Sunday, September 09, 2007

Our Lord, The Internet

So this post was inspired by last night's drunken post. And the drunken post before that. And the one before that. And so on and so on. My aim was to put together the antithesis of those kinds of posts, just to underline that I can. And that when I have my head together, I make sense and don't have to woe-is-me everyone into a coma.

I guess by doing this, I prove the original point? Perhaps, but I like to write and besides, most of this stuff is for me anyway.

A few years ago, it must have been around the millenium, I saw a crazy on 82nd street in New York, with a sign that read: 'If God is the Internet, when's the last time you downloaded some happiness?'

My first thought was, that's a pretty articulate, almost wittily-reasonable line, coming from a barefoot nutjob with forks hanging on his vest and one testicle protruding from his pants. My second thought was, 'Wow, the Internet really is like God':

1. Thousands, nee millions, of people congregate daily at its virtual altar and engage in prayer.
2. A lot of people believe any answer can be found on the Internets (which would make Google, the prophet?)
3. Even more people have given up their offline lives out of disillusionment and disenchantment, and flocking to the web, in search for salvation and euphoria (or at least a chance at a bigger penis and millions from a Nigerian business man).

Back in 2000, that kind of thinking made a lot of sense to me. I mean, I first experienced 'Surfing the Net' (again, sounds like a religious tenet, albeit one that comes from some Californian cult) in 1997, and it took over my life. And there was no reason to think anything would ever be the same again.

Of course, it did. You began to realize that the net was just like anywhere else: people were pricks, chicks were scarce and you were still the same asshole trying to get laid, except this time, you didn't have to lose weight, put pants on and go out to do it (the irony is that in those days, I was fit as butcher's dog). In effect, the net became just like TV...another tool losers to brainwash the masses and keep them sedated, while important shit went down.

Why am I bringing all this stuff up? I guess, partly because of my utter reliance on it (well, the blogging part of it) as a cathartic way of expressing my discontent and disillusionment. Which is kind of like therapy, I suppose, only cheaper. And like therapy, it encourages you to keep talking about yourself, to strangers, boring everyone silly and avoiding dealing with your problems. It's gotten to the point where I long to blog, just to get some comfort. And when I'm out, I experience a low-level anxiety about who might have gotten in touch or responded to a post or written me an email, while I've been wasting time in the bright sunshine (ok, muted sunshine) of outdoor London. The comfort I draw from it is almost...

...religious. Fucked up how we're back to that, huh?

I think what a lot of people perceive as avoiding your problems is me delaying them, because there's not much I can do about them right now. Such is the speed of life, now, that I can whine, talk about it, lament how long it'll be before it gets fixed, all in the same afternoon. In a sense, that's what I miss about Egypt: so many problems, you spent every waking moment dealing with them. Sure it was exhausting, but it also made you feel...


And as a footnote, I deal with my problems. A part-time drunk I may be, but when shit needs to get done, it gets done. The impression I give online, is very different from the real Basil Fawlty.

Online Basil Fawlty indulgence.


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