29 April 2006
At a safe distance
The irresistible (or so I imagine) E. M. Zanotti came up with this:
We live our lives in a world where we value impersonal contacts, where we hardly see each other, would rather post a comment on MySpace than take time out to find a person, rely on email more even than the telephone (by which I am all but unreachable), where technology, and every little isolationist temperment it fosters take precedence over human contact, toward a goal of efficiency, speed, and for the purpose of the Almighty Multitask.
What we're really seeking, however, is exactly what we've tried to eradicate from our lives: those messy emotional moments where we find comfort in the arms or words of humans. We are naturally social creatures, despite our desperate attempts to the converse. We've always needed each other for those basic carnal purposes, for misery that needs company, and for those deep, honest, superliminal connections that form eternal bonds. We've become so desperate for these things that we'll turn to nearly anybody with a willing ear and a welcoming smile: all humans ever want is a little bit of love.
This last sentence seems a bit pseudo-Harvey-Fiersteinish, and I'm not convinced we're all "naturally social" you and I, or at least one of us, knows a misanthrope who positively revels in the role.
My own isolationist temperament, for what it's worth, is not motivated by speed or efficiency: it's simply a desire to keep everything, and everyone, at arm's length until the presumably far-off time when I can handle closer proximity. Since I'm not particularly good at that, I tend to give off mixed signals; and since I'm not particularly good at reading signals, I often can't tell whether I'm remarkably obscure or ridiculously transparent. Fortunately, it doesn't matter much either way.Posted at 8:16 AM to General Disinterest