Deep Thoughts in Modern Tymes

WHEN I’M NOT letting my white zinfandel breathe, scanning headlines (Did Romney’s Father Really Grow Up Poor?) without reading the actual article, applying Porcelana®, or falling behind with the Kardashians, I’m collecting deep thoughts to deliver unto you, dear Reader. Some come from the ethers; others are harvested from friends and strangers, otherwise known as intellectual property theft.

This week’s found art came from a kid in Silver Lake in an inflatable kayak. An inflatable kayak is a terrible idea, in part because the wind blows it around.  As he flailed with not only the wrong kind of boat but absolutely the wrong kind of paddle, he said to no one in particular, “I hope I don’t capsize myself.”  That is a deep thought, young man. So many of us feel that way.

Another gem was the road signs in Massachusetts advising, “Increase Safety for All.”  It’s patronizing and not remotely deep—yet succinct, and for some reason I wish I’d written it myself.

I collect for redistribution not only deep thoughts, but weird thoughts, easy enough in these Modern Tymes. Currently, plenty is insufferable and weird: “trending” cannibalism, gas prices like we lived in Europe (sheesh!), real estate nightmares, stores and restaurants closing, disastrous weather, the fact that “invasive species” is a commonly understood term, technological hassles, technological threats, technology allowing—nay, encouraging—annoying perversions like Weinergate…all weird.

Ah, technology: always changing, always vexing, ever of interest. Years ago, when an actor delivered a terrible performance, it was said in Hollywood that it was so bad he’d “phoned the part in.” Later, it became, “He faxed the part in.” I wonder (at 4 a.m.) if they now say, “He e-mailed it in.” “He texted it.”  “He posted it on FaceBook.” And—importantly—what’s next?  “He microthermed it in.”  “He zoontagged it.”  For as much as we are baffled and plagued by technology, we remain curious about its future. What the heck are they gonna come up with next?  In medicine, in transpo, in energy, surveillance (ick), communication? We have no bloody idea. It could be good, it could be bad, but one thing is certain: it’s gonna be weird.

It’s fun going backwards, too, when mining deep thoughts. Recently, I recalled for the first time in decades that as a young girl I went through various phases with the help of library books: a card tricks phase, a bird calls phase, and a whittling phase (for what? What does one do with pointed sticks?) These by myself with no prompting and no friends involved. Did I fancy myself some kind of magician? A young Dr. Doolittle? A woodsy craftswoman or small killer of small mammals?  Who knows what deep thoughts children think; point is it’s a riot to remember something you haven’t thought about in years…one of the few—and unsung—advantages of aging. Consulting old friends is valuable, because they recollect stuff you’ve totally forgotten. As a pal once said when I told her something hilarious she’d done that she had no memory of whatsoever, “That’s why we have friends. To remember our own lives.”

Sooper couples such as Beyonce + Jay-Z and Gisele + Tom, were obviously designed by God to make the rest of us feel small, crippled, and useless. But our own children? They’re more talented than we were, less drunk, smarter, and have the limbs of gazelles. This towering super-race came from us? Also weird: they don’t get together. They hide alone in their bedrooms texting or Skyping each other with the door closed. I used to see a neighbor kid doing this in his darkened living room wearing a headlamp, possibly to illuminate his face for his “friends”.  My guess is the same crazy teen conversations go on as ever, just without the warmth of human contact. But they’re not dying to get out of their parents’ houses?! That’s just weird. I hope they don’t capsize themselves.

Among my fave lines to hear on old TV shows, in addition to “I’ll see you in court!” or any variation on “Touch her again and I’ll kill you,” is the Dynasty era’s “I will destroy you.”*  Do people these days text each other [brief!] threats like, “C U in the ICU.” Surely they do. They don’t fax it in and they definitely don’t say it in person. That would demand a degree of effort—and closeness—unthinkable in Modern Tymes.

No tech for me this weekend, or weirdly isolating forms of communication. I’m lakin’ it. In nature with actual humans.  I’ll see you in court. Good day.

*Nod to comic Fran Solamita, c. 1987

Ann Aikens can be reached via e-mail at uppervalleygirl@gmail.com and Twitter at @uvgvt (http://twitter.com/uvgvt).

About uppervalleygirl

Columnist, bloggist, short storyist, essayist, novel-in-progressist.

Posted on June 30, 2012, in humor, rural, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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