31/10/2011

signal junkies

Back when books came on paper and words came in ink, we had things. Things, physical things we could fondle with our minds. Books, CD's, cassettes, videotapes and DVD's. In short, things. If you could smack your own face with it, chances were you could read it, watch it, listen to it or play it. Allegedly such things are rapidly falling out of fashion, these material objects. Yes ownership is not what it used to be, but whilst it has always come with a list of terms and conditions a half-mile long at least having some solid copy of something right there in your hands helped to distract you from the waking coma that was your life.

That's a hypothetical you I refer to there, we all know none of what I refer to refers to you. Oh no I'm talking about the other you's among you, you know who you are, yes, you! That's right, those of you who find the thought of turning an actual page in an actual book simply too much to cope with. You're probably in the same demographic as those people who simply die when their spiffy Blackberry smart phones don't work. Pfft, generalisations, they're all the same.

The Internet made this possible, made it possible to beam almost anything into our brains after bouncing it off the screens of our cherished little doodads. Films, books, games and music can all be downloaded at the touch of some very capable buttons. It saves us the ordeal of having to separate discs from the boxes they come in because well, how the feck does that happen without like human sacrifice or something? Duh!

No doubt one day the drug dealers of popular culture will finally succeed in their mission statement of making us more inert than the average corpse. Until then our best minds will be put to work in the factories of science where they shall shave that all-important extra tenth of a second that separates us from our entertainment. Because time is precious, buying, opening and inserting DVDs into DVD players robs us of the precious time we could otherwise devote to reality TV and improving our mad ninja skills.

Eventually we will save so much time we'll finally get down to all those things we never seem to have enough time to do, or we won't because, you know, we'll just spend all that time doing what saved us so much time in the first place like downloading more films or kindling more books. Oh well, instant access culture, feels great doesn't it? Having everything right there for you now if not yesterday at the latest.

But that won't do, we want everything and we want it before we even realise it exists or even exists at all. That can be arranged right? Somewhere some corporate suit with a person attached to it has figured out how to make this possible right? Have we not cracked the nut of time travel yet? Oh we haven't, so what exactly are we using science for if we're not using it to broadcast facebook status updates back in time? This simply will not do.

We're junkies of the signal it seems, more so now than ever before, always connected, always on. Together we're using enough raw technological power to blast a hole in the sky but instead of super science we get space age phones and computer tablets in this, the depressingly normal world of tomorrow, today. But hey at least we can medicate ourselves with some instant entertainment, it's not like the world is in a dream state we need to wake up from, oh wait it is! Financial crises, political corruption, yep it all feels too real to me, mostly because it is.

That's about it for today but before I go, subtract one day from your typical one year anniversary and behold the following sentence in all its undeserved glory. Three sixty four, count em, three hundred and sixty four days of me, in a blog, condensed into a couple of thousand words of nonsense. I hope you enjoy what gets written and rewritten and typed and deleted and finally presented to you on-screen. It makes it there eventually, largely intact and without making your head explode. Leave a comment, heck leave two, I know you want to really.