Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Modern Life

Dear Modern Life,

You and I have to have a talk.  Not just any talk.  A relationship talk.

Obviously, I'm in this for the long haul: really, where else could I go?  So I'm taking the long view.  And I know you and I have had our ups and downs over the years -- both very intense.  We had some great moments over feminism, gay rights, and the internet.  Good times! 

There have been struggles that nearly destroyed my commitment to you, though.  A girl doesn't get over global poverty, local income inequality, and climate change without a certain amount of internal struggle.  At what point does "stand by your man" turn into making a doormat of yourself? 

Still, I realize that some problems are hard to solve, and all my friends will tell you I defend you often.  Indeed, they're probably tired of hearing me say, "Modern Life isn't so bad! Sure it's impossible to afford a reasonable apartment on the average working wage ... but what about feminism?  Gay rights? What about the internet?"

But you know what they say: it's not the big things that ruin a relationship, it's the little things.  And to tell you the truth, you're getting harder and harder to live with.  In particular:

Could you please be a little quieter?  What's with the constant racket? It's not like we're going to forget you're there!  I don't want to be listening to sexed up pop songs while I'm trying to shop for yogurt; I don't want to listen to the sounds of cellophane wrappers, mocha latte slurps, and constant chewing and lip smacking while I'm trying to study in the library; and I especially don't want to be assaulted by the 100 decibel sounds of those ridiculous new air-hand dryers!

Also, could you cool it with the inattentive driving?  Every time you cross the street these days you feel like a car is about to crash into you.  It's exhausting!

I know a lot of people have been on you about the whole gadget-connectivity-stupidity business lately, so I won't go into that now, except to say that this whole suggested connection between social networking, sharing, and open-mindedness ... well, who do you think you're fooling with that? I saw Mark Zuckerberg in the New Yorker suggesting that the more people put stuff on their Facebook pages, like the fact that they're gay or whatever, the more open and tolerant our society will be.  You think we haven't noticed that the more information people have about others, the more intolerant they are?  I don't know if this is some kind of bait-and-switch or what you got going on with that, but let me just say, I am onto you, Mister.

I know it's not easy being you, but it's not easy being me either.  We're stuck with each other for now so hey, work with me a little, will you?

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