Terre Gorham 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Down the Rabbit Hole With more and more people living virtual lives in a virtual world, where nothing is as it seems and everything false is true, a warpfactor unrelated to speed wrings the real world — you know, the one that isn’t home to cartoon characters, for the most part. On screen, we can easily remake ourselves into virile ego-studs and super model-esque goddesses who lead successfully perfect lives, where children don’t need braces, marriages don’t need counselors, and guts don’t need girdles. With the push of a few buttons and some swipes of the mouse, we’re everything we wish to be in a make-believe world, at the detriment of everything we could be in the real one. “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense,” Alice so poignantly states in Alice in Wonderland. “Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary-wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?” We certainly do. Curiouser and curiouser. So, what if we stay in our real world, but enhance it just a wee bit by using the computer technology we find at our fingertips? One of the most popular buttons, surely, would be UNDO. Opportunities for the UNDO button include that Lehman Brothers stock purchase in 2007 that used your entire life savings, the tipsy late-night call to the ex, and that timeshare deal in Juarez, Mexico. The UNDO button would come in quite handy on a day-to-day basis, as well, such as after stepping in a big wad of bubble gum (or worse), cutting your own hair after a few Jell-O shots, and agreeing to cater Thanksgiving dinner for your extended family of 50 — including your ex and his new fiancée. UNDO would also afford us the opportunity to happily indulge in any number of consequence-free extravagances, such as polishing off the entire the pan of turtle-fudge brownies. It would reverse the painful outcomes of overly ambitious DIY home improvement projects (which most of them are), as well as the ill-conceived actions that typically follow the words, “Hey, y’all, watch this!” With this UNDO button, we’d enjoy a win-win relationship with the 10 Commandments, and the confessional box could be converted into a storage closet for vestments. Similarly, the DELETE button has its place. The short list might include cable bills, colonoscopies, the errant belch, fever blisters, and the mother-in-law. During the course of a typical day, we could vaporize Fido’s morning deposit, rush-hour traffic, performance reviews, and the guy’s car in our favorite parking spot. That ink spill on the new Flokati rug? Gone. The IRS audit notification? History. The flies in our soups?Just memories. Dirty diapers, ingrown toenails, and telemarketers? DELETE, DELETE, DELETE! Next, let’s dip our perfectly manicured toes (sans bunions and nail bed fungus) into software applications for our virtually real world.Surely, one of the most popular would be Adobe’s PhotoShop.Instead of primping with our makeup kits for hours in front of the mirror, we could primp to perfection in seconds with PhotoShop’s electronic toolkit. PhotoShop’s tools leave little to the imagination of possibilities: Magic Wand, Slice, Brush, Eraser, Fill, Move, Crop, Eyedropper, Trim, Color Palette, Curves, Retouch, Distort, Blur, Sharpen, Enlarge, Zoom, and the all-encompassing Special Effects. We could apply these elements to all of our ego-driven life components, from the house and the car to the spouse and the kids. Think of the industries we’d no longer need and the amount of money we would save in our Italian leather wallets. Move on to the world of plug-ins, and we’ll never have to be our real imperfect selves or live our real messy lives ever again. But for now — as of press time, anyway — all those magic applications exist only in Wonderland, where everyone is running late for very important dates. I wonder why human nature strives for perfection when imperfection is really so much more fun? I, for one, enjoy human ity’s many foibles, having carried so many of my own around for so many years. In a pristine world, would humor cease to exist? What would we laugh about? An airbrush oversight? Would the fun of self-deprecation and all its charm be lost? What would we kvetch with one another about? A misplaced beauty mark? Would the joyful connection and human camaraderie with those who share our flaws, struggles, and challenges be lost? If we could create a perfect self with the click of a button, then what? What would we do for an encore? To quote the Cheshire Cat: We’re all mad here.And to quote Alice: It would be nice if something made sense for a change. Have we become mad as hatters? Off with our heads!
Published by Downtowner Magazine. View All Articles.
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