Maybe it’s time we all take a deep breath and calm down. Look who’s talking, those of you that know me are thinking. But the thing is, the mood and commentary out there just seems to be a little over the top.
Andy Warhol had it only partially correct. When he said back in the seventies that in the future everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes, he didn’t know that everyone would also have a blog and a Twitter account. And that includes old guys like me who never even learned to type in high school, because only girls took that class.
Let’s look at the world I follow most closely; the one comprised of sticks and pucks and very passionate, opinionated fans. One coach, Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers, has been fired already after only three regular season games, for pity sakes. Here in Ottawa the media is all over newly-arrived winger Bobby Ryan because he hasn’t scored in two games. With such a hyper-intense, impatient perspective, no wonder pharmaceutical company executives are all hiding their money in the Cayman Islands.
But don’t become too smug, you non-hockey fans out there. How many of you hang the letters of the alphabet over your babies’ cribs, or play Bach to our embryos in the womb, hoping to give our spawn a head-start over all the other little gaffers in the all-day kindergarten ? And let’s over-structure their time in that environment, while we’re at it. How’s a kid going to make it in the ultra-competitive future unless their time is as programmed as a psychiatrist’s daily calendar ?
Perhaps I’m wrong to just blame all this hand-wringing and paranoia on the Twitterverse and the Blog Kingdom. We can’t wait to toilet-train our kids, we can’t wait for Junior to start talking, and once he starts talking we’re only wishing that he’d shut up for awhile. And then we can’t wait until they move out of the house.
Is it all because we don’t have enough real work to do anymore ? After all, how many farmers do you know ? And we’ve farmed out all our manufacturing to south-east Asia and Mexico. With no old-fashioned jobs anymore, we’ve all got make our way in pursuits such as counselling each other, becoming life-coaches, consultants and therapists. And our customers don’t want to wait for results because the world moves much too quickly and we’ve got a vacation in Bali coming up next week. So we cope with all our new-found afflictions such as ADD, ADHD, psychoses and neuroses with one new pill after another. Even shyness is now being diagnosed as a disorder, I read recently.
But hey, that’s enough for one day. I’m already late and my psychologist’s receptionist is a stickler for punctuality.