2011 Year in Review
Blue Whales
Christmas Carol
Duty to Object
Evenhanded Pursuit of Truth
Flood and Bush
Never There or Here
Review: Sufjan Stevens' Age of Adz
Space Flight
Success With Values
Terrible Kids Music
The Nineties
Year in Review

Presence: It’s Not Just a Led Zeppelin Album Any More - Water

When I read Wheat’s article, I found myself nodding along. I’m certainly one who enjoys being plugged in at all times. Whenever I’m working at my office, I have my RSS feed open behind whatever document I’m reading or drafting. It’s uncommon if I can go ten minutes without clicking from my work window to the internet window. I still get my work done, and, honestly, when you’re slogging through case after case about violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or whatever, well, you need a break to splash some cold water on your brain from time to time.

So, are we wrong? Well, we may not be wrong, but I think we do lose something when we live so disconnectedly. I recently read a post discussing how we* are losing the capacity for deep thought and contemplation because we are constantly flitting from one thing to the next. I think there is something to this. It’s hard to remember the last time I totally immersed myself in something. I do still reflect on things after the fact, ruminate on them, make connections, and try to see what’s going on beneath the surface. But I rarely give my total concentration to what I’m doing in the moment. I can’t but believe that I’m missing something because of this.

*We being society. Not the three of us in this blog. That would have been a little strange.

Wheat’s post also made me think of the idea of presence in Scripture. The Temple carried such great symbolic weight for the Jews, in part, because it represented God’s presence, His shekinah, with his chosen people. God manifested His presence through the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud, and His presence rested in the Temple when Solomon dedicated it. And, of course, inside the Temple was the showbread, the bread of the presence (or, literally, the bread of the face). Through these symbols, it seems, God was telling his people that, yes, He really did choose Israel as his people and had turned His face toward them.

This is "The Jump" →

 Associate Attorney
 Hydrogen, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, L.L.P.

This post has 0 responses.

Never There Or Here For That Matter - Wheat

I am never anywhere anymore.

And neither are you. Are you ok with it? Because in theory I hate it, but in practicality I am not doing anything about it.

I hear you. I know you are saying to me, “I am right here reading your post. What are you saying?”

I am saying I never go anywhere anymore without being fully connected to somewhere else. I travel everywhere with the world in my pocket on a device that I should be able to contact any and every one of my friends in a matter of moments. That is if the bloody thing was actually a functioning phone.

So I should be at dinner with my wife, but instead I am enjoying a quick laugh with you about your shopping excursion. She is connecting with the high school acquaintance that lives 1000 miles away. It is romantic. I take a picture so I can remember how much I liked it, but I really don’t know how I feel about it because I am busy feeling about everything else.

Consume–I am never full.

What is the last update? Did something else happen? Oh, it’s just a politically motivated post by the friendly radical. I’ll just put this thing away. Buzz. Work email? Spam. Click to darken screen and back to dinner. Buzz. Work email? Yes, but not to me. Just comes to my team. I don’t delete it, but I won’t look at it again.

Where am I? What am I actually doing here?

Next problem: Because I am never here, I don’t give anything full effort anymore. Do you remember what it was like to apply yourself for an extended amount of time without any distraction? I am not sure I do. I tell the kids, “Give your best all the time.” I am a drunk telling them not to touch the stuff.

Did you make it this far without looking at something else? Place a call? Get a tweet? Not me. I took a call, sent a text and went to get coffee.

This problem occurs in every setting: work, home, church, whatever. Do I feel guilty about my distraction when my employer pays me to give my all to the job? No. If they can get me at all times, why do I worry if I am always on my own time. Even that is not a true statement. I am not even on “my own time.” Time has no owner anymore.

By the way, what should you be doing right now? I doubt reading this article is on your to-do list. How guilty do you really feel about postponing the top item? Don’t worry; you’ll get to it.

And now the clarion call to eliminate the ultra-connectivity that drives our post-modern lives… (By the way, how vain is that? That is so post-modern to call something post-modern. But post-modern refuses to be labeled, so let’s just skip that.) actually no. I am honestly not going to do anything about this. I still love having the world in my pocket. If the entirety of my existence is not immediately available, then I am afraid that because yours is I will miss something important. I must keep up. As long as I don’t have to wear one of those utility belt cases, then it really doesn’t bother me that much.

Besides the expectation is that I am always available. If I was not, then people would be annoyed. Customers and friends alike might stop calling. This is a real fear, not an exaggeration.

So I continue to maintain my availability even if I am patently unavailable. I will continue to be nowhere because I am expected to be everywhere. And so will you.

Tell me I’m wrong. Convince me that my Orwellian reality is my own psychosis. Tell me that I can be treated, saved, present. Really, I’m begging you.

 Alliterative Name
 Driver of the Economy

This post has 2 responses.

Age of Adz Addendum - Water

This post is a companion piece to the Age of Adz reviews previously posted. Name Your Own Sufjan Album As discussed in my last post, Sufjan has declared the official death of the “album for each of the 50 states” project. This should not come as a surprise. “I’m surprised that the most gifted songwriter of his generation refuses to mechanically grind out albums for each state of the union” is not a reasonable thing for you to have been saying, silly.

However, it is reasonable to be bummed out by this. “But now I’ll never hear a tender and heartbreaking song about the first time I saw my true love standing by the animatronic piano-playing gorilla at Wall Drug Store.” Very reasonable thing for you to say, anonymous resident of South Dakota.

Also, we will miss out on some awesome album names in the vein of Come On, Feel the Illinoise. So, as the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough play a silly game in which they come up with album titles for the remaining unmade albums from a fictional 50-album song cycle for each of these United States.”* After the jump (I don’t really know what this means, but I read it in people’s blogs a lot and wanted to say it), some suggested awesome names for some of the Sufjan albums that will never be: * I’m pretty sure John Dryden coined that expression. Big Sufjan fan.

  1. Raiders of the Lost Arkansas
  2. What were you eating Delathere? Delaware?
  3. You, Yourself, and Utah
  4. I Can Call You Betty, and Betty When You Call Me, You Can Call Me Alabama
  5. And/Oregon
  6. Together, We Kansas
  7. I Bet That You Look Good On the Dance Florida.
This is "The Jump" →

 Associate Attorney
 Hydrogen, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, L.L.P.

This post has 0 responses.
Page 11 of 13First...«910111213»