Death and Taxes: Part IV

Originally published on 10/4/11 at The Only Podcast That Matters (theonlypodcast.com)

Just when I thought I had run out of change, I dug into my pockets and found a lot more to put in your cup. This will be the fourth episode in this continuing series about the way things change in life, love, technology, music, and more. Technology is something that changes constantly, and changes us as well. It evolves the way we think, communicate, feel, and the things we are able to do. Language is something that is being broken down into more and more dialects, or just simply broken down due to these changes. Thanks to the massively popular social networking site Twitter, what we used to know as simply a “pound sign” has become a “hashtag”. The “red ring” used to be that mysterious tattle-tale that followed you around in the pools if you couldn’t hold your apple juice, but now it is known to be one of a video gamer’s worst nightmares. Any sort of typing that goes on anywhere on the Internet has begun to suffer at the hands of the youth. Vowels are now caught in a ferocious tug-of-war, sometimes being replicated several times to emphasize a word, or other times being eliminated altogether for the sake of laziness and brevity.

The constant improving of technology has made a lot possible in recent years, for better or worse. Cars are now able to parallel park themselves (where was that when I failed the shit out of that portion of my driver’s exam?), and an increasing number of people can date online and find love. Identity theft used to require a massive amount of time, preparation, cooperation from those around the victim, and a stroke of genius. Now, all it requires is the stroke of a key. Cell phones started out huge, became small, and are now big again, and can do almost anything a computer can do. You want to watch TV while getting directions to the nearest movie theater, and find your car keys? There’s an app for that.

The world of technology and the world of faith have crossed paths, to form a new religion in America. A certain fruity company has turned the nation’s tech-inclined (and even many who are not) into a sea of droning, drooling idolaters. There’s a new deity in town, knocking the crowned champion off the throne, and one of his names starts with a J, too. Frankly, I’m not sure which is worse. Maybe we’re better off now. If anyone ever wanted proof that there is nobody up there watching over us, one need only look at the existence of the seafood allergy. No loving and merciful father would take something so glorious away from his children. Now we have someone down here watching over us…and fleecing our pockets. The world around us is in a constant state of metamorphosis. Just when you thought the only form of piracy left was of the digital persuasion, skinnies with assault rifles and ricketly little boats are taking it back to the high seas. Mosquitoes have lost their sense of decency and any fear whatsoever and bite through your jeans, and your scalp, right through your hair. All around the country, people are being reassured that their food doesn’t contain “trans fats”, when just a few years ago, nobody even knew what the hell that was. Fat is fat. People didn’t care then, and guess what, they still don’t. People used to be able to retreat to Facebook to drown their worries, but even that changes too rapidly for the liking of most. Recently, Bookers got “Zuckerberged” again, when something that wasn’t broken was fixed. Even in my own little corner of New Jersey, nobody is safe from things that don’t normally happen here, like floods, hurricanes, and now earthquakes.

Despite all this change, there are many things and people that exhibit a failure to evolve. Celebrities still think they can get naked and not have pictures it show up on the Internet, and political figures still think someone doesn’t have them on tape accepting a bribe. It has become increasingly baffling that with instant communication such as email, and immediate electronic transfers, people still use fax machines and write out paper checks. Perhaps one of my greatest pet peeves are people who made it through high school, college, and life thereafter, and still confuse coincidence and irony. They’re not the same thing. So, stop it. Then again, I should ease up a bit. I’m more even-tempered than I was in my teenage years, but I still find it nearly impossible to resist the urge to grab the nearest living thing and kill it whenever I hear Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister”. Music has evolved greatly over recent decades, and during each era, artists had to do something different to be noticed among their peers. For example, from the 90’s to today, artists like Beck and Train pulled a Peter Gabriel (who in the 80’s likened himself to a sledgehammer and spoke of shocking monkeys) and stood out above grunge and dance-pop garbage, due to their unique and non-sensical styles. I would imagine the song-writing sessions for either consisting of copious amounts of alcohol, a Mad Libs book and picking random words out of a hat, and writing them in no particular order. I would congratulate any person who can make sense out of a Beck song, or any popular Train song. Seriously. Try it.

You can resist all you want, change will catch up to you. Most people have a jar for it, but sooner or later it overflows. Until then, goodnight, and good luck.

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