It will cost me 575 dollars to fix my mac book air. So I’m not fixing it. I have a new laptop now. It’s a Lenovo. Going from a mac book to a Lenovo is like driving a bmw for years and then having to drive a pinto. I know as little about cars as I know about laptop computers, but I do have a grasp of similes so I think this one works.
The only reason I have a computer is to throw more words at the internet. Otherwise I hate computers and the internet. I hate smartphones and social media, digital mobs, outrage feeding frenzies and social justice dogpiles. Twitter feeds and tumblrs and hashtags and memes. It’s all contributing to the warp speed industrial strength retardation of humanity.
We’re not better off with our new toys and endless jawing but that’s not how addiction works. It’s not about happiness, fulfillment or pleasure. Once you’re hooked you forget about flourishing. You lose sight of who you were before you found that thing you can’t stop doing. Your body falls apart and your mind revolves faster and faster around the drug, person, habit or idea. You hear nothing, you see nothing, you feel nothing apart from your desire to score another high, to make more money, have more sex and get more likes.
The scope of your vision shrinks down into a keyhole through which you unblinkingly stare. Your eyeballs dry out and you look like a raving fiend but it doesn’t matter. You don’t exist without your fix.
We’re always teetering on the brink of soul numbing fixations and destructive behavior patterns. They knew this back in the days of the bible. Back when everyone was covered in dust and grime and menstrual blood and ate bread hard as stone and performed rituals to ward off evil spirits. And executed anyone caught buttfucking and called for the death and enslavement of rival tribes.
Deficiently socialized atheists insult bronze age beliefs in between bags of fritos and marathon hentai sessions. We’re so much smarter now, they say, having contributed less than nothing to knowledge, sunning themselves in the light of other people’s intelligence. But those bronze age bigots were onto something; they had insight into moral and social problems we’re still grappling with today.
New technology in a new era is a variation on an old theme: the ever present possibility of corruption and perversion. You can keep going back in time to find another technological invention or political revolution that changed everything for the worse. Globalism, television, Fordism, industrialization, nationalism, democracy, the advent of Christianity and the fall of rome, domestication, agriculture and standing up on two legs.
At every decisive point in the past there were people who saw the latest change as the end of humanity. And there have always been apologists for progress. Slick, glib optimists with their smarmy enthusiasm and sophistical arguments. Riding on the flume of time, cheering with their hands up as they plunge into the false promises of the future. We will never stop losing our way. Our history is one long downfall with a few moments of uplift.
I’m a product of this era of overstimulated idiocy and when I don’t have instant internet access I get nervous and think about death. The trappings of Christianity are absurd but its core message is essential: We need salvation. And we need help getting there.
We can improve our condition but every improvement brings new setbacks. As long as we’re in time we’ll need transcendent assistance. No earthly effort will make white people want to live around blacks. Totalitarian thought and speech control can’t turn trannies into healthy individuals who don’t fester with hostility.
Muslims won’t become agents of progress and we won’t defeat mortality by sticking our dicks into usb ports and merging our bodies with technology. We’re still going to get sick and die, we’re still going to fear and distrust outsiders, identify with people who look and sound like us and we’ll still want more than we deserve.
You can treat someone with respect but they’ll still degrade themselves. You can throw thousands of your own people in front of rolling gatling guns to free an enslaved group but one hundred and fifty years later their descendants will still browbeat you and bellyache and rise to fame writing borderline illiterate, overlong essays with purple prose, strained metaphors and tedious, incantatory rhetoric that resonates with artless, alienated, masochistic liberals.
But the great beyond still offers a glimmer of hope for us all. And within this world of sadness there are sunrises and sunsets, the majesty of birds taking flight, expertly extracted shots of espresso, fine phrases and the enduring bonds of love between mothers and daughters and fathers and sons.