Friday, February 23, 2007

Feudalism and Fiefdoms: Why Can't We Get Over Ourselves?

I'm throwing out a special request to Regina, who asked for 300 additional words about whether or not everything eventually loses its novelty. I might not make it to 300, because I'm about to vomit from gratuitous caffeine intake any minute now. But I'll do my best.

The simple answer to the question is yes: everything, no matter what, no matter how good or bad, inevitably gravitates towards an accommodated medium. I learned about accommodation in AP psychology, wherein I gathered that our faculties naturally adapt to a new stimulus. Accommodation is what makes it hard to listen to the same band for 2 hours, or talk to the same person on the phone for long intervals. You don't exactly tire of that band, or that person, but the body's response to prolonged exposure to any given thing is to give it less regard.

That said, because human beings (or some, at least) possess human souls, we have the subjective ability to recognize that we are accommodating, and to relate to a given stimulus in a new way and infuse a fresh appreciation. Without that ability, I don't know how any long-term relationship would last, or how anyone could hope to enjoy their career past the first few months. In fact, so inherent is this 'fresh perspective' ability in the human condition that you have to be a complete lazy ass to let significant relationships go stale.

The problem, really, is that we live in an out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new culture, a culture that de-legitimizes 60 gig iPods in favor of newer, similarly superfluous 80 gig models; the same culture that has to elect new officials to the house of representatives every 2 years to appease our insatiable appetite for change, and, moreover, our absurd conviction that perfection is attainable--and through politics, no less. A thousand years ago, the average life expectancy was about nine and a half, and, if you were lucky enough to make it past childbirth unscathed, you almost certainly led a miserable serf life, toiling in your aristocrat's fiefdom while the higher-ups courted maidens and invented croquet. But you don't read those serfs' complaint-riddled memoirs today. Granted, none of them could read or write, but the Scottish countryside isn't strewn with ancient field art depicting images of suffering and oppression, is it?

We complain about the upcoming election, and our slow wireless internet, expensive starbucks latte, waiting for the subway, gas prices, crackberry syndrome, and the mets (guilty man right here, but still: fuck carlos beltran in his strike-3-taking ass. how can you a) look at strike 3 with an 0-2 count, bases loaded, and 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of game 7, when your team is down 3-1, especially when you absolutely OWN the cardinals?? As in, the cardinals ascended to a heretofore uninvented level of fear every time you came up to bat; and b) strike out on the EXACT SAME inside corner curveball that got Cliff Floyd THREE BATTERS EARLIER?? Are you nuts? How could you not see that pitch and think, in your 17-million-dollars-a-year-to-play-baseball soul, that maybe the pitcher's trying to strike you out also, and that maybe it would be a good idea to swing and try to save the season? I need an ambien and a jaeger shot...)

Everything we need to be content is right in front of us. Instead of modifying those things, we should be embracing them, and investigating new ways to stay satisfied. If a bunch of feudal peons could do it, then we can do it also.

And there are your 300 words, plus another 300 or so, plus my long-time-coming mets rant.

Stay innovative steve jobs,
DJ I'll never use a cd player again


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