Living in the East Village, it is easy to never leave. Aside from weekday jaunts to and from the office, this once-humble enclave of apartments, hipsters, cats on leashes and community gardens has enough bars, restaurants and other consumptive centers to keep me fat, happy and stupid for at least two years. That said, ask me the name of the guy who works at the corner bodega I frequent near-daily and I’ll likely cower away in embarrassment (likely in a manner similar to the way his 4-year-old son avoids eye contact with me when I put on my “hi little boy! you’re so cute” smile). Yet I like to call myself polite and would like to think that I am socially curious / interested in the lives of others / not stuck in the cob-web of make-buy-sell. So I smile and feign interest in the answer to “how are you” when in fact my mind has already moved on to what email I have to write and whether I should pack an umbrella and oooh! that chocolate looks good.
This is not an exercise in self-deprication, nor is it meant to be a diatribe on how technology has simulataneously united and fragmented society — although true, and a subject for another time (note to self: ramble on Facebook “causes”). Instead, for my first blog post, my first venture into public gibberish, I would welcome the brave reader (hi mom) with a discussion to indicate a broader trend: the lies we tell ourselves are so ubiqutious that by the time we catch ourselves in the truth, the lie has already been emailed, hyperlinked and retagged.
On a somewhat related note, I recently learned that if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, it does not make a sound (or at least in terms of how we define sound). Moral of the story, our perceived reality is the only reality. Except that individuals’ perceived realities fundamentally differ (biologically and intellectually and emotionally), so determining a collective reality at the societal level might be a lost cause. We attempt to construct a shared experience, and we likely have moments of fissure, but like electrons bouncing around in time and space, we only witness a memory of what was. Seeing differently, whether it be regarding the mid-east crisis, abortion, health care, women’s rights, etc, is thus both the cause and solution for our problems.
On another note, I think his name is Benny.