Good afternoon. Currently I am procrastinating instead of polishing the beginning of a funny/scary tale about near-future technology and its ability to help save the world from itself. I should be writing that, but instead I am writing this. At least I’ve tricked myself into still writing, either way.
The holidays are nearly upon us. I don’t know about you, but I’ve worked myself into a mania over the last month or so tracking the ephemeral deals and lightning-round sales on various sites. One even sent me an e-mail with the title “Black Friday III.” Really? Dear God, make it stop. I wish I could figure out what it is about the human brain that makes it delight so in participating in these annual orgies of consumerism. It’s not even about other people, anymore. I pretty much finished my gift list a while ago, but I’d still check in daily or hourly about whatever the latest video games Amazon was stuffing into its gold box of wonder. Jane and I were in the market for a speaker-dock set for our– I mean, her– iPod, and we must have spent weeks comparing reviews and figuring out what the best deals might be. At a certain point, the goods own you. At a certain point, whatever money you might have saved has been far outspent by the time you’ve lost bargain-hunting, time you could have spent… I don’t know, creating your own video game! Soldering together a home for your portable media player! In the hordes of the commercially brainwashed, I am just one more footman, brandishing his plastic and searching the heavens for divine proclamations of discount.