I must be one of the worst bloggers in the entire history of blog-dom. My last log blog was posted over a year ago–it was all about how I was going to take advantage of the memoir-hoovering portion of the book-buying/publishing world. I’ll give you all a chance to guess exactly what my word count is on that much ballyhooed endeavor. Ah, you give me far too much credit. Nope, you’re completely wrong. Actual word count to-date: ZERO (I find that if you actually spell out the number and capitalize every single letter, it looks far more impressive than the abysmal state it truly signifies). Now, it’s not that I have been resting on my laurels this whole time. In fact, I’ve been very feverishly dashing off poems left and right and been integrating myself into the very welcoming Phoenix poetry scene. Hell, I’ve even been a featured poet at some events, and there is more of this to come.
However, this does not excuse my lack of blog-iness in this very cutthroat, blog-eat-blog world. Well then, all five of you lovely people who will read this post must be asking, what gives? What’s the excuse, Grumpmaster Flash?
Truth be told, there is no excuse other than the rather lame one that I give for why I don’t do just about anything that I end up not doing: Life. Life, says Marvin, don’t talk to me about life. So I won’t. If I’d wanted to, I could have made time for some pretty blog-tastic entries, but I didn’t. Now, as the Germans said, on to bigger and better things…
Advancements in technology and I have never been more than cautious admirers. When I was growing up, there was none of this MySpace, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Spotify what have you. Not everyone I knew owned a computer, and nearly no one had a cell phone. Cut to me at age 30, and I have, very begrudgingly made moves to catch up with modern society. As a writer and student, I have found it necessary to utilize several of the aforementioned services (primarily for the necessary evil of self-promotion), but I have never ‘friended’ anybody that I haven’t at the very least met and spoken to in person and I’ve never purchased anything (other than textbooks) or stolen media in a digital format. In many ways I’m ‘That Guy’ who still prefers how things were back in the day, and while I’m not a technophobe, I certainly don’t trust the digital age.
Most recently I was reminded of the limitations of my acceptance of technological advancement while thoroughly geeking out at The Art of Video Games exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. My family never had a video game system when I was growing up, but many of my friends did, and so the nostalgia experienced at seeing Super Mario Bros. on the original NES or the various pixelated DOS games was heartfelt and palpable. Wandering through the exhibit as it moved on up to the striking, realistic graphics of today’s video games, this nostalgia transitioned to awe-inspired consternation and discomfort. Why discomfort? I asked myself, because games should not ape reality, I handily answered myself.
We own a PS3, but while the kids enjoy playing games like Mass Effect 3 where people look eerily like people, I am most comfortable with the Lego games where, when character dies, there is no blood–they just break. Blood and violence in video games is not my problem, the realism is–it is, after all, a GAME. And this, I think explains where my unease with advancement in technology stems from: Not the advancements themselves, but what is lost in the process. Relationships are meant to be experienced in the flesh; music is meant to be experienced with artwork and liner notes; books are meant to be experienced with the rustle of pages; violence in video games is meant to be experienced in unrealistic red pixels.