(The following is an open letter to a beloved friend of mine who I caught up with last week after too many months of silence. Their life had gone through some serious changes. I figured I should warn them what 2013 is like...)
My Dear Amazing Friend,
I cannot believe that we finally met up on Friday! I haven't even spoken on the phone with you for, what, a year? I am not sure, but then again after all we have been through, time has neither measurement nor weight. The darkest days we have shared together seemed to stretch out into infinite darkness while telling jokes and sharing stories just yesterday passed by in an instant. Perhaps this is the reward we have been given for those endless days of pain and confusion, to have moments where time passes with ease.
Since you have not been in the stream of the contemporary world for about 15 years, I would like to give you a BIT of a tour through what has changed since 1998. While I know you are very much aware of what is going on in the greater scheme of things, I believe that some of the needed minutia may have slid by you Please forgive me if I miss a few things as these years have not been the easiest.
Well, as you have noticed, we did survive the dreaded Y2K crisis and with this liberation we jettisoned into a new millennium more narcissistic than at any point in the history of the world. The news consisted of celebrities' private lives being given more attention than the Watergate Hearings, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the Mi Lao Massacre. . Thanks to the internet and cell phones becoming affordable and accessible, we swiftly began the collapse of our evolutionary upright posture to the hunched back and curved neck beings that would arrive within the next decade. The internet also had the momentum to allow porn to begin to become mainstream (but more on that later).
As the nation as a whole was reaching a crescendo of self-absorption, everything changed on the day we now know only as numbers: 9-11. It was as if the need of some bungee cord had been reached and we were all snapped back abruptly from the free fall we had gotten ourselves into. Life kept going as it always has, but our eyes turned from one mirror to another one: the television screen.
From that moment on all of us would be spending our time staring into one screen or another. As the internet grew, it went from becoming something that we spent some time on to something we could not live without. It became a constant companion, a way of communicating, an oracle, a place where one could feel belonged and hated without ever being seen in person, lynched without ever being touched, abandoned without ever having anyone else present.
The internet also changed Music. When you left, people were still buying music in physical form and music with guitars on it still populated the landscape. Now that is all gone. Music has turned into digital dust and, while desired by just about everyone, no longer has any value. People desire recorded music for free. However, it is also possible to make music without spending any money. Bootlegged software and samples can be downloaded and, anyone can make music in one form or another. Once the value of a commodity has deflated to almost free, any price for it seems unfair and a parody and is therefore ignored. Producers o the product have less drive to spend more time make a better product. This now leads me to the world of Apple....
You will most likely have to start practicing religion again and if you wish to worship in this new land, you must go to the nearest temple of Apple (you may remember them as Mac computers) . These places of worship are easy to find, as they are open spaces where you will ALWAYS see people gathered offering money to grant them more power ad status. While you were away, there have been many changed, but perhaps none more so than in the computer world. You could spend money on a nice Mac laptop and an iPhone. This would be good as this will give you the ability to connect with anyone at anytime and have anyone have any access to you. Oh yes, phone calls are pretty much free these days (look around, notice there are no pay phones?) and even video calling, once the clarion call of a new age, is also free and mostly used for porn.
Speaking of porn, you have pretty much walked into Caligula's dream land. The culture today is saturated with pornography and calling someone a "porn star" is now considered a compliment. The socio-landscape today is filled with porn being the norm for common sexual relations. If you are not a porn star in terms of looks, build, and/or ability you will forever be a disappointment. I say this to you as you may be entering the dating world again and I don't want you to be surprised. Much will be expected of you in every way pretty much from the moment you say "Hello, are you..?" As you are a grown woman, you may be able to deal with things due to the act that the clay of your soul is already formed. However, you will see the carnage of this expectation in the youth you will come in contact with. Oh yeah, about them....
The youth of today are like the youth of any culture, with the exception that what you remember as adolescence has extended its way out into about 30. College is the new high school and grad school is the new community college. You have entered into a world of lost souls who are connected to each other twenty four hours a day.and consider that to be the norm. You will also find this thing called Facebook which, without going into detail, has swallowed global identity and social interaction whole with the clatter of laptop keys being the soundtrack as we slid down its gullet. Be careful before you sign up. While it will make it easier to find friends you may have lost touch with, you will also be open to everyone in your past to find you. EVERYONE. Just know, you have been warned.
Oh yes, before I forget, you really need to know about Youtube. It has replaced television. Unfortunately you missed the golden age of the website as it is now filled with commercials and copyrighted material is taken of quickly. Still you will most likely spend the bulk of your now free time watching (or listening) to this site. Videos of animals, mostly pets, are the new religion on that site. However, all you need do is drop a laydel into the cauldron of human thought and desire and you can find it on Youtube.
But if you cannot find what you desire there, all you have to do is ask the ruling god of all information and communication: Google. Ask it any question and you will receive an answer, any answer actually. This is the problem: this omnipotent oracle allows you to chose what is the truth. Be careful when you go there as you can get lost as easily as you learned how to breathe.
I must go now. I promise to write more soon. Dare I say you are going to need it.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I need them, I always have and I always will.
Know that you shall forever be carried with me as well and that the bond we share as veterans of this strange life.
With Deepest Friendship and Music,