Tag Archives: Existence

Unplugging Because. . .

Technology, like sex, has a love/scare relationship with most Americans.

Until relatively recently, sex has been something that you just did not speak about in anything remotely resembling polite company. Not only did Lucy and Ricky sleep in separate beds with a nightstand between them, but most of George Carlin’s seven words you can’t say on television have to do with sex.

The flip side to that, however, is that while sex might not have been a public subject, it was the thing most on the minds of American men and women. Porn thrived, especially with the arrival of the internet and the ability of people to buy it anonymously. You couldn’t talk about it, but it was used to sell everything from cars and toothpaste to fridges and massagers.*

Things haven’t changed all that much, but it has become a bit less of a taboo in public discussion. Or at least, my wife, known to one and all as She Who Must Be Talking About Sex, and her friends seem to have no trouble talking about this kind of thing anywhere and everywhere.

I’m thinking technology is beginning to occupy a similar place in the American psyche. Not so much its existence, but, rather its use.What's the point of things like the National Day of Unplugging? Are we that scared of what the internet, in particular, and technology, in general, can offer to us?

More and more people are joining movements like the National Day of Unplugging, which was held early last month. The point of it was to abjure technology from sundown March 7 to sundown March 8. Ironically, folks who participated took photos of themselves and posted them on the National Day of Unplugging website to talk about “I unplug to. . . ”

I’m assuming ironic-deafness is a prerequisite to becoming a Luddite.

This whole thing reminds me of people who used to say, “I never watch television, except maybe a few hours of Masterpiece Theater on PBS.” Mostly folks said that to make it look like they were too smart, too sophisticated to debase their minds with the common drivel the rest of us enjoyed.

I suspect these folks are probably the same ones who won’t use an e-reader because they only read “real” books.

So, really, what’s the point? It’s not like any of these people are going to unplug for the rest of their lives. It seems to me that the whole point of this unplugging is to plug back in and then broadcast to one and all how virtuous you were because you put down your smartphone for a while.

It might have something to do with the fact that people don’t trust themselves very much. They use programs that block the internet or blank their web browsers so they won’t fool around when they should be working. They keep checking their messages and e-mail during meals with other people.

Even if you have always-on connection, that doesn’t mean you have to use it, yeah?

Mostly, I think the attraction of these sorts of things lies in the fact that, for most people, the idea of change is scary. And technology is all about change, about doing things differently, more efficiently, on a wider scale than before, seeing new things in your lives that had always been there, but were never noticed.

Dudes and dudettes get caught up in the world and begin racing toward the future with eyes open, but stop every once in a while, stumble, and realize just how much change we’ve been through and still face.

The strong smile, assess and continue. The weak unplug.

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Buy A Ticket At Walmart, See Man Of Steel Before Nationwide Opening! Aw, Yeah!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Warner Bros. Which means I’m getting a little bit of cash to tell you something I would have done anyway. Mostly I would have written about this to try and prod Zippy the College Boy Returned Home For Summer and Hyper Lad into getting this sort of thing for me as a Father’s Day present.

Remember when I talked about how I’d love some sort of bespoke, handmade present, something that showed the young dudes put a little thought and effort into getting the present? Yeah? Forget it.

This is what I want.thumbnail1

And, if you’re smart, it’s what you’re going to want as well.

So here’s the skinny.

Walmart is offering you — yes, you — a chance to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steelbefore it opens nationwide at what looks to be every theater in existence. Yeah, before that massive opening, you’re going to get a chance to get a head start, be treated like the star you are.

If you go buy your ticket at the electronics department of any local Walmart store, you can go to a specially designated movie theater (you’re on your own here, but it shouldn’t be that hard to find out. Probably on the ticket. But, come on? Really? I’m not going to do everything for you dudes.) and see the movie at 7 pm on June 13.

That’s the Thursday before Father’s day, and definitely the first showing of any kind anywhere in the United States. This is a big deal. It’s the first time this has ever been done, offering tickets to the general public so we can go see a movie before it opens.

Man-of-Steel-Horizontal-Billboard-Image-610x296Normally, this sort of thing only is offered to very select businesses. For instance, I once got tickets to see Spy Kids 3D early. I regretted going, mind, but I did get the tickets for free from Rebel Base, a premier comic book shop here in Charlotte, NC.

This time, though, it’s not a question of who you know, but of whether or not you can get someone to go to Walmart and pony up the ticket price. And that shouldn’t be too hard, especially considering you’re probably the one paying the little dudes whatever money they get as an allowance.

I’m telling you dudes, I couldn’t be more excited. Superman is one of those characters who, when done right, can raise goosebumps of awesome all over your arms. Sure he’s got all those powers, but I think his most important one is the ability to inspire us to greatness. We all want to be Superman, even the Iron Giant.Man-of-Steel-One-Sheet-Image-610x732

Despite my initial misgivings (I mean, it’s Zack Snyder directing so I figure fully a third of its length is going to be in slow motion), I’m really getting excited about this one. It looks like we’re finally going to get the Superman movie we’ve so desperately wanted for so long. It looks like Superman is actually going to punch someone. We’ve waited a long time for that one. And inspiration. Inspiration and punching. Combined.

Here. Check this out. It’s the trailer for the movie. If this doesn’t get you up off the couch, yelling in a little dude’s ear about getting you a ticket from the electronics department at Walmart, then, dude, you are dead.

Purchase tickets to the exclusive pre-screening of Man of Steel [PG-13], to be shown on June 13th, 2013 at 7 PM, by going to your local Walmart! Tickets can be purchased in the Electronics Department and include an exclusive digital comic book written by David S. Goyer, author of Man of Steel, as well as an exclusive opportunity to pre-order an HD digital download or Blu-Ray copy of the film.

  • Go to your local Walmart
  • Visit the electronics department
  • Purchase your EXCLUSIVE Man of Steel prescreening tickets (available in 2D or 3D)
  • Take your family to the theater location noted on your ticket and watch the EXCLUSIVE 7 p.m. premiere of Man of Steel on June 13th!

Learn more here!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Warner Bros.

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Where Did The Time Go?

by Richard

If there’s one thing we never have enough of, it’s time. There’s never enough time to get it done. There’s never enough time to do everything we want.

There’s just never enough time, is there, dudes?

No. There’s not.

Which means we need to work hard to make the most of the time we do have. I’m speaking from experience in that I’m not the most, um, shall we say?, well-organized dude in existence. I’m pretty sure that’s speaking kindly.

It used to be different. When I worked for newspapers, I was known as a well-organized dude who never let anything slip past me. That’s because I used to have a tickle file. It was a system I designed to tickle my memory to remind me to do stuff or look into stuff or get back to stuff.

That and the fact that I never threw anything out. If only the bosses could have looked inside my desk drawer, they’d have seen the lie of their praise. I got lucky there.

The problem is, when I stopped working for the newspapers, I stopped generating information every day that I could stash away and then call up when needed. I had to get along on what was around. Thank goodness for the invention of smart phones and personal digital assistants. It’s so much easier to carry around a small phone than it is the lug around a large wall calendar with the appointments for five people labeled in a different ink color.

Still, digital organizer tips won’t do it all. I still can over schedule myself or try to take on too much and then flame out. It’s happened. One of the best ways I’m learning about to overcome this is to try and build in a little nothing time into the schedule.

That is, don’t schedule appointment after appointment after appointment. Build in a little time for you to reflect on each appointment, to write out action lists, to coordinate various lists. In other words, give yourself time to breathe. Otherwise, you’re going to suffocate under the weight of your own expectations.

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