Thursday, December 18, 2008

Material World

I could completely understand the sentiment "everything is amazing, nobody's happy" jokingly presented by the comedian featured in the Youtube on Natasha's post. The way another comedian described it was that people in today's society are standing in front of the microwave screaming for it to hurry up. Not so very long ago, people had to wait for ovens to get warm, and not so long before that, it was a hot fire. A meal that can be prepared now in a couple of hours used to take all day. Or to draw the same comparisons as the first comic, people now get frustrated when their online movie occasionally stops for a moment while it downloads but it wasn't very long ago that tapes had to be inserted in VCR's and fast-forwarded manually through the previews just to get a movie on a "big" 22-inch screen. I still remember arguing with my roommate because our phone line was taken up by the modem while I got online to register for classes (or check email, or... okay so I was online a lot in college). Now people get irritated that their DSL or cable modem occasionally needs to have the plug pulled and reinserted to get their service to return to working.

The message in all of these frustrations comes down to one simple truth: material things will never satisfy the human soul. Making everything faster - faster cars, faster computers, faster internet - has simply freed up more of our time to fill with more worldly pursuits of a more vacuous nature. Studies that show how much time is spent each day texting, reading email, or surfing the web are amazing, since ten years ago none of those things were true of the average person. Some of the younger generation had email and checked out websites, but most people were still unaware of the Internet, and texting was still an apple in some techie's eye. Meanwhile families are spending less and less time together, more and more marriages are falling apart, and, oh yeah, our economy has just taken a hard right turn into a wall of rising debt. If there is one lesson I hope the average person takes home from the current recession, it is the need to live within our means and prepare for a rainy day. I would really love it if we had a return to real spirituality and more people began to find a connection with God - but maybe I'm asking too much of a society who wants to know what Paris Hilton thinks about Britney Spears's life choices, or who can't wait to find out which person won Survivor 55 - the NYC sewer system.

Now if I may be excused, I have to get back to figuring out how to hook up this new HD-antenna to my 32-inch LCD monitor-TV through my desktop to make sure I don't miss recording my five favorite shows to be watched later when I can fast forward through commercials.

-- Robert

5 comments:

Melissa said...

Ok, that Survivor idea? I would totally watch that one. Watch out for gators!

Robert said...

I'd hate to encourage them. Maybe I better take this post down. I think it would be hard to watch because they're supposed to find food "in the environment" and I would puke the first time I saw someone fighting over some moldy McMuffin. Then again, I may have watched a combined total of two and a half Survivor episodes - and that's not the same two (meaning I never watched one all the way through). I think the first winner deciding to go naked kept me from tuning in and the rest of the shows (from what my friends who watch say) are fairly derivative of his way of winning.

Scarpato said...

Not to miss the point... I love watching without commercials.

Robert said...

So do I. I was just cracking a joke on myself.

le35 said...

The funniest thought about that last part of the post is that we really do want to figure out how to hook the antenna through the computer to get HD channels. We'll see if we can get it to work. . .