It amazes me how quickly ideas expire. This post will expire before my bananas or a gallon of milk. Intellectual knowledge is old at the moment it is sold. In the case of the printed news, the many newspapers have been dubbed “wastepapers” overnight–many of them are bankrupt or currently going under. Our culture moves so fast that the news at 7 am is old by the evening news at 6:30 pm that very same day. It’s worse than technology or automobiles. I’m referring to ideas, inventions, conversations, movements, nationalities, currency, music and the arts, etc.–everything from talk show episodes to ways in which we catalog, access, and reference libraries of information.
The Snuggie is a hilarious example. A storywriter published a popular news story about the Snuggie, but within a couple weeks had this to say, “Now we’re stuck in phase three: the backlash to the backlash—the point at which even jokes about the Snuggie’s lameness are, themselves, lame.” It’s here and gone in a matter of weeks. Faster than record-setting blockbuster movies, cell phone and game system technology go out of fashion, the popularity of a recession-proof product phenom rises, climaxes and wanes.
What about blogs? Somewhere close to 220 million people are posting ideas in their blogs. Even if 60% to 80% of the blogs created are abandoned within one month, there are new ones growing like the grass in Florida in July. In that world, the new post takes primacy and topples that last one. The newer is truer, somehow, and the older ones are lost–buried underneath the next 20 minutes and 220 million posts.
Twitter, dang. The shelf life for anything said there is measured in seconds. No one has that much time or interesting things happening in their day to make me want to receive updates about it.
In fact, I had better wrap up this blog post, or no one would even read it. But what difference would that make, any of my ideas are merely dust in the wind–keeping you from the next big thing.
It’s all so fascinating because all of humanity’s effort spent in the need to survive, to be connected, informed, comfortable, happy, and acquire immortality is the very thing that will annihilate her and make her meaningless.
What I’m saying is that we have become such monsters at consuming stuff, that we have created more means to manufacture what we want more of at a faster rate. Some very important things about what keep us healthy and human are lost in the madness.
It is the difference between embracing the temporal and ignoring the eternal.
For further reading, see Chapter 4 (pg 53), “Popular Culture and the Restless Ones,” in All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken A. Myers