I am a fan of comedian Louis C.K., and he is getting a little buzz because of an interview he did on Conan a few months ago. It is a rant about how this economic downturn/recession/apocalypse might not be so bad after all for our society. Rather than rip off his ideas, I’d like to supply a link to the interview. I also have a link to his website on the right side.
I guess I can tie in Louis C.K.’s bit into this. It is a personal choice I made, subconsciously, but I think to maintain a type of chi or karma or feng shui in my life I need to leave a few things analog.
I work with computers all day and I watch my share of TV and I write on the computer at night. I have an iPod full of songs and I have a shitty cell phone that when left home, still leaves a sense of emptiness in my pocket. But as we all know, I’m not that important. And neither are you.
My little things are purely organic in that I have deemed them so. Some people may lead more detached lives and can go without a life full of technology, but I choose not to. I like tech. I like gadgets. I can safely say that I’m not spoiled by them because I usually can’t afford them. But they seem neat. I love that “holy shit!” moment the first time you see a laser read a digitally-encoded disc or hear an electric car motor. It is not the tech or the fast pace of American life or the media or anything specific I reject. I apparently need to maintain a sense of balance.
First, I walk. I don’t usually run. I walk for exercise and I always use the stairs. Unless there are more than three flights to knock out (which is rare) I hoof it. My fat ass needs it and I just feel I should do it. There is always an elevator, but I need the motion of my legs pulling me upward. Maybe I think I need to earn the floors myself. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m pretty screwed up.
Next, I have to prepare my food by hand. I believe in this so much I created a new blog. There is something about fast food that bumps me. I love the occasionally burger or sub sandwich; but if I did it two days in a row I would feel awful. Its not the extra money spent. It is that I want to chop and sauté and bake it myself. I earned the meal.
There’s that “earn” again. Writing helps, people.
There could be a dozen small analog practices I could share but they are what I consider technological nostalgia. It’s when someone refuses to change their gadgets to the new model because they believe the old one is better. Windows 98, CD’s, DVD’s, Vinyl records, and maybe even the rotary phone. I don’t call that an analog action. That’s just being a stubborn nerd.
The last one is to just stop. I am caught between the East and the West. The West is America: work hard, make money, acquire things, live your dreams. The East is different. The East, at least the ancient East, is: Be like the rock in the river, let the frenzy of life flow around you. You have no control, it’s only an illusion. Your suffering is caused by your desire; let go. I love what the East brings to the table but there is one problem. I live in the West! It’s tough to shut all of this out of your face especially when you aren’t particularly busy, like me. My antennae are always on and I hear and feel all. It sucks, but my brain is set to: Emotionally Sensitive Writer Pansy. Nothing I can do about that.
Except, I can shut it off once in awhile. Exercise helps. Walking is very good. But sometimes it’s a rainy day and I spend a few hours not giving a shit about anything. I watch a little mindless TV or I read or I take a nap. It’s all purposeful; and it’s not necessarily a release from tech or anything. Its not meditation. It’s just a goddamned break from being a thinking person.