Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cocaine and Jimi Hendrix

I was just commenting last night to some unwilling victims about how the internet has taken over our lives so fully and completely that I can't remember what we did before we had it.

Remember back in the day, way way back in the dinosaur ages, right around 1999 or 2000, when you'd wake up on a day off work, smoke a joint and/or snort a line of coke, make yourself some a bagel and/or listen to Hey Joe or Fell on Black Days ten times, take a shower, grab your smokes and house keys and be out of the door? When I was 19, I used to make it out of the house by 11.30 every single day. Where did I go? What did I do? Back then there was a neighborhood in my hometown that was infamous for being home to gays and junkies, and so naturally I insinuated myself into the scene as much as humanly possible, as I was convinced then, as I am now, that no one knows how to party like a gay or a druggie.

So I'd go up to Capitol Hill--now a lame mecca for hipsters and tourists, sadly--and do... what? I suppose most of the time, I'd do at least one lap up and down Broadway, drop in on some friends and acquaintances (remember that? Before you had a cell phone? When you sometimes didn't even have somebody's home phone number? And would just show up to their place and knock on the door? And they'd actually let you in because they were actually home and they'd give you something to drink and have a conversation with you and there was good and contemporary music playing on an enormous thing called a stereo? And other humans would be there too, and one of them might have even been reading a newspaper? Made of actual paper?), then stroll down for about seventeen cups of coffee at Bauhaus and write in my journal. Or, depending on who was in the smoking section, I'd pretend to read one of my many banned books written by political prisoners, communists and conscientious objectors.

And after I was done with all my dropping-inning and coffeeing and chain smoking and trying-to-be-cooling I might go down to Indy Media and pretend to learn something, attend a solidarity rally or an anti-capitalism march, then get back on the bus home. At this point in my life I neither drank alcohol nor had a television. So now I rack my brain to remember what I did at night. I think, I didn't spend a lot of time at home--basically went there to sleep, shower, and host drug parties. No, wait--my roommate and I, when we were both at home, would sit on the sofa and talk.

And well, now, I'm old and fat and married and I have a television and I eat meat and I don't give a shit about politics and I have several paper journals in which I rarely write anything, and I no longer see the point of leaving the house when I have everything I need here. On a day off, I can eat three meals in front of the computer and go to sleep while watching a movie. Take now, for example. It's a beautiful day. Sun is shining, annoying fucking noisy birds are chirping, the temperature is just right, but instead of laying in a park somewhere and trying to impress someone with my newest Chomsky acquisition, I'm using wireless internet while sitting on my patio, hoping none of the tenants in the building across from us can see that I'm not wearing any pants.

Anyway. I've decided that 2011 is my year to finally get back to basics, to kick my internet habit. I mean, I had the internet in 1999 as well, but back then it was too slow to be of any real interest, you could check the weather in Moscow 24 hours a day but you couldn't watch movies and blogs were basically drawn-out status updates from people you knew in person and could ask face-to-face what they bought at the grocery store last night.

Ironically enough, one of my solutions to kicking my internet addiction is to spend a similar amount of time on the computer, but more time offline, like writing these gems for you four people on Word then blindfolding myself and posting it to the internet, without checking to see if Whatshisname has commented on my super witty retort to his status update although I have not seen nor spoken to him in twelve years.

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