I have been depending on someone else's WiFi at home for over two years now. This WiFi has now vanished. So I am here less but also happier. Now if I could only have a job with no computer access, I might think less about how much I want the diseased body of our political system to finally perish, and more about beer and girls. Would it really be a loss? Only if I were actually fighting instead of bitching.
But even without the computer, which has the effect of taking both "content" and my relationship to it, and chopping it up into little, un-nourishing bits, I still don't spend enough time with beer and girls.
Over this past week, I did, however, re-read The Rest is Noise, re-watch both The Asphalt Jungle and Citizen Kane. I also spent a bit of time deepening my knowledge of MIDI (oh it's simple enough if you just want to connect a few boxes but once you get into CCs and NRPNs and Event Lists...).
It is getting harder and harder to imagine that computers were ever seen as the means of radical social change. I could possibly write a lot more about it, but I just want to say this: if consumer capitalism is about spinning a humble wish into a large matrix of desires, replete with complex hierarchies filled with subtle and not-so-subtle gradations, then the computer is the greatest catalyst of that process I know of, and certainly accelerates the process to a speed that is unhealthy for mere mortals.
Perhaps it already exists, but there has to be world to describe the combination of the desire for instant gratification that is never gratified, and the complete collapse of the mind's ability to proritize that is the hallmark of extended computer use. It is amazing, on the one hand, that I can alternately fantasize about travelling to South America, research new needles for my turntables, read news from all over the world, look up new resataurants in my neighborhood, talk with friends, shop for books, comment on blogs, comment on message boards, etc, all with a few pieces of electronics, but there is something about doing all of these things from the same place in the same way, that is becoming increasingly problematic.
And don't just say I don't have a life. I live in Brooklyn. I go to shows. I am surrounded by bars. I dig for records. I take long walks. I spend time with friends. But there is always something at the back of my mind. I dunno.