I’m beginning to believe Belgium has reached the end of the line if it comes to humans civilization. Sure, we have a kingdom just like in Lord of the Rings trilogy, but our king has been neutered and ridiculed to folklore status. We’re a full-blown democracy, so much even, that we’ve become divided to the point where just about every individual is in politics and nobody gets along, anymore.
Sure, things could get better, but as I write this I am sitting in a heated room with lights and clean, running water, communicating beyond space and time on something ridiculously far-fetched we call the internet. In the last week, I didn’t have to lift a finger to provide for any of this. If life were any easier on me, I’d be floating in a tank of mineralized water, with whale sounds in my headphones and my dick sucked by your mother.
The other day I was visited by a Chinese girl, an artist of the lowest, truest form, and I showed her around the city. I couldn’t resist and bought a wall marker, and together we plastered a few walls with it. As she was copying a picture from her iPhone to the alley walls, I couldn’t help but notice how similar we looked to the people in the pictures of the Occupation Museum, located in Latvia somewhere. Except, instead of writing slogans screaming for justice, we were painting panda’s and “nummscull wuz her” type nonsense.
I respect her work a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I was struck with the feeling that somewhere down the road, we seem to have forgotten how easy we have it.
We are spoiled. Rotten.
If only we had something to write, to call for, we could call ourselves rebels and our legacy would echo in history. But there simply isn’t anything left to fight for: Everything is thrown in our lap and we take it, greedily, for granted. We didn’t know the people who died so that Flemish students could be taught in their own language, so that women could vote, so that people of all races could live side by side in equal freedom. Each and every single one of our basic human rights is covered in a thick layer of blood that we learned to see through.
We speak of world wars as if we were there, even though we can’t even imagine the hell it must have been. All for us, so we could live in peace and blindly forget about their sacrifice so that, ultimately, it will have to be brought again. I realized, as I filled my little skull icon in red, that this is the end of the line. Nothing left to die for, nothing but one’s own skin to live for. We are the generation carried on the dead hands of those before us, imitating their heroism and claiming it as our own. We are the children of ultimate freedom: Lazy, bored, annoying with endless crying over trivial matters.
Powerless to better our future any further, and incapable of giving birth to anything new.
It’s safe to say I am an internet addict. Random people I meet usually can’t tell, but I think by now, I am physically attached to the net and if it ever goes offline, I will go absolutely Jason Statham on you. Consider yourself warned.
Years ago, there was this study that showed that an alarming percentage of World of Warcraft players take their online lives more seriously than their real lives. Now go on and say it, let’s get it over with:
That’s pathetic. Gamers are lazy people, and to make it anything beyond a hobby is just sick. It’s decadent. Why, I oughtta go over there and tell these fat children what’s what.
If you’re finished now, shut your pie hole and let me continue.
Imagine yourself without the social skills you have now. When you talk to people, they grow bored within minutes and find someone else to talk to. Everyone has fun at parties, except you. Because you can’t express yourself comfortably, so you find something to talk about that makes you feel at ease; Things nobody else gives a shit about. Your passions only serve as a laughing stock.
This is what reality is like for a lot of people. It’s not just something they have to adapt to- this is the way they’re born.
Or should I say “we”? I remember in school, people would say things to me and I needed several seconds to even work out what they wanted, let alone respond correctly. I suppose it’s no coincidence that I spent 8 years doing little else than role playing games.
If you are introduced to a world where sensory input is greatly reduced but suddenly you’re fighting dragons and talking to chicks, it’s an easy choice to make. The human mind is surprisingly good at filling in the blanks. I for one, remember nights (well, mornings) when I finally shut down my computer and I needed a few moments to remember where I was. It gets that intense.
Who here is to say that they shouldn’t escape to that world, where they are more than they can ever hope to be out here? What’s the big difference that makes us “right” to relish in awesome in meatspace and judge their happiness online?
The biggest difference between real and digital life is that, at the end of the day, this is what you have to fall back on. You can’t pay the bills with cybermoney (yet) and eating must be done, but I’m convinced that some will gladly trade everything of this unforgiving realm for half the lifetime in their fantasy one. God knows I was one of them, only a couple years ago.
Now we are entering an era where none of that will really matter, anyway. Between augmented reality and social networking, companies are eager to have us carry the power of the internet everywhere we go. It began with laptops and the disgrace we called WAP, and has progressed to palm computers smarter than ourselves, connected remotely to enough info to last us several lifetimes.
All these futuristic ideas are unfolding as we speak, and I am convinced that within my lifetime, online activity will merge with the “real world” and will become more and more seamless. The line is already thinning, demonstrated quite wonderfully by the standard iPhone’s capabilities.
I’ve said this before: If they ever bring out an ocular enhancement that allows you to take photos straight from your eyeball, I’m buying that shit and having it installed before you can say “bodily rejection”. I for one, am eagerly awaiting what they’ll think of next and thrilled to explore the vast sea of possibilities this will unleash.
We are cyborgs in the making, like it or not. The last pieces to a complete merge will be paved by the pioneers on unicorns, the knights and wizards we sorely mistake for nacho-eating nerds- and if not by them, at least for them, so they can flee to fantasy on command. Their way, which we call the wrong way to go, will loop around and bring them back to us. And we’ll thank them, because their imaginations will determine our immediate future.
And as long as they focus on yiffing Angelina Jolie in a kitty costume instead of taking revenge on us arrogant bastards, we’ll be safe for a little while longer.