tell your story and some dorky little 12 year old boy, most likely my great, great, great, great grandson, will fall out of his chair laughing.

1 comment:

  1. We've coined a new motto at our house. Or at least I've coined it and Joe gets to roll his eyes at it: LIFE ABOVE DEVICE!