Subscribe for email updates on new releases and current projects:


* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp

Friday, May 13, 2011

Out of touch

Apologies to loyal blog readers! I have been unable to post new entries for several days. Some kind of glitch in the world of the people who make this blog possible, and unfortunately beyond my ability to control. SOON I will have new, thought provoking stuff for you to read, since I can now get back online and post again!

In the meantime, I have built a flamethrower. This is why the internet is SO necessary in our modern world -- it keeps dangerous people like me from exercising our full destructive potential. Karl Marx said that religion is "the opiate of the masses", meaning that religious practices and ideas tranquilize people and make them oblivious to the fact that they could really change their circumstances. Later, in the 1980's, the comic strip Bloom County portrayed a television quietly gloating, "Karl Marx hadn't seen anything yet!" The internet goes a step farther -- we quietly numb ourselves into oblivion with interactive entertainment, gaming, shopping, and "social networks" (think Facebook) on demand, at the click of a finger -- and we think we are doing something important.

It's May. So here's a thought: Get off the computer for a while. Find an eight year old. If you don't have an eight year old, you can borrow one. (Parents of eight year olds are almost always willing to loan them out, especially if someone else is willing to feed them in the bargain.) Take the eight year old to the hardware store. Wander the aisles looking for cool stuff. (For an eight year old, hardware stores are like treasure chests full of cool stuff.) See the store from the kid's perspective. PVC pipe is not for plumbing; it's the stuff blowguns are made of. If you buy the right size PVC pipe and cut a couple two foot lengths and go to the grocery store and buy a bag of the multi-colored miniature marshmallows, you can have all the fun of paintball with a lot less pain and mess. Or if you've got the really big PVC it's a ready-made tunnel. You could build a submarine out of the stuff. I was in Johnson's Hardware Hank in Zimmerman today -- I love that store -- and they have a whole display of rubber-band powered, wind-up balsa wood airplanes. Many eight year olds have never assembled, wound, or released a balsa wood airplane in their lives. This is a tragedy. Look at trailers, or storage sheds, or lengths of rope or various kinds of plywood and ask the kid, "What could you think of to do with this?" Spend time in the stovepipe section or the garden tools. See it through the eyes of wonder and exploration. If you're brave enough, look at the propane cylinders and the associated gadgets. Oh, my goodness.

When you're done at the hardware store (which, if you're doing it right, means after you've been kicked out), find someplace that sells ice cream cones, preferably in multiple flavors.

It's May. Go have some fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment