Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pacing The Cage

I was reading an interview last night in which Jack Turner says: The more digital your life is, the more you have conformed. It’s safe to stay home and watch reruns of Star Trek and fiddle with Facebook and track digital gossip, but it’s also shallow and lifeless.
I'm more likely to watch reruns of Doc Martin than Star Trek. I'm not interested in gossip. I do have Facebook on the screen most of the day although I'm not always looking at it. A few details are different but he's talking about me.
Up until then I was enjoying the read. He's an interesting man who has lived in an interesting manner. But there's chauvinism in so much of what he says. Some of us can't live in a place where we need snow shoes to get home. And even when I was able to walk I wouldn't have been engaged by the life style he holds dear. I like nature. I value nature. And I've always wanted there to be a coffee shop and a book store fairly close by.
I need to get out more. I know that. I'm lonely and I need to find a way to connect with more people. It was true in SF and it's more true now. Every Saturday morning I try to push myself to drive my scooter over to the Farmer's Market and I fail. I fail because I'm afraid when I'm driving my scooter. I fail because the only thing worse than being alone is being with people and feeling alone. In the time it takes me to eat breakfast I talk myself out of going.
Having said all that I resist the idea that a life organized around screens is shallow and lifeless. It can be but it doesn't have to be. When I first started blogging I was thrilled to find so many interesting people. People doing great art. People having great conversations. People writing and posting about their daily lives. I would get lost clicking through other people's blog rolls. I've met a few of the people I found on blogs and it has usually felt like meeting an old friend.
It was hard this week not to be glued to media. I spent a lot of time mumbling to myself. When I saw the picture from Howard my first reaction was to take a picture with my hands up and use it on my profile. I try not to do things like that. I didn't take a hoodie shot during the Trevon days. I haven't poured ice water on my head. I don't wear pink. I don't disapprove of any of those things. I don't really think most people who do them feel like they've done anything substantive. It feels good to do something when it feels like there's noting you can do. Of course there is a need for action but I find criticism of  these things jaundiced and unnecessary. My choice to not do it was because I felt such urgency and it didn't feel real enough. There were solidarity event all over the place and I felt like all I could do was drag my walker down to the patio for my building and hold a Hands Up Don't Shoot poster. Maybe I should have. Maybe I would have met some people and had some interesting conversations.
I wonder if the people who had used social media to launch revolutions feel like what they're doing is shallow and lifeless.
Do I sound like I'm arguing from both sides of a fence? I am. I often do.
I'm just annoyed.
I'm frustrated.
I feel way too many things.
I know having a news talk show on a screen next to me while I scroll through the Internet in front of me and checking my phone and ... oh. OK. I need to get out more. But it's not about conformity. It doesn't feel lifeless. Or Shallow.
I have been pacing the cage.

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