Not to be a bummer, but nearly all of the cultures that have ever existed are gone. Nearly all of the languages that have have ever been spoken are gone. Nearly all of the civilizations that ever existed are gone. Nearly every single religion that has ever been believed in is gone. We’re the last remaining human species. Except in very rare circumstances there will be no proof that you ever existed in a thousand years, or more likely in a couple centuries, or even more likely once your grandchildren are dead. Your genes will survive a a dozen generations from now as scraps of junk DNA having no effect on your descendants or the course of evolution. Over a hundred billion people have lived these past fifty thousand years and you can probably name a few dozen who died before 1900, nearly all of them from whatever culture you were educated in. We’re here for a bit, the memory fades, and then it’s like we were never here at all, our existence as ephemeral the electrons I’m writing these words with.
Speaking of the social uses technology, I am no longer getting two or three emails a day from hundreds of Asian women who want to marry me and I’m now getting three or four emails a day about erectile dysfunction. The hundreds of Asian women must have been concerned.
If you aren’t doing so already you might wanna set yourself up a WordPress blog (they’re free, but your own domain will cost $18/yr, about three slices of the San Francisco pizza you posted so eloquently about) and after you spill your essays onto Facebook you can cut and paste them onto your blog. Instant posterity. It’s a shame to let pretty writing disappear into the Facebook quicksand. Your FB page is probably a goldmine of long forgotten gems just like the pizza one. Writers never write just one thing. The slightest thing, cold pizza even, brings forth a geyser of words. Look at me, we display like wanton birds of paradise, I can write like a motherfucker.
Of course, most people can’t write worth shit. They talk beautifully but get stiff and amusical putting it into prose. Writing, like just about anything else, involves a certain amount of innate skill, one that’s not yet an inborn human trait. Hell, writing itself is only 5,000 years old and the vast majority of people and their genomes who have ever lived and made babies never knew how to write anything. Wait a hundred generations or so—kids will be born writers. But natural selection won’t help people stumbling through paragraphs today. Look at them on Facebook, the poor bastards. They wax about as eloquently as I played the drums. In the meantime the ones who can write well ought to have their words preserved, if only for the sheer fuck of it.
You’re a writer, deal with it, embrace your inner egomaniac who knows that every word you put in prose is literature. You may not think so but the little twerp of a writer inside us thinks so. He’s in there, the little fuck, scribbling and scribbling, hoping someone will notice. Let him blog away so the other blogging twerps will find him. Dude, they’ll say, I really enjoy your writing, and you’ll smile and never tell anyone how cool that feels.
If the birth control pill hadn’t been invented the year I was born think of how many more of you there would be. Look around. Double the numbers of middle aged people you see. Quadruple the number of twenty somethings. Octuple the children. The pill took care of that excess. Incidentally, the peak year for the baby boom was the year I was born, 1957. After that the numbers of babies born dropped like a bell curve, till only a precious few GenXers were brought into the world, coddled as children and ignored as adults. So be nice to them. Think of all the siblings they never had.
I don’t gave a computer. I don’t have an iPad. My entire digital existence is conducted on an iPhone, and almost everything we do is digital. All our business and finances, a lot of our shopping, all our transportation, much of our medical stuff, all the social media, all the research and every last word I write. I didn’t realize this was strange until today. We manage our lives out of a red folder containing a few papers, two old fashioned and ink smeared calendars, a few sheets of scrawled monthly budgets on a clipboard (remember clipboards?), and this iPhone. That is the entirety of our transactions, interactions and communications with the world outside our house. The thirty two year old Brick would find the sixty two year old Brick’s daily life utterly incomprehensible and certainly ominous. And the 62 year old Brick wonders how the 32 old Brick got anything done at all.
People say that Isaac Newton had nothing to do with inventing the fig newton. Just to be sure, however, I took one out of the package and dropped it. It fell up. So sometimes people are right.
The rush of inventing a word that would make the OED just the once were it somehow noticed before vanishing like one of those synthetic elements invented for the sheer physicist’s fuck of it before vanishing a millisecond later with no impact on the universe whatsoever.
Thus invertebratefully, perfectly logical for one second in one sentence and then poof, gone.
Sometimes I think writing is like a jazz solo in an empty room, perfect for just that moment and then never heard again.