Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A poem by Taylor Mali-The best ever

In case you hadn't noticed,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you're talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions? You know?

Declarative sentences -- so-called
because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
as opposed to other things which were, like, not -
have been infected by a totally hip
and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?
Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
this is just like the word on the street, you know?
It's like what I've heard?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been, like, chopped downwith the rest of the rain forest?
Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
Has society become so, like, totally...
I mean absolutely... You know?
That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like...

And so actually our disarticulation... ness
is just a clever sort of... thing
to disguise the fact that we've become
the most aggressively inarticulate generation
to come along since...
you know, a long, long time ago!

I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
You have to speak with it, too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


One of my favorite movies is 'Crash'. I like the opening dialogue where Don Cheadle says "In real cities, people bump into each other, brush past. But in LA, nobody touches anybody. We are always behind this glass and metal. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other just to feel something". This line got stuck in my head, and hence, this post. I am wondering if the world has started turning into a big LA. And if that is true, I think we have begun crashing. We are living in an increasingly tell-all world. We blog, twitter, network, and put up our videos and pictures on the Internet for the world to see. We spend hours on Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Orkut. We have grabbed this as a chance to tell the world- "This is who I am. This is what I like. This is what I do". If that's not enough, we 'twitter' to keep people updated on what we are doing 'right now'. This voracious appetite of people to consume every minute, personal and mostly useless information about other people, is something we didn't know existed. Interestingly enough, for every person who writes daily reports of his digestive system, and posts it on the Internet, there are 100 people who read it! And post comments!! Is this a backlash to the culture that technology helped shape in its earlier days? Remember the culture of 'no human touch'? Our calls were starting to get answered by machines so that companies didn't have to pay employees. We started checking out our own stuff at the grocery stores. We stopped going to the store everytime to shop and even to the office to work because we could do it over the computer in our bedroom. I think we started missing that human touch so much that we crashed into each other by supplying endless updates about our personal lives to all people we knew and sometimes didn't know.
Afterthought: Do you know about It presents scans of postcards sent by people from all over the world with their secrets written on them. Some are funny and innocent, but some are way too personal and dark; to the point that they are disturbing. Why do people do it? Obviously there are a lot of secrets in the world that people want to get off their collective chest. Are the days of 'skeletons in the closet' gone? Just because now it's okay to display dead bodies for the world to see?

Network-Day and Night

Network-Day and Night