by Joe Buonfiglio
Hey, I like my “screen time” as much as the next disillusioned American who loves to bitch about his or her life, but not really get off their ass to do anything to become a change agent for better. Like you, I end a workday that leaves me questioning why I even wake up in the morning. And, like you, it all leaves me craving my favorite TV show or gaming adventure in the desperate hope it will pacify my discontent with my place in history quicker than a shot of heroin.
As I watch the next generation overtaking the entertainment footsteps in which I and those of my age walked, the ever-increasing crescendo of mindless options presented to them — to us all — leaves no doubt in my mind that the human race has no future beyond placating itself in a digital bath designed to render humankind the prisoners of Apple, Microsoft, EA and Valve.
Have Americans turned their best efforts of innovation away from enhancing our lives toward mere escapism? Are we more interested in cheat codes than cures?
“Sorry, dear, I wanted to deal with this whole Mission to Mars thing, but Netflix original programming has just gotten too good. Okay, maybe I could spend some more time working on this global pandemic now that— Ooooooooooo, has Rockstar launched a new Grand Theft Auto?”
It’s as if we’re saying, “Fuck one small step for man; this is one giant leap for gamers!”
Look, I get it. Smoking, booze, drugs, whores, Las Vegas; there has always been some new and better way to escape the misery of travelling down the mortal coil and the mental horror show of knowing that there is no escaping the grave no matter what you do in life. Dead is dead makes us all look for ways to forget the anguish of walking the Earth for a little while, so we don’t all just go cray cray and start consuming human flesh simply to avoid the mindless tedium of existence. But, where is this all going?
If we all forget the wonder of just walking on the beach at sunset or talking with friends and family while sipping a cocktail on the back porch in some misguided quest at the helm of a gaming controller or cellphone virtual keyboard, to what end are we racing toward?
EAT, SLEEP, SHIT, WORK, GAME, REPEAT?
Is that it? Is that all to which we now aspire?
CONTENT [kon-tent] = CONTENT [kuhn-tent]?
And who benefits from creating a working class of mindless drones whose ire was once aimed at injustice and oppression, but is now supplanted with viewscreen wonder? Who comes out on top when the masses accept their lot in life as long as you give them an endless stream of mindless thumb-recreation and eyeball-numbing drivel to which they can occupy themselves?
Hmmmm. I wonder who that benevolent benefactor of trickle-down economics could be?
Well, not me brother! I’m not buying into the enslavement of the masses by way of ocular stimulation! I’m gonna fight my tech-giant one-percent overlords to the last breath in my lungs. I’m going to rise up and face them down shouting the truth as if a golden beacon of—
Hey, is that the new Call of Duty?
Uh, listen, I’ll finish this blog post in an hour or so, okay? Or maybe tomorrow.
Fuck it. It’s good enough.
© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.