Which has left me wondering... What does it mean to live a life of relative peace and affluence in times of turmoil? Just now, as I was catching up with a friend over MSN, I was slapped in the face with the harsh reality of the 21st century. Right off the bat, my friend asked me how my lightning-bolt visit to Mexico had treated me. I responded automatically and without giving it much thought: “It’s been great. Today was a beautiful day, in fact, the smog was so light I could even see most of the buildings.” He reacted with one of those surprised smiley faces that are now ubiquitous on MSN IM chats:
“:-O. That’s a pretty intense thing to say.” Huh. I guess it is.
A beautiful day in a big city is one where I can see the sky and my head doesn’t hurt from the noisome air pollution. For me, a day with average smog levels in a Third World megalopolis can be more awe-inspiring than your run-of-the mill, postcard-perfect sunset at a beautiful deserted beach (I've experienced many of these also). Mexico City’s poor air quality offers salient authenticity. But does everyone think the same, I wonder? The world is anything but perfect and moments like this provide a glimpse at atonement.
I was unexpectedly enlightened by what at first appeared to be a cursory, ho-hum IM exchange. Yesterday--in stark contrast--I was (strangely) put off by an e-mail I received asking me to join in an online effort to chastise Burma's ruling military junta for spraying bullets over peaceful crowds of protesters, and doing so without any show of remorse of restraint. Whatever. I blithely carried on with my day. The strange thing is this: I very much feel for these freedom-seeking Buddhist monks, and thanks to the Internet, even though they are halfway around the world, I feel personally connected to their plight.
To wit: Never have I been more amazed at the power of the Web for bringing attention to a rapidly escalating conflict--especially when regional access to the Internet has been one of the most contentious issues in this tense situation--yet I felt my inbox was crudely violated by a person with whom I had a tacit agreement not to engage in politically oriented e-mail sharing. My reaction to this e-mail might be on par with that of a 5-year-old, but I feel that my take on the civil unrest in Burma has been tainted by unwanted digital correspondence. Yes, yes, I care. And yes, along with the world, I am also watching--but watching only.
At the moment, I’d much rather do something to improve the air quality in Mexico City than help fight for civil rights in South East Asia. After all, as far as global digital media, it's all eyes on Burma. They've got all the limelight they need. Buddhist monks don't desperately need my e-mail signature right about now... I wonder if they even need yours?
Don't get me wrong. I am actually interested in all these celebrities and have followed their varied careers individually. And I usually rush to click on the first lame-if-strangely-compelling celebrity post discussing who the cutest Hollywood baby is. But how about some variety, eh? Not all cyber-sufers are white I'm sure and most are interested in celebrities of all strokes and ethnicities. Even Jessica Alba, the only non-WASP there, has been completely whitewashed (I guess Jeniffer Aniston has Greek roots, but she totally blew that into bits when she changed her last name). Is this the lowest common denominator?
What's your take on this? Is it implicitly racist?
To honor my friend's recommendation, I've compiled a quick list of not-so-hard-and-fast rules I usually apply when I communicate through online. Feel free to add your own best practices, amend, or shoot down some of mine:
- Cc'ing someone by accident on off-the-cuff e-mail messages is a major faux pas—especially if you cc exactly the person you don't want eying your e-mail just then—but it happens to the best of us. Digital contretemps will inevitably ensue. Own up to your mistake and be honest. Let the rest run its course.
- E-mailing is the way to go when you are introducing yourself formally. When you feel the working relationship has progressed satisfactorily, you will be ready to move up to the next level: IM’ing.
- Join your workplace network on Facebook.
- Relationship statuses on Facebook can be a major cause of embarrassment and emotional burn. After all, you don’t want to be listed as “in a relationship” and have your significant other display an “it’s complicated” or a “whatever I can get” (especially if you have work contacts on there). Taking the step to update your status on Facebook is a big deal—make sure you do it in tandem with your significant other (cheesy but a a safe call).
- Web browser histories don’t necessarily define a person. However, don’t go looking anywhere shady that you might feel could come back and bite you—unless you remember to clear your cache, that is.
- If you have a personal blog that people sometimes check in on, do not post more than once a day (unless it’s a quick, short post). People are not that interested. Don’t smear others on your blog or drag your personal life into your posts, either.
- Don’t overload IM messages with emoticons. They’re super annoying and act as stumbling blocks for hurried eyes. However, feel free to sprinkle your messages with acronyms, and be sure to keep your messages short and to the point.
- Always send screengrabs and callouts whenever these might speed up communication.
- Don’t ask a question on IM off the bat—make sure the person you are reaching out to is on the other end by starting off with a quick “yt?” or “hey.”
- Don’t go off on someone online, especially with all caps. If things get heated, pick up the phone.
I believe the Saddam execution video is an excellent example of this kind of citizen journalism: The broadcasting of the uncensored video online was able to take advantage of the capabilities of social media to shed compelling light on the situation in Irak for the entire world to witness. What troubled me the most when the video was made public was not so much how authorities decided to ardently persecute those responsible for making the video—this was inevitable—it was the fact that mainstream news media censored the video by not airing it completely and doing so without sound.
I believe the world had a right to see first-hand the realities of Saddam's execution in all its raw power, and I hold the person responsible for filming the video and making it available online a journalistic hero. I hope more people around the world follow suit by documenting controversial events on their cell phones or portable cameras and posting these on the Web. Regardless of the motivations, the Saddam video was an act of courage.
Ironically, however, as mainstream news outlets begin to add social media tools to their online publications, it seems news is being watered down, as hard-hitting reports become overshadowed by cutesy and kooky news pieces. Take a look at the mock news from The Onion, which pokes fun at this very situation by headlining an article with “'Most E-Mailed’ List Tearing New York Times Newsroom Apart.” While the piece is by no means real (it's super funny--I highly recommend it), it is dead-on about the effects the Internet is having over corporate news reporting. So the question still remains: While the Web has proven a useful tool in disseminating news with viral speed, is it actually acting as a nullifying force on journalism as a whole? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
So on this note: I would like to recommend my website pick of the week, Someecards.com: the sarcastic/jaded/ironic answer to Hallmark’s cheeseball e-cards e-mail service. I especially recommend the workplace cards—the humor is sharp, acidic, and double-edged. These cards have never rung more true with me than today, when I am stuck at the office on a super-rainy Saturday, hustling to get things done on time for a big-shot client that doesn’t seem to make up its mind. One card I feel is spot-on reads “I’m not convinced we’ve wasted enough time on this.” Hehehe...
On a side note: What really gets me about impossibly tight deadlines--the one I'm on right now has sentenced me to a weekend at the office--is not the daily grind this demands during the last few days before the actual work is due; it’s the fact that I get so laser-focused that I can’t seem to fit anything else into my brain. The result: Finding the time and the words to write out of pure pleasure becomes a daunting task. But with sardonic sites like Someecards.com ridiculing the absurdity of life, love, and work, my need for therapy loses urgency. Because in the end, as one of the cards ominously points out: “When life gets overwhelming, remember that you’re going to die." Nice.
For example: I was happily scanning a post this morning on Jezebel.com that spotlighted a story from today’s Wall Street Journal analyzing the lives and loves of New York’s most prominent socialites. Of course, the post included a not-so-hot photo of socialite Fabiola Beracasa with flat hair (that's the photo of her above). The first comment on the string: “That is NOT a good haircut for a head that size. I'm quite glad I have no clue who that is.” LOL. That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all morning.
First off, the commenter is dead on about the hair—it looks like someone plastered her coif down to make her head seem super-large (and the post is all about how she goes to the stylist every day. Awesome). And secondly, and perhaps more importantly--the user doesn’t even know who this person is (why should anyone, really?), nevertheless decides to not only read the post, but to comment on it by assessing the chick's 'do. Too funny.
So here’s the deal: Even for posts that read perfunctory, comments manage to add a level of dimension, depth, and wit (not to mention immediacy) that make reading them a tasty treat. There's no way to hedge a bullet once commenters chime in.
After the premiere of Gossip Girl the other night, the put-down-of-the-moment on comment strings and blogs alike has become “looks like you’ve got a lot of yogurt left.” Don’t know what this means? Don’t worry, I don’t know if anyone really does. But that’s the whole point, and that’s what makes it funny—it made no sense when Blair cut Serena with that one-liner on the show, and it still makes no sense now (maybe it's some sort of fat girl joke?). But Web commenters have made it their own, and in no time, I’m sure many will be using it to deride their most cherished frenemies. I hate to say it, but Fabiola, it looks like you've got a lot of yogurt left.
So who are these bloggers that Gawker has focused so much attention on? Julia what? Jakob who? Why do some people care so much about these totally random (and unattractive) people? Does anyone even know them in real life? How much sway do they have over the digital landscape that makes the announcement of their breakup more appealing to Gawker readers that the latest Britney post? I wonder if these two former “lovers” ever even met each other outside of the blogosphere. Maybe they never consummated their now defunct relationship, aside from a few attempts at cybersex. Or maybe they’ve gotten so good at cybering they don’t feel the need to go at it in real life? Scary thought.
Behold a snippet of text from the breakup e-mail that did the relationship in:
“I am not capable of giving you what you deserve in a relationship, even an ‘alternative’ relationship, so, we should stop seeing each other.”
Um, what? I wonder what the dude means by ‘alternative.” I wonder if by “stop seeing each other” he means to stop IM’ing each other and to put and end to cheesy photo-sharing. I wonder if by “not capable of giving you what you deserve in a relationship” he is implying that he could never pry himself away from his computer long enough to rendezvous with her in real life.
Online break-ups make good drama, and even though I didn’t know these people when I started reading the Gawker post, I was immediately enthralled by the story and unexpectedly pulled into their lives—I definitely know who they are now. In the future, if I see a post on Julia Allison or Jakob Lodwick, I’ll probably check it out. Is this keeping me from living a life of my own, or does it just mean I’m hip to the times and that I know how to leverage online to add significance to and enjoy my life offline? I'm really hoping it's the latter...
While the idea is nothing new, I realized all of a sudden that what I used to do before with my friends I do it now online with strangers, on YouTube and Break and MetaCafe and even Facebook. I still love to watch videos and psychoanalyze them to death and pretend I am too cool to walk this Earth, but today I do it online. I am one of those avid commenters that always has something to say about a clip I see on the Web. And then there's the insta-satisfaction I get when reading the comments offered up so freely by other users--sometimes mean-spirited, oftentimes grammarless and retarded, other times thoughtful and insightful, but usually very funny (not to mention random). For me, the World Wide Web is one giant chatroom--a chatroom with a view.
What is TMZ.com if not a digital free-for-all where we all can satisfy our inner voyeur by trashing celebrities from our high horse, along with other users? It's watching TV with our friends, but times ten. The Internet is about looking, but more importantly, it is about participating. Sure, television can satisfy and titillate, but it doesn't captivate or connect in the ways that the Internet does. The music video I saw last night got me thinking: The Internet appeals to the senses much like TV does (through sight and sound), except it also incorporates an extra level of engagement--the sense of touch. By typing away and mousing objects around, users have an active role in shaping the digital media landscape, and this power is evident with every Submit button we click on, every photo we tag, every experience we rate, and every comment we share.
To wrap your head around just what I am talking about, check out ClicheSite.com, the site with the largest list of clichés, euphemisms, and figures of speech, “complete with definitions and explanations.” For a writer, this site can be a treasure trove of inspiration, a literary toolbox of sorts. Or can it? I’m inclined to think that many phrases listed in this site are value-added expressions that can offer relevance and immediacy when it comes to our day-to-day conversations, and in most instances can be more effective than any high-brow term or far-reaching phrase that could be used in their place. But I also believe that relying too heavily on clichés will render your writing innocuous and give it a pre-fabricated feel, leaving readers with a stale, styrofoamy aftertaste. Writing should be lively, original and engaging, not an robotic exercise saturated with grammatical one-trick ponies and pre-packaged literary devices coming at you rapid-fire style.
Does it all depend on the audience you intend to reach? Ah, there’s the rub. Some think of clichés as roadkill metaphors, and maintain that using them in writing is simply a shortcut to thinking--no matter who the audience is. Other opine that when carefully selected, clichés will actually spice up even the must dull, threadbare writing (technical documentation, anyone?). Whether a stymied writer or clever word artist, using clichés is almost always a tricky ordeal. The best way to use a cliché? Turn it upside down and inside out to convey something entirely new; that way you’ll be sure to make waves with your readers by cleverly pounding them with surprises. Yes?
It strikes me as a little odd that people who put their profiles up online on social websites--from Facebook to the ultra-exclusive aSmallWorld to the now ghetto-looking Hi5--get all bent out of shape over having their profiles available to be googled. I understand the argument which some espouse saying that privacy should take precedence over accessibility in some situations, but I also think that users are not media retards that need paternalistic protection over all things digital.
We should be responsible for our own online actions and should not depend on third parties to guarantee our privacy. Doing so throws the issue of our own personal accountability into sharp relief, because after all, isn’t the whole purpose of placing yourself out there on the Net an exercise aimed at connecting with others and elevating your professional presence? Who else does this depend on but ourselves? I know that for me at least, being easily googled is an online virtue I’m still working hard at.
Learning to navigate the Web and creating a space for yourself online is a skill that should be learned and perfected by anyone who has access to the Internet. Truth is, privacy is no longer a right but a privilege. If, for example, you’ve had a life of hard knocks and fear your personal details will filter through to or end up splashed on the pages of blogs and websites around the world, then do something about it. Go out there and create the online image you want for yourself. It’s never been easier or quicker. You are in control, and if skillfully executed, a carefully nurtured online persona is an investment that will do wonders for your career. The digital medium allows you to mold and sway the opinions of those around you for your own benefit--if you learn how to do this right. After all, online conversation is currency these days.
No doubt, at this point in the rapidly-evolving world of digital media, each and every one of us is 100% responsible for our own imprint on the Web, whether we like this or not. The Internet is no more different now in this regard than say, print or television, with the exception that with the Web, we can actually intervene if something pops ups that we take issue with--and we can do so in real time. It is standard knowledge in contemporary PR that nothing is off the record. Celebrities and socialites know this better than anyone, and have their publicists on a 24/7 online watch. Is someone putting up vicious posts defaming your character? Respond. Take action. Sue even. But don’t let it be, and don’t blame the search engines. We must not only be vigilant, we must be active in creating and shaping the kind of digital profile we want for ourselves--one that accurately reflects our passions, fears, and accomplishments. Feel like burning someone online yourself? What the heck, go ahead and do that too--just know that you are responsible for the choices you make online.
A cool, misty moisture envelops buildings, trees, and mountaintops, and even once-happy birds seem to find the endless rain oppressive. Cloud forests saturated with moss, rivers overflowing their banks, walls soft to the touch, beaches awash with debris, and angry, sluggish, resentful clouds gathering above, pounding everything below with forceful showers, over, and over, and over again. Comforting but tiring, the rain floods the land with promises of life and winds blow with hints of change, but nothing yet. Television offers little recourse.
I yearn for the sun but make due for now, with work, with exciting digital media forays, and with friends and family. Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly acronymed SAD) starts to set in with tenacious force, and anchors itself deep within my heart, but I still smile. And while I feel put out, all I can do is stay put, weather the unending rain, and wait for the dry season to arrive. A couple of months from now and I’ll be in the clear, literally. And no matter how many thunderstorms I have to endure, I know that today, the sun shines inside brighter than ever before.
Which brings me to another issue that I feel is also super-interesting: that of creating words to describe new experiences, situations, and ideas to help these become commonplace in digital media and contemporary society. Say hello to Unwords.com, the site that "makes it possible for you to share your words with the world." I’m sure a lot of English professors would be appalled with some of the words users have submitted, and many a crusty English nazi would take issue with the fact that the site simply exists. For me, however, this is as exciting as language gets. Not only is it evolving at hyper-speed, we now have digital observers documenting and fueling the phenomenon.
I believe that it is part of a writer’s job to introduce and coin new terms to describe and define emerging phenomena, especially if said writer wishes to push open societal restrictions and explore new frontiers. It creates knowledge exponentially and paves the way for others to do the same. As a society, we all benefit. Recently I was waiting to board a plane at Miami International Airport, when we were told to wait so the arriving passangers could "deplane." I’m sure the word "deplane" did not exist 50 years ago. Now we all know what this means, even though the word might not be in any dictionary (it is, by the way--as an intransitive verb). So what if other, older words start dying out too quickly? IDK, NBD, from my point of new.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having an avid readership, even though it might consist solely of my mom and a couple of friends, but I definitely want to cast a wider net. However, I can’t complain; last night’s blatant self-promotion was fruitful for my digital ambitions to lord over all things digital media. My friends and I had an on-the-spot brainstorming session, a spontaneous attempt to conduct an after-dinner Internet think-tank experiment, where we engaged in a bevy of digital media topics—everything from the grisly to the sugary to the ultra-geek—that could serve as promising topics for future posts. Some of these I’m keeping stashed away for a rainy day, letting them age like a good wine so by the time I decide to author a post regarding one of these topics, I will have a well-thought out argument that absolutely no one will be able to challenge (this is also tongue-in-cheek by the way, I actually hope to stir up a comment string some day so contentious that it will fire up even the most jaded and indifferent reader’s inner Ann Coulter).
So what issues should I touch on right now? Last night we toyed with the idea of the digital Robin Hood, a “good” hacker (I though about naming it a gooker, but it sounds gross, and a little too much like hooker), that instead of accessing restricted networks and opening up cans of digital whoop-ass, would actually patch up security flaws, beautify websites, and create robust and scalable firewalls anonymously and for free. However, we quickly trashed this idea as completely retarded and uselessly absurd. I also thought about discussing my theory of the gay Smurf trifecta: Brainy smurf, Vanity smurf, and Smurfette (who I always though was a full-on tranny—and I’m not talking about a car’s transmission) but this seemed grossly off point and somehow inappropriate. Neither of these seems like a good topic to start the kind of spirited debate I hope to have on the pages of my blog one day. So what do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions.
Let me explain what I mean. Recently at work we had a situation where, because of updates to a client’s site, several pages were being pulled down. In their place, we had to add in a corporate version of the 404 page—something along the lines of “Thank you for your interest in such-and-such. We are currently working on updating the information on this page. Check back again soon.” Boring! And totally lame. If I was a user who had bookmarked that page or typed in the URL thinking I was pretty smart so I could get to it directly, I would feel cheated. What the hell! A total bump in the road when it comes to smooth online navigation. I have some thoughts on this:
- Why not add in some links directing the user to other sections of the site? No need to make these pages dead ends.
- Be creative and make the user want to come back in the future to check for updates. Unless you’re a click-happy loser with OCD, I can’t imagine anyone checking that page again anytime soon.
- Be more specific and transparent. Why is this page unavailable or “currently in construction”? I think it’s a great opportunity to engage with users by giving them a sneak peak at what’s coming. Or if the page is never to be available again, then be creative and make the user glad that they got lost on your site.
404 pages usually blow chunks. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and thanks to the efforts of many a crafty individual out there, users are getting something extra that makes the online experience that much more compelling.
While it’s true that people are dying in Darfur and blowing themselves up in Irak and getting pounded by hurricanes right here in
Sometimes I ponder on the meaning of life and peruse the headlines of “serious” news sites for analyses on current world affairs. I’m deeply interested in politics, economic development, and world events—more so than most I would say. But today I’ve found myself reading up on Tinsley Mortimer’s announcement that summer is “over” (she doesn’t have to rush back from the
One high-profile blog back in spring, Park Avenue Peerage, deemed the
I remember when I was in high school and I was a socialist that I pretended--hypocritically--to loathe all things material. I wanted social justice and was planning to unite with the workers of the world. I wanted peace, love, and rock and roll, and visualized spending the rest of my days surfing away an endless summer--I'm embarrassed by it now, as I didn't even know how to surf then and I still don't know how. But I was adamant about my so-called values and morals, disdaining all who pursued material pleasures and vying instead for the simple things in life.
As soon as my college years hit and I began to make a life for myself in the Northeastern Unites States, I nuked away my "values" faster than a Coca Cola fizzles out and turns flat. No more peace, love, or social justice. Ppfff. Forget that! My life became a wasteland of excess, posturing and one-upping, always ready to serve up some 'tude to anyone not up to par. I was completely enveloped by my surroundings and found myself slowly turning plastic. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with friend of mine from NYU that resonates to this day as a cautionary tale. We were in Battery Park, overlooking the sultry waters of New York Bay on a crisp, cold night, when she said, as we both admired her soft new leather jacket: "You know, back home I used to not care about clothes that much. Now I can't help but want the latest fashions." I nodded empathically and played it up with a distinct "totally." A wardrobe malfunction for us was not having just the right thing to wear. Who had we become? We were prisoners of our environment and didn't even know it--or if we did, we didn't care.
And today, I really really want a shiny new car. But now I know that even though I may want it, that doesn't mean I'm going to get it, and even if I could buy it, I probably wouldn't indulge simply because I can. Now I know a little better, and in between the empty insta-gratification of no-holds-barred capitalism and the sounds-nice, sharing-means-caring, unreal hippie ideal, there's a spot where I have begun to feel right at home.
Anyway, the inevitable digital blitz that has ensued is proof that now more than ever, the medium really is the message. The real event wasn't the actual performance per se, but what came after. So Britney bombed onstage--who cares? The answer is, a lot of us do, and we need to talk about it. If it wasn't for the media documenting all her crazy, drug-fueled antics obsessively-compulsively (the head-shaving incident still makes tops--and hey, it's her prerogative), we would have not cared that much in the first place. It is the media that makes it what it is, and that gives it cultural (in)significance. The shocker is not what the live audience saw last night; it is what the media-inclined are experiencing today--on YouTube, on blogs, in news reports and gossip magazines. Last night, it was just one more mediocre, stale-ass performance. Today, it is an event. It is social construction at its best, live and in real time, and we are all invited. That's the power of digital media. Events aren't important the very second they happen; rather, they gain momentum with time and talk.
The Internet is Mentos to pop cultural Diet Coke. As I read and fervently consumed the comments being tossed around regarding Britney's fiasco, I couldn't help but smile. The one that made me laugh the hardest: "It's Britney, twitch." Genius.
I'm trussed to nothing and floating freely--a celestial body at the tail end of a stellar whip swirling around far away from the center of an already super-saturated galaxy. What does it take to venture father in to the deep, cut-throat waters of the World Wide Web, were only the mightiest rise to the top, without getting burned or burnt out in the process? I tend to believe I have what it takes to create a space for myself without much difficulty, but it will all depend on the vibrancy of my posts and the compelling, sticky quality of my writing.
For me, it seems that my creative juices flow more freely late at night, when I'm tired and a now familiar lack of lucidity begins to creep and permits a torrent of ideas to flood my usually soppy brain. My day comes into focus and I can reach out up into the stars and pull down bits of thought, then shape these into words and sentences that follow some sort of logical flow. But I still need inspiration, a muse of some sort, a passion that drives me to explore the deepest ends of space and allows me to return with a shiny, attractive pearl that I can share with the digital world. What I can hope for right now is that, between all my lackluster posts, maybe-but-not-really musings, and not-so-hot arguments, there will be one or two that hit a bullseye smack in the middle and forever burn bright.
I am North American, South American, African, Middle Eastern, European, Australian, Asian... Or at least I want to be. When I travel, I am most interested not in visiting the sights (although this is fun) but in getting a feel for what it means to live in and be culturally and geographically tied to a certain place. Local media has a lot to offer in this respect. And I've found that, with the forces currently shaping the world, not only is local global and global local--cultural experiences become more acute and immediate. Recently for me, it was London, Motown, the City of Lights, Beantown, Mexico City, and Los Angeles. Soon, it might be Lagos, Islamabad, Tokyo, Stockholm, Buenos Aires. Who knows? As distances shrink and borders fade, even more explosive, exciting, and (probably) violent things are bound to keep happening.
But when it is all said and done, I think we will be better off because of it.
Anyway, those were different times. Today I appreciate friendship, and thanks to social media tools, we were able to smooth out the past and bury the hatchet. And as we slowly got up to speed through various wall posts and private messages, I realized that our affinity towards media and pop culture binds us tighter than I would have ever expected. The line that did me in: "Who else in your life can talk about Paris Hilton and Kierkegaard in the same breath?" he pointed out. And he's right. And then the slam dunk: "I'll be sure to fax Lou Dobbs your riot grrl piece." I always found his insights funky yet on point, and both incredibly funny and piercingly honest. It was bubblegum with razorblades in it.
Which brings me back to the point I'm trying to make. Levity and frivolity are powerful tools--they can be coping mechanisms, a way to break the ice perhaps--but it takes a skilled connoisseur to use superficiality to convey something truly meaningful. Back in college, my life was as insipid as Paris Hilton and as hard to swallow as Kierkegaard. Today, it's a whole other story. I enjoy substance and can throw down with even the most uppity intellectual. However, I am most comfortable watching music videos nominated to this year's VMA's on YouTube or catching the latest summer blockbuster. Because today, sometimes a pop song is more telling and has more relevancy to me than say, Dickens. Whether loaded with meaning or as breezy as air, it's the sign of the times. And that's super exciting to me.
Everything I see or listen to in the media lately sounds completely bogus and fabricated--from the news I read online each morning, to reality TV, to the morning radio broadcasting nutty traffic reports, everything seems neither here nor there. And yet, on a strange, spiritual level, I find it all both comforting and motivating. Because at the end of the day, what is "true" anyway, and do I even want it?
Fleeting--that's where it's at. If it's not here to stay, it's that much more significant. The world keeps turning, wildly, quickly, pulling me in different directions, and when I manage to ease up and listen, I always find a couple of hidden treasures that stop me in my tracks and leave me wide-eyed. What was it for me today? The show on the Discovery Channel? Not so much. It was the tropical drizzle in the evening, the unexpected digital pat on the back this morning, and right now, it's starting this blog, which makes me feel shiny and new.