The world is getting smaller and smaller. From cell phones to PDAs to digital cameras, we’re inundated with devices designed to help us better communicate, network, and generally keep it real. Instant gratification, once reserved only for disposable diapers and fast food, has seeped into every corner of our lives in a way that’s both addicting and scary. The thought of partitioning those lives seems antiquated, and maybe impossible – no matter where we go, there’s a way to track our movements. To know what we’re doing. We’ve reached an age where the personal and public are one and the same as only Philip K. Dick or Skynet could have foreseen. Did you know my grandmother reads this blog?
Online is certainly no place to hide. Beyond the ubiquitous pornography that serves as its pumping heart, the Internet is fundamentally a medium of exhibitionism. Whether in the form of a slaved-over MySpace “Tnx 4 da Add!!” graphic or “NIGHT OF DEBAUCHERY” Facebook photo album, most of us love to share. Away messages. Blog entries. (Editor’s note: We consider Lifting Fog more of a “literary documentary.”) YouTube? People post videos of themselves eating f*cking breakfast. As mundane as our lives might be, we love just love to let everyone in on the mundane fun.
Me too! Since June, I’ve been sitting my social networking @$$ at Twitter, a free service that allows users to post (from a number of devices) quick, 140 character updates on their comings and goings. Like Facebook’s Newsfeed feature but without the frustration of reading updates from that “friend” who might be your Facebook friend but totally not your real friend and you would NO CONTEST de-friend him but then you’d be out one friend, and insecurity gnaws at you and anyway he might find out and make things uncomfortable, and it’s just too much of a hassle, so you’ll deal with it but cannot BELIEVE…
Twitter proved only moderately diverting until several weeks ago when I discovered (thanks to my friend Tian’s detective work) Phoenix Suns center, actor, rapper, video-game inspiration, and reserve officer with the L.A. Port Police Shaquille O’Neal on the site. That’s right – The Big Aristotle twitters. Or tweets or whatever. Following Shaq’s stream of consciousness updates has been one of the more engaging things I’ve done these past few weeks. His mind moves from political commentary to pop culture to psychology to absurdist humor, effortlessly maintaining a consistent “Shaqness” throughout. He simply weaves poetry. Observe:
– Just landed in new orleans, how come it still looks like nothin has been done, whos in charge
– The stars at nite r big n bright clap clap clap clap deep n da heart of texas, im n dallas
– How come i have the mr rogers neighborhhood theme song stuk n my head, iz he still alive
– About 2 meet wit larry jones from feed the children, talkn about feeding children all over da world
– Im wearing a jacket dat says 1946, a lady asked me wat it means, i replied, mam its the yr i was born. Lol
– Cant sleep i think i maay have mental imsomnia, plus im watchn the lost boys
– Watchn true blood, thats were i was born and raised, dat vampire town, shaqula has been discovered aaaaggggh
– Still tryin to get steve nash to join the twitter universe