The time has truly come when I would welcome a jury of my peers. I don’t necessarily need a trial for something I am sure I have done at some point, but I would welcome with open arms and kill the fatted calf for an evening of discussion and laughter with people who have lived, loved and taken a few notes over the past 40 odd years.
I recently made a reference to Dorian Gray in a discussion about of the shape of world outlook and mankind in general (I know a sign of age – but it is still true). A young woman overheard me, and was delighted to offer her own comment on the subject. “Oh I just love that tea! I heard it is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite too. Do you like it with sugar?” She beamed at her tie in to not just the recent royal wedding, but also I fear an “adult” conversation I was having. I decided to take the completely neutral route, smiled and told her I always drank my tea without sugar. She smiled and turned back to her own conversation which I am sure was discussing how someone thought the big whopper was a 50’s singer that died in a plane crash and a certain burger chain should sue. Sigh.
Ah for my peers. Nothing is more stimulating to the human condition than offering body, mind and soul into conversation and experience, where you grow and bloom from the exchange. However, the world is evolving into a computer screen solitude where facts are a Google away (yes I used that as a verb) and youtube offers news reports, movies, stupid pet tricks and moments from past, present and future with just a click. I remember being told self stimulation grew hair on your hands – in this case it just causes it to fall out, as we age every day alone in front of dim lighting and LED pallets. I think there is more to the lumps than I want to admit.
Dorian Gray was able to cast the evil from his being into his portrait and live as if nothing was wrong and he was a virtuous man. That premises is not so far fetched anymore. Chat rooms of beautiful people behind fake photos, ages older and profiles of misinformation are the norm now. Interaction between even family and friends is on Facebook or through email the majority of the time and a few quick phrases can avoid anything resembling what is real good or bad in your life. What is truly sad, is the receiving party doesn’t usually make much effort themselves to check back accepting what is given. The population has all signed into a home network shopping cart, buying paint by number portrait kits for computer room closets. We had the Bay of Pigs, now there are Wiki leaks – says it all doesn’t it.
Ignorance is not bliss. Not having a personal awareness of the world on any level, political, entertainment, religious, sports and of course human interest is a waste and not haring it first hand with others is truly an abomination. The terms that came to mind when I wrote that were “soylent green” and “meat head,” but I know there are only a few who would understand and far more who would assume they were accessories for Lady Gaga.
“And that’s the way it is”, “Good night Chet” and even “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking!” Were solid parts of conversation and reassurance in my life. They generated material and news to laugh and talk about and also to think about. How wonderful it would be again for a conversation maybe only half as over informed and overly analyzed as we now have with the Internet and 24/7 news channels. One with the human touches, and sharing personal insight and emotion again. After all, that is what we remember in the long run, much more satisfying than turning off a screen and going to bed.
So yes, my Dorian Gray does have a couple lumps, taken them over the years but grown from them, and I will proudly offer them up against your Gym Tan Laundry and angry birds on the Fox network any day.