This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, June 15, 2009

In Excess

In some ways, I wouldn't mind being younger. It's not that I'm even old, but I feel so far removed from the youngest generations of today that it makes me feel so much older than I actually am. I enjoyed growing up in the '80s-- it all seems so simplistic now. It was just a hiccup in time just before technology really started to take over.

I remember when my dad brought home our first home computer. It was a hand-me-down from the school where he worked as a guidance counselor. It looked like a black-and-white TV with a keyboard attached and that's pretty much what it was.

It had the amazing capabilities to do just about nothing, but I thought it was one of the greatest things in the world. I could sit there and type, type, type as the letters appeared like magic on the screen. God only knows what I wrote [or if I wrote anything intelligible at all.] I couldn't send my messages anywhere. Hell, I couldn't even print them out. But I'd sit there and type, type, type for hours at a time. It was so fun to hear the clippity-clop of my fingerprints and see those letters on the screen.

Around the same time, after begging and pleading, my mom finally let us get a Nintendo Entertainment System. Like the computer, it was a hand-me-down. Our babysitter was selling it so they could get the upgrade. [They also had the Disney Channel which my mom wouldn't let us get because it cost more than cable. Grr. But that's another story.] Anyway, the used Nintendo came with the now-classic controllers and one video game: Super Mario Bros. I loved Super
Mario Bros. and over time, I got pretty good. I even got to Level 8 to slay the dragon, as shown on the left. That was a great day--- for my kid self anyway.

In fact, I don't recall owning any other game... maybe we did, maybe we didn't, but what I do remember is the thrill my brother and I had when we'd earned our right to rent a new video game at Blockbuster. My mom created this point system based on our list of chores. A certain number of chores gave us points that eventually earned us a video game. Of course we hated the system at the time [ i.e. "I cleaned the bathrooms every weekend for a month so I could get Donkey Kong Jr."] but now that I look back-- there was something about earning it that made me appreciate it all the more.

Although it would be nice to re-live certain times in my life [while skipping others entirely], I don't envy the kids growing up in today's world. They've grown up to believe that they have the best things in life... that nothing is too good for them... What they don't know is how much they're missing. In Western culture, they've learned that money and fame along with the newest and most upgraded cell phone/ipod/game system is what counts. Most of them are bored (or unaware) of the act of living. They never look up from texting long enough to see the streaks of color in the sky after the sun sets. Nothing gets their full attention because they are so adept at multi-tasking that they have no ability to uni-task. At the movies, the newest and best CGI technology in the world doesn't faze them. It's just like everything else they've ever seen{ yawn }

They're trapped in the middle of an infinite black hole that eventually will collapse. Bigger and better is no longer the name of the game. The time of excess is coming to a close. Pull the plug and the youngest of us would struggle the most. Globally, the internet would blackout. Texts would go unsent. IMs would go missing. Cell phones would go dead. Facebook statuses would be frozen in time. We might have to actually venture outside or resort to the the type, type, type of words in books to entertain us. And horror of horrors, when the darkness comes, we'll only have live human beings to comfort us.

Yet, those of us who can still remember how to engage our minds with our own thoughts, our imaginations, and the nature of the great world around us will do just fine.

Plus, I'm pretty sure that old Nintendo Game System still works.

** For more about relics of computers past, check out: oldcomputers
** To play old school video games like Super Mario Bros, Pac Man, and Donkey Kong for FREE, check out Game Ninja

Copyright 2009 by KLiedle

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