Nothing against them, and include myself, but I don't think adults have any fucking clue what's going on... I think they have even less of a clue than they did when we were teenagers...
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I think WE have even less of a clue because teenagers' worlds have exploded into a giant mess of pixels... I can't even imagine growing up in that big, ugly, loud, abrasive, insipid, fake...horrifying world they have to live in.
Check out some teens' profiles. They’re averaging like 1000+ Facebook Friends a piece. How the fuck does that happen? What does that even mean? Seriously? Can you imagine growing up in this meaningless frothing ocean of superficial detritus? Where you see no choice but to be ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS promoting yourself just to keep your head above water?
Sigh, I'm missing something here... There's a rift... between me and them...
I wonder... because when I look at it... I see nothing but fluff... I see nothing REAL, because I didn't grow up with it... it came in from the outside. It was never real to me. It started on an ugly green and black glass screen and moved to a bigger screen and then was on a flat screen, and then was on an LCD screen, and then was on a screen you keep in your pocket AT ALL TIMES... But to me, it's still separate... What is it to them?
To me it matters LESS because it's NOT real... it's always been contained in a box... it's just a means of communication... Its validity is dubious at best… but what is it to them?
Movies matter to me. Movies mean something. I can relate to the stories in movies. Movies can make me feel things... Books too... and in both cases those are complete, artistic, and deliberate narratives... Beginning, Middle, End... There’s a craft involved. Setup, Build up, Climax, Resolution, Conclusion... Character development. Scenery. Drama. Morals...
Movies and books were always around... and, yeah, they TOTALLY shaped the way I see the world. I can't deny that they have, and maybe that scared, um… my grandmother and stuff… I dunno. It seems natural to me, of course. The way I remember things... is in a narrative. The way I tell stories, is about developing characters... and so on... I'm a different person than someone who grew up before movies. I see the world differently...
But movies, and books... they're slow. They're full... They have a point that reveals its importance gradually, with thought, with intention, with an argument, with evidence... You have to invest time in them. You don't pick up a book unless you're willing to be involved... You don't put on a movie unless you're willing to sit there and watch it... It's one thing... one narrative at a time... and it's NOT ABOUT YOU.
But now... it's YouTube, and Twitter, five minute videos. 15 word stories... a million different narratives all chopped up... all demanding your attention, constantly... bang bang bang... and in the middle of it all, you have your own little narrative going on... but it's not something you build, carefully, deliberately, with any concern whatsoever for what it means on a deeper level... No, you don't have time for that, because you have to be involved in everyone else's narrative too... and so you essentially just sit there and bark... like a fucking dog... just to be heard, one short, loud, piercing burst after another.
And... let me pause for a second here, because this is all getting a little big, ugly and abrasive...
--Have a smoke. See what Jenna Marbles is up to. Find at least 15 videos set to the Mario Bros. theme song or some derivative thereof. Back in 5--
No, I'm not calling teenagers dogs, and I'm not calling dogs desperate, shallow, and hopeless. A dog's not necessarily desperate when it barks. A dog can bark all day long and be saying nothing but, "hey you, over there..." This doesn't mean it's fraught with anxiety, slowly but surely losing it's dogginess to a kibble-saturated dog-eating world...
Barking is just a means of communication for dogs... and maybe "barking" is just the status quo for teens, and they think nothing of it, but... it sure as hell SOUNDS desperate... and when a dog barks at people, when it crosses that barrier, do you think that just maybe they know how it sounds? How irritating, distressing, and ultimately effective it is at getting noticed? Whether a teenager is "barking" out of pain, crying out for help... or just barking to say hello... or barking to get something they want... It's still barking.... to me.
I dunno... Maybe that's where the communication breakdown is... Maybe that's what needs to be reconciled... but I just can't conceive of any way that all that barking is even remotely soothing. It just moves too freaking fast... You're stuck there, in your fractured narrative, awash in the intermingled shards of a thousand other narratives...
...and the dichotomy is that it's all about "you", and then it's all about everyone else, and you don’t matter, but you do matter... and it's all about everything, and you have to be on top of it all the time... In the end it's just like a tsunami... and in the end, it’s so much of everything that it's all about nothing... Again... I can't imagine it. Movies are bad enough for turning me, and a bunch of other people like me into drama queens who want everything to be profound and imagine our lives set to theme music... But I don't MIND that... I can handle that... Theme music is soothing to me... What I can't handle is barking in my ears from every possible direction... All I can think is... those poor little bastards... It's got to be so damned ANNOYING. I hope they can find a quiet place to take a breath, and just be human...
It's our technology outrunning our brains. Our brains evolved to deal with shit like finding food, and building societies, and developing languages, and amassing knowledge... and art, and storytelling, and all that other shit that seems so essentially human... and I think we taxed our minds more than enough with building enormous cities and creating sprawling governments and convoluted systems of laws and economies based on imaginary wealth and leverage... and then we taxed them even more developing mass communication, and the ability to contact, and speculate, and worry about the whole world at once... and then we taxed them even more by developing multisensory virtual worlds in radios and movie theaters... and then even MORE by putting an avenue to the virtual world in every house... and I think the species might be at capacity at this point... really... I mean, how much more can we take? How much more do we want to test ourselves? To shove down our children's throats?
It's reckless... and callus... and selfish... and just self-aggrandizing, and we do it because we CAN, because we wanna see what happens when... The problem is that this isn't the same sort of, "I wanna see what happens when..." as some kid blowing up frogs with firecrackers in his backyard. This reaches EVERYONE... and it does it with just about as much subtlety as... some kid blowing up frogs with firecrackers in his backyard.
It’s like the second you set foot into this “world,” you agree to be bombarded, to be slapped around, to be belittled, to be overwhelmed, to be spied on, to be used, to be exploited, to be made into yet another flimsy pillar holding up this massive feed trough, and maybe you'll catch some scraps on their way down, but all that food sure as hell isn't for you. It may have your name on it, but it's not yours... Who does it belong to? God only knows... but it's piling up up there, and it's all getting heavier by the minute.
I dunno. I take for granted that human brains are plastic... They can probably deal with even more than this, maybe... as long as we remember to eat and occasionally sleep and make babies... we can probably just keep throwing shit at ourselves and our brains will find ways to make some sort of weird sense out of it... because, well... you can look across the room at a candle and not see, or obsess over, every speck of dust in the room... your brain chooses... It does what it thinks it needs to do... It's pretty handy at finding "the thing." That part’s pretty durable, I think… but LORD are we pushing it…
The room is getting dustier and dustier and dustier, but anyway, yeah, it’s not like we’re suddenly going to lose sight of the candle, even despite the obscurity. The dust is an annoyance, but the candle is still there. We’re wired to see it, and we’re not going to evolve out of that in a few short decades… no…
But I’m not worried about it getting to the point where we can't see the candle. I’m worried about getting to the point where we can't remember why the candle matters.