Thursday, 4 April 2013
Going off the narcotic drip.
I don't rightly remember when I stopped watching television. It was a gradual process, I gather; even though I'd never really been enthralled with the glowing picture box, I followed the occasional serial drama and cartoon series as a kid. (God, was Animaniacs cool.) But as the years wore by, the already low appeal of the televitz declined even further. Those moving pictures failed to inspire activity in my mind, and I got bored as a natural consequence. Watching television was a little - no, far too passive for my tastes. Just sitting, watching, and being numbed wasn't quite that appealing, and there was far too much trash to make waiting for the few things that interested me a worthwhile activity.
When I was thirteen, the internets exploded onto the scene with the acquisition of a 56k dial-up modem by my family. Now that was more interesting, for the simple reason that it was interactive, rather than the steady brain-rotting stream of passivity that was the televitz. Then again, even books like the fantasy novels I read (and still read, despite pollution by "my hot sexy paranormal boyfriend #342348") require some sort of user involvement in turning the words on a page into action in one's mind. When you read non-fiction, you're generally compelled to think and reflect on what you've just comprehended. With the internet, I didn't have to wait for the program to get to the few bits I found interesting; I could just bring up what I was interested in when I wanted it.
And for someone who has as small a brain-attic as I do and who needs to resort to the way of the engineer, the lumber-room of the internet is a godsend. Need a common counterargument for a point? Got it saved. Need a reference? Got that saved too. Need...I think you get my drift.
It's fun. It's engaging. And once you start running, you generally don't want to stop. When you find better, you develop a natural resistance to going back.
Same thing with video games. Sure, they were fun, but I don't really feel I'm deriving a lot of joy these days from running on a treadmill in a Skinner box. Besides, the quality of games these days from the big companies has dropped perceptibly, especially the AAA titles. For the last six months at least, most video games aren't cutting it for me any more; my spare hours are spent bouncing from blog to blog, article to article, book to book. Video games...sure, every now and then, but to the extent I used to play them when I was flapping about aimlessly in the wind?
Once you yank yourself off the drip, once you experience life, who would want to go back?
Once you have something better, why go back to something worse?
Especially when you can laugh at the world and throw rocks at it from the safety of your box while everything burns?