Beating back the flames

This Facebook shit has gotten completely out of hand.

I spend three to four hours a day just keeping up with it. Just between I Fucking Love Science, Upworthy, and I get enough genuinely interesting and cool linked to choke a subReddit. Add in various cool famous people and all the things and people I have “Liked” without realizing that that gave them permission to spam me whenever they felt like it, then add in all the stuff from people I have “Friended” purely to get ahead in Facebook, and then add the cherry on the top of his spam sundae that is the people I actually know and care about and want to hear from every day.

And sure, that’s where I get the groovy links I share with all you nice people, but it is seriously beginning to wear me down. Checking Facebook is starting to feel more like a job than a leisure activity, and I am not even getting paid to do it.

And yet, I can’t seem to stop myself. There is just so much stuff out there that I want to see. My insatiable brain simply cannot resist gorging itself on the never-ending mind buffet that is the Internet and it is, as usual, oblivious to the toll it is taking on the rest of me as it runs pell-mell over rocks and brambles and streams at the speed of thought.

I could save myself a whole lot of trouble if I could just choose one of my news feeds to delete, but I can’t stand the thought of what I know I will be missing.

It is official. There is too much cool stuff on the Internet. Please delete half. I am NOT a crackpot.

Like check out this awesome article about slang from the Roaring Twenties.

This stuff is great! The 20’s were so snappy and witty, at least as seen from nearly a century later. It seems like it would have been a great time to be funny and quick with a smart mouth and a big brain.

I mean, take this one : telling someone to quit making out by saying “Hey you lovebirds, the bank’s closed!”

Or for the truly mindboggling, it says that in the 20’s, a “bimbo” was a macho macho man. I am dying to know hopw the hell it got turned into meaning pretty much the exact opposite by the time it got to us. I can’t help but think homosexuality is somehow involved. Some men started having “bimbo” companions who were muscular pretty boys or “rough trade” types, and the term became associated with them, and eventually to any companion of a certain type of macho man, then just the ladies.

Think about it. For a time, bimbo and mimbo meant the same thing!

And speaking of vintage homosexuality, apparently for some of the 20’s. being a “cake-eater” meant being gay. What, real men eat pie? What is it with straight guys associating women with pie, anyhow? Is this a Oedipal thing? Or is it just because pies are round?

Or saying “Excuse me, I gotta go iron my shoelaces” to tell people you are going to the bathroom. That’s hilarious! It has that right combination of cockiness and absurdity that makes for sizzling hot language. Very high context stuff, too. Implicit in talking like that is that only people as hip and with-it as you are will understand it and so it becomes a badge of community.

Now how could I pass on the opportunity to learn boffo berries hotsy-totsy stuff like that?

Hell, Facebook has taken over so much that I almost never check Livejournal or Tumblr, and Twitter? Forget it. Twitter might as well be happening in another dimension.

It’s the same old story. I have trouble choosing between things I like. I have a real issue with the murdering of my darlings, with picking what to focus on, what is important, what I truly care about, what I really want.

So I tend to leave all my options open so I am free to move in any direction in response to danger. And that is great if all you have to do is react.

But it is terrible for action. It makes decisiveness nearly impossible and ennui and lassitude inevitable. If you are lucky to have life momentum, if you are caught up in the stream of things and therefore don’t have to provide all your own thrust, then merely steering your craft is enough to keep you moving ever forward.

And that is enough for most people. They are only dimly aware of just how much of their life’s motion has not been their own. Things just seem to happen, one after another, and before they know it, they are so deep in the everyday work of life, career, friends, family, and church that they are only required to make a decision one in a very great while and for the most part, just do the next thing.

But when you are stuck in the doldrums like I am, there is no “next thing”. There is no wind for your sails, no white water to ride, not even a star to steer by. It’s nothing but possibility as far as the eye can see.

And that’s what you wanted, right? Unlimited range of motion? Able to master circumstance by being ready for anything at any time? Never be the rabbit with only one escape plan?

But if nothing ever happens, if indeed you have made it nearly impossible for anything to happen by paddling frantically into this puddle and cowering there for decades with your hands over your ears, trying to block out the roaring of the river and the crashing of the waves… if you have done all that, then what is there to react to? You have optimized for something that you have made sure will never happen.

It’s sad the things we do to ourselves in order to feel safe,

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