Thursday, February 7, 2008

Turn Left at the Apocalypse

When did everything change? I mean, really? I feel like the world has devolved while evolving at an alarming rate these past few years. Once upon a time we could go without bottled water for more than 10 minutes, our throats self-lubricating and moist for hours at a time! There was a day when it didn’t seem utterly blasphemous to eat a sandwich on white bread, we were spared sidelong looks from coworkers as if we were caught chowing down on a newborn baby. A time when we left the house and our telephone behind, never vaguely concerned about our temporary lack of communication. We lived in a world, not too long ago, where a vacation was real, without internet access or remote conference calls via satellite. You could have a conversation with a friend who wasn’t thumbing through his Blackberry as if his life depended on it. And I know this isn’t original. I know Seinfeld fielded these tough questions on a weekly basis back when things started changing, before Pluto was kicked out of our solar system, but really!


As I bit into my whole grain bread today, I asked myself why I was eating it. Is it because advertisements and so-called health professionals have convinced me it’s right, or is it for fear of being behind the times? When you walk down the street and catch sight of a man on a late-90s-model Nokia, you notice, don’t you? Admit it. You notice. It’s as if he’s talking into a military-grade walkie-talkie – Huge and sturdy, well-built and equipped for battle. We want it smaller, faster, more delicious and nutritious. We want it now, five minutes ago, and yesterday. We don’t look forward to anything, we only regret what we didn’t just do. I feel like a miserable old man, rocking in my chair, cursing the world. But really. When did everything get so crazy?

The times change too quickly, and yet not fast enough. All the things we don’t need altered change tri-annually (iPods, health kicks, celebrity It-Girls) and the things we need right now seem to be taking forever (electric cars, an “exit strategy”, gay marriage for all!). We have all the technology in the world to make Facebooking the most convenient and efficient it can possibly be, but we don’t yet have a cure for cancer. We don’t even have a cure for the common cold, for God’s sake! Who’s the project manager on that? Kids are getting fatter, our life expectancy might actually be moving in reverse, and reality TV seems to be getting closer to depicting reality. We’re going backwards! Hulk Hogan is experiencing a second round of fame – Where have we gone wrong?!

I find the whole thing terrifying. At this rate, I’m not sure where we’ll be in even my lifetime. Britney Spears’ vulva is familiar to me and I fear sodium and cholesterol the way I once feared the underside of my bed at night. I just don’t think that’s right. When did everything change?

5 comments:

  1. Your posts are very readable. A verbal drummer with good rhythm you are!

    Probiotics, automatic updates, spy doctors, Omega-3 everything . . .

    Feeling like a character in a Douglas Coupland novel is not as wonderful as I thought it would be, ha.

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  2. You're just getting old. Boy, are you going to be a fun 70-year-old!

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  3. Backatcha, Dick.
    We'll live in some convalescence home together, kvetching about everything - It's be fantastic!

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  4. Spot on and very well-written. Two years later and your musings are just as relevant (except we fear high fructose syrup instead of cholesterol now). "All the things we don't need altered change tri-annually" - just delete "altered": we fill our lives with needless fluff to keep ourselves busy and interesting.

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  5. Minus that banner of bread, this post is EVERYTHING. And from February of 2008, it's only nuttier. My god. "We want it smaller, faster, more delicious and nutritious. We want it now, five minutes ago, and yesterday. We don’t look forward to anything, we only regret what we didn’t just do. I feel like a miserable old man, rocking in my chair, cursing the world. But really. When did everything get so crazy?"

    PS--Blackberry? Ha! REMEMBER THOSE?

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