2/22/2018
Of value

If the stuff I write here is of no value to you, dear reader, then I might as well make myself useful. I might as well make you clicking this link and reading it more worth your time.

All right, how do we do this...

Shalla and I regularly watch videos on Facebook. It's really her thing; I don't even have autoplay turned on, even for wifi - what a waste of battery, what a waste of data. There can be gems. It can be fun. But I'm always the first to point out that a video uses emotionally-manipulative music so I can feel things about what really is a perfunctory video about some animal being rescued from the clutches of these terrible, terrible humans. It happens often, but you know, they're animals! You must feel more for them!

A few themes, or topics, turn up more regularly than most. Cat videos, dog videos - the well-edited ones are better. Life hacks, particularly food hacks, although sometimes they can be just ridiculous, and not deliberately ridiculous like the ones at Garnished. There's also a lot of glitter, for some reason.

Well, I don't have cats. My dogs are, well, dogs. I can't hack it with food - people find it annoying when I talk about what makes something tasty or not! So that's a no-go.

Glitter? Nah, too messy. Also, I'm 29 and I have more important things to do.

But, yeah, there are things people seem to enjoy more, things people can't get enough of, things people value more than, say, some 29-year-old's attempts to articulate his shifting place in the world. My life isn't interesting. I have not seen the world. I'm not woke enough. I'm not woke at all. What the hell does woke mean anyway? Hell, can I be woke if I'm male, decidedly middle class, living just outside the capital (but close enough to be clumped as "the capital")? Am I destined to be the guy who will be culled for whatever new world order whatsitsname is looking to establish?

Anyway, my point is, at this rate I'm never going to really be able to offer something that will catch your eye. We're set on our ways now, and no matter how easy some people make it out to be, making an extraordinary turnaround and embracing your passions is something only the select few can afford to do. If I decide to do cat videos, or life hacks, or glitter, I will just look like I'm trying so hard, it hurts. And to those who have succeeded, well, lucky you, lucky you for being able to offer what the masses want, whether it be funny reactions to whatever is universally regarded as stupid, or an articulation of just how it is to be human these days.

Ah, life advice. I'm 29 now, not old enough, but I guess I can give life advice because I feel old nowadays anyway, what with seeing people ten years younger than me getting more of a leg up than I ever did, seemingly more in control of their lives than I ever have. And yet it's these people who will tell you that their lives are a mess - a reaction, perhaps, to accusations of ultra-curated lives? - and it's these people who are more likely to embrace these nuggets of wisdom from people who have, supposedly, seen it all, like me. If you have "doctor" appended to your name, the better.

But then, we accept only the things we want to hear. We don't want advice; we want something that affirms what we already believe. So there's a lot of claptrap about how true friends must be this, and how good boyfriends must be this, and how leaders of the workplace, or the free world, must be this.

Well, in the past five years I have learned that you have to be incredibly patient when you are both pulled by the downward spiral. And I have learned that ideals are just that; that most of the time you'll get it wrong, and most of the time you'll try to get it right. They'll say you always must make time; in reality things will never always fall into place.

But that thought doesn't restore anybody's faith in anything. At the very least, it's not glittery pastel with an emotionally-manipulative soundtrack. Still of no value, then.

And your responses...

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