Monday, February 27, 2017

Something Thoughtful

Nicholas Reid reflects in essay form on general matters and ideas related to literature, history, popular culture and the arts, or just life in general. You are free to agree or disagree with him.    


            Right now.
It’s 5pm and I have some serious work to do.
I should be able to get some of it done in the hour before dinner and then I’ll get back to it after I’ve finished the dishes.
            But first I’ll check my e-mails.
            Yep, I can delete that one.
Yep, I can delete that one.
Yep, I can delete that one too.
I find it annoying to be invited to cultural events in cities, which I cannot possibly reach. I’m not interested in special travel deals to places I don’t want to visit, but the airlines keep sending the blasted things because they have my contact details since I’ve travelled with them a couple of times. No, I am not interested in signing somebody’s petition over an issue about which I know nothing. Then there are all those bloody e-mails linked to Facebook postings. Into the trash they all go to be deleted permanently.
And the Spam folder. Yep, that can all be deleted.
Ah – here are one or two personal messages, which I’ll save, and there’s this reviewing commission, which I’ll deal with later.
There – that took only about five minutes. I still have 55 minutes to dinnertime.
I’ll just quickly catch up with Facebook.
Yes, pictures of cats.
Yes, pictures of dogs.
Yes, pictures of cute toddlers and the clever things they can do.
Yes, New Zealand holiday snaps from some dear friends of mine.
Yes, messages from younger women in the extended family, about how they love drinking wine and partying.
Yes, re-postings of ready-made witticisms, some of them purporting to be political commentary, for people who have no wit of their own.
Yes, posts from somebody travelling overseas, with selfies and other indicators of all the places she’s been to.
Oh well.
I can’t be snobby about this as I’ve made the same sort of postings whenever I’ve travelled.
I’ll click the “Like” button for some of her photos and show I’ve got her posts. That’s at least a bit more gracious than one snotty person I know who admits that he looks at Facebook to keep up with family news, but then adds that he never makes a comment because “I have better things to do than respond to many fatuous comments and postings.” Well nobody’s asking you to respond to fatuous comments, dearie, but if you’re looking at light social chatter you can at least acknowledge your presence on line. All it requires are a few harmless pleasantries. I mean, it’s a little voyeuristic to lurk about looking without occasionally showing you’re there.
Well, that about covers it for Facebook except…
Ooo! Look here. Somebody’s posted a link to the Guardian about the forthcoming French presidential elections.
Looks interesting. I’ll read it.
It seems the two major mainstream parties are trailing in the polls. Francois Hollande’s anointed centre-left Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon is getting nowhere with the public, and the same is true of the centre-right mainstream candidate Francois Fillon.
Instead, two candidates from the margins are taking the lead and drawing the crowds and seem to be set to go head-to-head in the elections. There’s the very right-wing Front National leader Marine Le Pen. And there’s Emmanuel Macron, the leader of a neo-liberal deregulation party, which trendily calls itself En Marche! (Forward!)
Strewth! What a choice!
Somebody’s put a link to footage of their opening rallies. I watch her’s for five minutes. I watch his for five minutes. How smooth the rhetoric of politicians on the make. How depressing. It’s like watching Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. Two ridiculous candidates, but the public are lapping them up.
Back I go to the main Facebook feed.
Look, there’s one of those clickbait things that are often hard to resist. Ten Top Movie Flops at the Box-Office and Why They Flopped.
I start watching when…
It’s now five minutes to dinnertime.
Where has this planned hour of serious hard work gone to?
I’ve just wasted it on Facebook and Youtube clips.
I must not let this happen again.
I will not let this happen again.
Never. Never. Never.
Until tomorrow night probably.

No comments:

Post a Comment