Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Letter to Living Zombies Concerning Actual Reality

Dear inconsiderate walking slobs, so caught up in your own little universe that you can't even hear me right now can you? Hello? This letter is for you, you ass.

Fuck it.

I write to you today to try to pierce the diamond palace you've built for yourself and educate you on the world outside. That, while uncultivated and dangerous, is full of adventure and fortune.

At least, this is what I would say to someone with a legitimate reason for becoming detached from the world, like, a plane crash victim or a soldier back from war. But, for you, the average modern human, I would put it a little different.

Something like, "please take your eyes off of your iPhone long enough to see that you are pressing against the chair rail on the wall instead of the handle on the exit door. Your outstanding idiocy has reached a level that is actually frightening the other people at the Pizza Hut. You fucking moron."

Now, of course, along with that phrasing I'd also have to scream at the top of my lungs, as well as physically shove and shake you to get your attention. Since in your world of instant-low cost-Bluetooth enabled-wireless internet-phone-plans, complete with mp3 recognition, video camera, and high tensile steel grappling lines, if a person isn't acting like he's afraid of a mummy in an old black and white film reel, well he just isn't even there is he?

At first, I was actually surprised that you even bothered me, being bit of an escapist myself. Ever since I first owned an mp3 player I have rarely left my house without one. I just find that music is such a pleasant contrast to what real life actually sounds like, that it has pretty much become a requirement to me. But, in my defense that's mostly because real life is full of stupid ass people like you. I'm an after effect. A symptom of the illness.

It's the all encompassing entertainment boxes that you carry around that make me cringe when I see them. Because I don't see a GPS that is going to help a lost family find a Holiday Inn Express, or an mp3 player that saves a beach party after someone forgets the CDs, or a video phone so that grandmothers don't ever have to miss their granddaughters' recitals. No, I see a 16 year old girl with a tramp stamp and huge bug eyed sunglasses, moving in slow zigzags in front of me in a Fossil outlet barring my passage to the door.

And what are you wearing? An animal print skirt and cowboy boots? A denim jacket over your t-shirt when it's a hundred and four fucking degrees outside? Dear lord, child, you look like a basket of clothes my mother once gave to Goodwill. Did the [b]phone[/b] tell you to dress like that? I would avert my eyes but that would just sweep my vision to three or four other carbon copies of this girl, all looking at their feet, all slowly wobbling to find their footing as they attempt to walk. If this was a movie and violin music was playing, I would be allowed to shoot you while trying not to be covered in your infected blood.

Of course, the walking dead of Teen Magazine are nothing compared to the bewildering road behavior of those taken over by the thin digital siren call. It's like I've been sucked though the hole from Sliders and shot out in a universe where everyone makes driving decisions like they were the Captain of the Titanic. Just briefly looking up to see a turn coming, rotating the wheel, and expecting everything to go to plan as they glance back down at a clip from the Daily Show. Content that their massive vehicle and slim to none chance of there being anything in front of them make up for acting like a complete retard.

I bet the designers of these devices never even thought this breed of people would come about from their creations. They were thinking Tricorders from Star Trek, Ziggy from Quantum Leap, Rimmer from Red Dwarf. Thinking that the faster Man could receive information the faster he could use it to better his life and his enjoyment of that life.

What they probably didn't count on was you. And by "you" I mean complete idiots. A population of stumbling mouth breathers that have turned Steve Jobs into Herbert West.

I don't mean to attack all internet phone users. There are lots of people I see use them the way I would expect a balanced person to. Getting the phone number to the theater or passing a joke back and forth between friends while they wait on a bench outside a restaurant. The ones I can't stand are the people that can't seem to stop playing portable Bejeweled long enough to keep themselves from rubbing their genitals all over me as they stumble onto my seated form while I wait for a take out order at the deli.

Yeah, that has happened to me, more than once.

Is the draw of entertainment just that powerful? Are you so devoid of any substance whatsoever that you have to fill your every waking moment with nonsensical input from a little portable oracle? You make me scared for the future of our planet. I see you frantically texting your girlfriends while your children sit across from you at the Applebee's doing the exact same thing and all I can think about is how Futurama warned us all not to start making out with robots.

Electro Gonorrhea, people.

Or maybe it's not the pleasure of it. Maybe you just can't stand to be inside your own heads for more than 15 minutes anymore. Is that it? I'm just asking, because without knowing, I just have to assume you are buried in your phone all day because you hate being with yourself.

To me a life full of entertainment is a life devoid of introspection and experience. I picture you on the deck of the Santa Maria as the sailors point to the beautiful naked Indians and you are thumbing through your Yahoo news. I picture Dave texting Frank about how his "round ass" space pod is "so lame" and not noticing the corridor of flickering light opening up before him. I picture Leonardo snapping a quick pic of a pretty brunette with a subtle smile with his 5 mega pixel camera phone and calling it a day.

I don't know. My phone is circa 2002 so I can only report on what I've seen other people doing. Maybe your life, that of a lump of shit staring into a one and quarter inch screen, is a life of pure happiness. Maybe it's like modern meditation and you are one iTune download away from true enlightenment.

I doubt it, but maybe.

For now I will be content with having a Zune for mp3's and podcasts, a cellphone for calls, a computer for the internet, and a GBASP for the occasional traveling game of Metroid. Because, frankly, iPhones and the phones like them, are starting to look like evil goddamn Skynet brain slugs to me.

For now I'll continue to keep my technology separate, so that I may remain separate from my technology.

Chiggie Von Richthofen
He probably wrote this letter with a pen, how quaint