January 27th, 2005

elongate politburo messianic strife

Still have to clean up those rabbit holes in the yard

Good morning, everyone! I just thought I'd wedge in a quick post in between breakfast and heading off to work. I'm actually in a pretty good mood, because today's the day I set the viruses to activate in the computers of all the jerks who have been hassling me with extraordinarily stupid computer questions. "Why are there only two mouse buttons?" "Where's my command line?" Hmph. You'd think they'd never seen Windows before.

It's been a great day for other reasons, too, actually. Why, already kadyg and I have been out to eat our daily McDonald's breakfast; I leeched a few minutes of restaurant bandwidth while we were polishing off our tasty, nutritious meals only to find that my site made the front page of SA! About twenty members of the Good Squad had already sent me letters of congratulations, so I took a few minutes to hit the Something Awesome forums and bask in the effusive camaraderie of appreciative total strangers.

Even kadyg did have to admit that, yes, I do in fact have the most comprehensive and compulsively updated philately pages on the Web. So I guess I win that little side bet we had going. I know you've been resisting letting me adopt some cats because it might upset the iguanas, hon, but clear out some space for that new litterbox. :)

I shouldn't stay here too long typing up this entry, because the sooner I can get in to work, the sooner I can leave and start preparing for the Omaha County GOP leadership meeting. I don't mind the extra work -- I know it's for a good cause -- but I really wish they could have found someone else to be treasurer; I'd do much better as secretary or media liaison or something. I mean, just because I've got a Computer Science degree from the prestigious Gene Ray University doesn't mean that I'm a nerd or anything. I'm no good with numbers. I just know how to do my job well. Computers are easy once you understand how to tell them what you want to do.

Unlike my younger son Jonas. I'm starting to reach my wits' end with that boy. I just found out on Monday that the money I've been giving him for haircuts for the last two months has been getting spent on books instead! The little brat is sneaking down to Borders on his school lunch break! And his hair is growing out almost to his shoulders! Honestly, I don't know which one is worse. I've already spanked him three times this week simply for not finishing everything on his plate at dinner, and I'm afraid that if I were to suitably punish him for his rebelliousness I might be crossing some sort of line into child abuse.

At least Ezekiel made starting lineup on the football team again. I only wish his younger brother could better follow his example. Zeke's been through all four divorces and still knows not to give me any back sass; how can Joney be so troubled after only two? Maybe he's running across a few too many creepy lunatics on the Internet ...?
  • Current Music
    Downbeat Pursuers, "Vultures Over Gethsemane"
elongate politburo messianic strife

Jonas' addiction

Okay, look, some of you seem to have missed the point of my last post. I thought we settled this. It's absolutely surreal that we have to be having this argument again, but here goes.

HAVING A WEB PAGE ON STAMPS DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PARENT.

And if you're expecting me to use that stupid "ten years ago it was just a hobby, it's not my responsibility to stop" straw man all the crusaders whine about, you don't know me very well. (Although I do have some sympathy for that argument. I'm sick of folks who think the only solution to Luce is to create a world safe for it by banning absolutely everything it can be used on. Look, we made it. The drug should serve us, not vice versa.)

The fact of the matter is, no matter what some of you neanderthals may think, there is such a thing as moderation. Luce addicts don't get off on the drug itself -- they're addicted to the stories the drug puts them into. They turn the page, and they're pulled into a carefully controlled fantasy that leaves them crying out for more, more, more until the big climactic finish. And then there's always one more book to read ... always the friend who says, "Yeah, Earthsea was pretty epic, but you have GOT to trip through Lord of the Rings" ...

What's my point? That stamps don't feed Luce addictions. Yes, stamps have still analog images (side note: thank goodness the drug doesn't work on moving images or text on a screen, or else the Web would become an even bigger minefield than it is today). Yes, Luce works on them, and yes, Jonas is probably sneaking into my stamp collection while I'm at work. But so? The boy needs at least one guilty pleasure in his life, and stamps are harmless in a way that books never could be.

Because there's no narrative. There are disjointed images. Even the ones that show landscapes or concepts or inventions are just snapshots, a moment frozen in time. That stamp of a Chinese dragon soaring through the sky gives you sprawling vistas but never lets you feel the sensation of flying. That stamp of Christina's World takes you to a field of glowing wheat and lets you watch the girl's stuttered breathing, but you can never hold conversations with her or help her inside for dinner.

Books are where you cross the line. You start substituting pre-programmed scenarios on a piece of paper for real, human interactions. Books and Luce is a dangerous and unhealthy thing. Luce users know that. Luce abusers don't. Jonas has fallen into that trap.

(And, sheesh, I was kidding about being worried by the long hair thing, people. You'd think you were all using pre-<sarcasm> tag browsers.)
  • Current Music
    Downbeat Pursuers, "Fear the Flood (Unicorn Chorus Remix)"