« December 2012 »

Memo to Holleigh Ciardelli Tlapa: YOU ARE SIMPLE.

Fuck simpler times.

As someone who's lived through at least three simpler times, I have no nostalgia for them. During the first simpler time I lived through, if I wanted to skip to the next song, I had to either move a needle or hold down a mechanical switch and guess at how the rotational velocity of a pair of motors translated to the linear magnetic representation of sound. HASSLE.

During the second simpler time I lived through, words from another computer ended up on my computer at a rate slower than I could read them.

During the third simpler time, if you wanted to hear what some fuckwit wanted to say about popular culture on the Internet, you had to do it on Usenet. For you youngsters, Usenet was like Twitter, only there was no 140 character limit and you had to walk all the way across campus to a room full of green-only monitors and nerds to see if one of the roughly four hundred other people on the social network had read what you had to say about Babylon 5.

So your paean to a simpler time can eat a bag of dicks. Or it could, except that dicks weren't available in convenient bag form back then. So when the Huffington Post* picked up Holleigh Ciardelli Tlapa's moaning about how kids today don't get to enjoy simple pleasures, I waited until I hadn't eaten for a while and then dove right in.

"I also grew up going to the drive-in, so my memories of this unique treat span a lifetime, from innocent child to adventurous teen to responsible parent. I realized with a stab of sadness how ironic it is that more youth today can relate to an iPhone than an iconic drive-in movie theater."

Yes, like every other fucking ode to simpler times, by "simpler" the author means "my". Tlapa went to drive ins as a kid, gave furtive handjobs at drive-in movies as a teen**, and dragged her kids to them because if she didn't, they might have gone on the Internet and learned what IRONY IS.

I'm 43 years old, and I can relate more to an iPhone than a drive-in movie theater. You know why? Because the iPhone does something useful, and there are other places to get furtive handjobs. Hell, I'd rather watch a movie on an iPhone in my car. The colors are better, the sound is better, and I can still see what's happening if it's raining. And if it's really cold, I can bring the iPhone inside.

"But the fact that I almost daily inadvertently switch off my ringer without realizing it, that my battery lasts about only three hours of active use, that my talk-to-text translator simply cannot understand me, makes me yearn for a simpler way of life."

In other words, you don't know how to use it, so it sucks. Physics and materials science has limits, so it sucks. And if you long for a simpler way of life, how about you stop using the talk-to-text feature and TRY TYPING.

"Constantly finding my kids playing games on my phone is no treat either, especially when they are so much better at them than me. And there is something to be said about a tranquil moment of actual privacy. We are so tethered to technology nowadays that we are never really 'off.'"

Here's an idea. Control your fucking life. Keep your kids off your phone. Keep yourself off your phone. Nobody tethers you to technology. You tether yourself to it. Voluntarily. Because it's helpful. Because the simpler, more tranquil time you long for was a lot less helpful. Three words. FOLDED. PAPER. MAPS.

She ends with two paragraphs about how Siri doesn't answer all her questions. Which would normally be a ridiculous expectation, but clearly, Tlapa isn't as bright as a fake person living in a phone, so of course she would turn to it for guidance in her time of need. And when the fake person failed her, only then did she long for a simpler time for her and her children, never realizing that any time they live in would, by definition, be a simpler one.

*An institution itself that did not exist in a simpler time, a time when we had to actually look for tasteful sideboob pictures manually.

**I'm reading between the lines on "adventurous" here, but I think it's a pretty safe assumption.