Our Destruction Seeds Sown: A Final "Fuck Off" to This Awful Decade (Part 1):
Wearing a natty suit with a purple shirt, the Rude Pundit spent New Year's Eve 1999 in a fading Masonic temple in downtown New Orleans among thousands of people, most of them on ecstasy, writhing to Galactic's mad funk, dancing like an ancient tribe at the edge of a cliff that they never thought would crumble. Yes, we had the potential Y2K apocalypse imprinted on our cultural consciousness, but only the paranoid took that seriously, and if the world was going to end, well, a Masonic temple wasn't a bad place to be. But, Christ, however anxiety-ridden we might have been, we were hopeful and tweaking on joy.
This year, the Rude Pundit will ring out the decade in a dilapidated blues shack in the middle of nowhere. He will be wearing a torn Obama shirt and black jeans and boots. There will be liquor-fueled, desperate dancing, like we're escaping from tumbling rocks destroying our village. We have fallen so far in ten years. Maybe it's the nature of getting older: because every decade past is one closer to death, it seems worse than the ones before.
No. Fuck that. The 2000s sucked so hard that it's created a vacuum that will end up ripping us to shreds if we don't reverse course. Today, tomorrow, and maybe Wednesday, the Rude Pundit will offer his final fuck-off's to the Aughts, a bullshit decade where, in almost every instance, we collectively allowed ourselves to become idiots. Let's start light...
Part 1: The Machines Own Us:
For every good use of the technology that now controls every aspect of our lives, there's thousands of ways it is destroying us.
1. Fuck off, cell phones. Sure, sure, in case of an emergency, blah, blah, blah. And if you are waiting on an emergency phone call, don't go to the fucking movies. You are not important enough to need to get your phone calls immediately. Here's how you know if you're important enough: Are you a doctor? Are you the President? If you answered "no" to both of those questions, you are not so important. Mostly, though, cell phones guarantee that you never have to communicate with someone you don't know. As connected as you think you are, it is actually isolating, alienating, and limiting.
2. Fuck off, texting and instant messaging. Congratulations. You're a product of a shitty education system that failed to make you understand how to put together a rational sentence or even use a comma, and now you're going to completely abandon all pretext of being able to spell, punctuate, or have a thought that can't be expressed in a series of random letters. ROFLMAO, motherfuckers. It's the destruction of language as we know it.
3. Fuck off, iPods (and their ilk). To ride on public transportation or walk city streets is to venture among soulless beings who stare at nothing with dead eyes as they listen to an unending stream of music on something that is soon going to be small enough to just be injected under your skin. One day, when the disconnect of the population is complete, we will pinpoint the invention of the iPod as the moment that we killed public engagement with the cudgel of constant entertainment.
4. Fuck off, Twitter and Facebook. Hey, who needs the government setting up all kinds of surveillance when so many people are willing to announce where the fuck they are and what they fuck they're doing at any given moment. Twitter, Facebook, and, to a lesser extent, MySpace have created a world of exhibitionists who are willing to let strangers look at pictures of their children and where people attempt to be profound in less words than it takes to order a meal at McDonald's. They've created the illusion of "friendship" where none actually exists, thus devaluing what real friendship is. If a click is all it takes to "defriend" people, they weren't friends. It led to this moment for the Rude Pundit: "Oh, really, person I haven't seen since third grade, your cat brought you a dead mouse and gave it to you as a gift? How fascinating." He wanted to write, "Fuck you and your cat. May the zombie mouse eat your brains" and then he realized how pathetic it was to even be tempted to comment on a status update about a goddamn cat owned by a virtual version of someone he hadn't seen in 25 years. And then he just felt sad.
5. Fuck off, internet porn. It mainstreamed porn and somehow made it more degrading than it actually was. It wrecked relationships and jobs. And it fucked up porn. Like overused CGI in films, you can see anything you want. If anyone with a webcam can film two legless Russian women fucking each other with their wooden legs while getting shit on by a donkey that's getting blown by an albino tranny, well...wait, what are we talking about?
Yes, yes, we are ever-evolving creatures, and technology transforms us. This past decade, as isolated as television made us once, the promise of technology has amped that up and simply made us selfish, self-involved pricks who demand immediate responses. It's affected us in profound ways, the full extent of which are only becoming clearer as it becomes ubiquitous in every aspect of our daily lives. The Rude Pundit doesn't say there's no good. There's good uses for everything we've created that will one day kill us all.
Tomorrow: Fuck-off people of the decade.
(Note: The Rude Pundit uses all of the above. You either join the collective or you will be eliminated.)