Banal Thoughts I Have Thought Recently (Just Now)

I read something this morning, in the moments I spent trying to numb my brain with social media mundanity. I read a tale of woe, one man’s struggle to be heard above the babble of we the chattering masses, we who report from the front line of existence, we who don’t know how to shut up.

I think about this periodically. The way social media has become a rolling news service of the contents of everyone’s heads. I say banal things on social media all the time. I also filter out the majority of my front line reportage. It’s just too dull.

My mundane analysis is this: those in power don’t want us to live in community. We are better divided. More manipulable. Once, we congregated in pubs, social clubs, churches & other public spaces. Once, we fomented resistance to the powers that be. Now, we are sold cheap booze to numb ourselves in private and put into a catatonic state by reality tv. Social media is our outlet. Our data is used to sell us more stuff to numb us, while we conduct conversations where nobody listens, pouring out everything to specious friends we never meet.

Modern life is wonderful.

Strangers

A friend has a phrase she uses about me: I am popular with strangers. It’s an odd thing. I’m not that approachable and yet random strangers, usually men, feel the need to strike up conversations with me.

I talk to them. I’m polite. And then I move away from them. I don’t want to be stabbed or followed. I’m not an idiot.

I was talking to a stranger recently about the interface between the online world and the real world. It made me think about how I sometimes want to tell people I admire that I like what they do, but won’t let myself. Not face to face. The few times I have, it has been awkward and disappointing. Apart from Damon Gough. He’s a delight.

It happened accidentally once at a gig. I visited the merch stand to buy a CD. The singer took off the cellophane and signed the sleeve. The unwanted autograph then made me feel like I had to have a conversation. But what do you say to someone you don’t know? It was awful. Especially because it was obvious he didn’t want to be in the conversation either.

All very unfortunate.

Don’t do it kids.