My friend Susan brought this video to my attention today and in light of a lot of the things that have been going on lately, I really wanted to pass it on.
A lot of what Louis C.K. talks about in this short video rings true today. I grew up during the 70's and 80's when things like everyone having a computer in their home seemed like a joke. I remember my parents had a one of those early home computers like the Commodore 64. My mom would sit around for sixteen hours coding this massive sequence just to get the screen to repeatedly roll the words: "I LOVE YOU" until you hit escape. The games were rough too, nothing like these near virtual reality trips we take every time we plug into WOW or Everquest. We didn't have cable growing up, so we were stuck with 3 channels on antennae until I was 12. Around that time CBS became available, and shortly thereafter we could tune in one of the Fox stations but we had to wear foil gloves and hold hands while standing on the top of the sofa just to see the Bundy's semi-clearly.
Today we walk around with wafer thin iPods and cell phones watching tv shows and videos or texting people who live on the other side of the globe. It's amazing.
And yet it seems all too often like it's not enough. Everyone wants more, more, more because we're never satisfied. We're growing virtual gardens in the car on the way to the mall to buy more gadgets while they plow over fields to build more malls so we can buy more things that'll inspire us to want, want, want. When does the wanting stop and the satisfaction begin? Is it possible for our race to resume a state of simple life now that we've tasted science fiction come to life, or do we all step back and let ourselves disconnect from our very essence and existence?
Of course I know we can't go backwards. It seems a silly thing to even suggest it. They had plague in the Middle-ages and I can't even begin to imagine the smell since there were no showers or flush toilets. But the frame of mind and sense of purpose in simpler times makes us appreciate the fact that we have life. Though part of me longs to return to even the 1980's when life seemed simpler, I wonder if it isn't just because I felt safer as a child. On the other hand, I have a hard time imagining the future from here.