Category: A Day In The Life

Done With Sweet Potato

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I think I’ve figured out the formula for getting into a new band. People always recommend great music to me and I’ll listen to a few songs, decide it isn’t for me, and then I’ll hear a banger from the artist later (maybe months later) and all of a sudden I’m stealing whole discographies off the internet.

Right now I’m on a big Portugal. The Man kick. A friend of mine showed me some of his music ages ago, like circa 2016, but I didn’t really like it. The other day I heard Feel it Still, from his yet to be released album Woodstock. Now I’m listening to all of his stuff, and it’s a bonus that his music videos are weird.

I had another friend recommend Chicano Batman not too long ago and it was Black Lipstick that got me into them. They’re sick, and the album Cycles of Existential Rhyme is good. It’s groovy. It’s existential. I should be getting paid for these plugs!

Another banger I’ve had on replay lately is L’Appuntamento by Ornella Vanoni. I think it’s Italian. It’s one of the songs on the soundtrack to Ocean’s 12 (I think, I love all three of those movies so much it’s possible it’s from a different one, but I’m pretty sure it’s from 12 because that’s the one where they’re in Europe. Makes sense, right?). I haven’t explored much of the Vanoni back catalogue yet, but L’Appuntamento is a delightful track. I’ll have to find out what she’s saying.

I finished the stupid sweet potato that I bought last week or the week before. It’s been a nightmare every morning. I’m used to delicious red potatoes from PEI or wherever, and for reasons I can only attribute to ignorance, food-trends, malevolent interference from the spiritual plane, or something else, I bought some freaking sweet potatoes and have had to eat them.

It got so bad that I’ve had oatmeal three times this week because I couldn’t bring myself to take the thing out of the fridge. Part of me believed that if I pretended it wasn’t there, it would disappear.

2017 is a year for bold statements, and I’m coming out hard against sweet potatoes, yams, and all derivatives. Yam fries are a waste of menu space. 0/10.

I’m just realizing that since I normally write these while I’m making/eating breakfast I talk about it a lot. I wonder what these would sound like if I only did them in the evening.

I have a pretty regular morning routine, I play Duolingo for a bit (it says I’m 25% fluent in Spanish but that can’t be right), make breakfast, and write a blog post. On the weekends sometimes I let the blogging slip a little because I work.

It would be cool if the Russian lessons on Duolingo had a fluency metre as well, but it would probably say 0% fluent no matter how much of the course you’d done. The sentence structure in Russian is completely different, and it’s a case language, so depending on how a word is used (subject, object, location, etc…) the ending changes. And there are so many exceptions. It’s tough.

Русский- сложный язык.

For the Benefit of

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the minimum income idea lately. The idea, at its most basic, is that everyone should be guaranteed a certain income which allows for a reasonable life. Or something like that. There are tons of different ways of getting to it, but I want to talk about me not ideas.

I am particularly in love with the minimum income because I don’t like working and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to spend every one of my days doing whatever I want. (This is the point where I realize that if anyone looking to employ me one day reads this they might find it a MASSIVE turn-off). 

Honestly, I think my attitude is the big argument against a minimum income. It seems that people feel like everyone should be forced to work, that it’s a requirement for life until you can earn yourself out of it. It’s part of the American dream, that we’ve internalized here in Canada as well, that if you work hard at a job you’ll be happy or fulfilled or something. The job doesn’t matter.

And I don’t even dislike my job. I’m very happy with what I do. I’m reasonably compensated, I have some of the best coworkers I’ve ever had in my life, and they don’t seem upset that I want to work part time.

Quick sidebar: Master of None, Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show, is back for season two. I think it’s one of the greatest shows ever, and I tried to quit TV earlier this week, but I didn’t know this was coming back!

Anyway, in the beginning of episode three in a flashback, Dev (Ansari’s character) is eating bacon at a friend’s house. His parents are Muslim and he’s never had it! Anyway, watching a young kid eat bacon while Tupac’s Only God Can Judge Me plays is the greatest thing ever.

I was trying so hard to quit TV too. But I did get a little sick earlier in the week and watched like six hours of How I Met Your Mother. So I wasn’t really being good about it. I guess it’s better than smoking.

Anyway, back to the minimum income. I think we need to get away from the idea that people are inherently lazy and need to be held in a state of poverty to encourage them to provide their labour at low wages in shitty jobs.

I mean, that’s a little reductive I guess, but I think the important points are there. What would a world look like if no one had to work to live?

But, it’s a stupid dream, isn’t it? Because I can take risks and work hard and try to fit myself into the system as it is, but I can’t force the system to conform to my ideas, right?

Anyway, as a quick summary, I’d like to not work and just write BS on my blog, maybe learn how to make mugs and play Duolingo a little. That’s the dream right?

The Mushrooms Betrayed Me

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

After yesterday’s disaster of a breakfast, today I decided I’d just get a couple muffins and a cup of coffee from a cafe by my place. I guess by 11:30 all the muffins were sold out? I ended up with a couple cookies, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Yesterday the mushrooms betrayed me. I mean, it was either that or I got food poisoning at Pacific Poke, and I had the veggie bowl, so I find it hard to believe that I got sick from that. The mushrooms, on the other hand, were incredibly questionable. Or maybe it was too much nutritional yeast. I don’t know the culprit, but I still feel a little off.

But seriously, how can the cafe be out of muffins already? It wasn’t even noon. Do they not have muffins at all on Thursdays? I was psyched, their muffins are huge and I was going to get a chocolate one and a blueberry one.

Now I’m still hungry.

We’ve had a little issue with our kitchen sink leaking and yesterday the landlord came by to take a look at it. She was here for around fifteen minutes before she turns to me and says, ‘What’s your name?’

I’ve lived here for almost two years, so I say, ‘What do you mean?’

And she looks at me like I’m an idiot. ‘WHAT DO I CALL YOU?’

Now, she’s pretty old (I think she’s mid-seventies) so I figured she was just starting to lose her mind a little bit, so I say, ‘I’m Mark.’ And finally she smiles, points to herself and says, ‘Anna.’

‘ANNA! I know your name. I’ve lived here for almost two years! I’m Mark!’ I say, and she doesn’t believe me.

To be fair, I did grow a pretty long beard and I used to be a little larger, but I had to convince her that I was the same person. When she finally realized it, she put her arms out by her sides and waddled a bit, like an impression of a fat guy, and she kept shaking her head saying long ‘noooooo’s.’ It kind of felt like a compliment, because I have lost a bit of weight, but she did the impression for a long time. I had to just keep nodding and saying, ‘Yeah, Anna, that’s me. Same person.’

Then she said, ‘But you’re handsome.’ Like I wasn’t a hot piece of ass before as well.

There’s a bit of a language barrier, because Anna’s English is rudimentary, and my Cantonese is non-existent (though I think I can count to 10 in Mandarin), but it’s always fun talking to her because she’s so lively and when she doesn’t understand what I’m saying she just laughs and nods. She’s also incredibly considerate, always giving us food and unnecessary furniture–except for the drying rack which is infinitely better than the dollar-store garbage that we had before.

Long story short, I’m pretty lucky to live where I am.

Now it’s pouring rain outside and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth the $2.1 to take the train downtown and read in a cafe and then probably get some Thai Express. Little known fact, Thai Express does the best tofu of all food-court-style Asian noodle places. I’ve done my own somewhat extensive, but casual research.

I miss my uPass.

Democratic Hangover

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I stayed up late watching the votes come in last night, and as the talking heads on Global pointed out over and over again, it was the closest race we’ve had for a long time. The last time BC was ruled by a minority government was in the 1950s and, barring any swings in some of the closer ridings, we could be in for a short term for the Liberals this time around.

The BC Greens didn’t win my riding, unfortunately. It was a fairly safe Liberal seat, and has been for some time. They tripled their seats though, leaving the Liberals with the most seats (43), the NDP next (41), and the Greens holding the balance (3) which should get them some significant concessions from the Liberals (fingers crossed).

Voter turnout was abysmal. Less than 60% of eligible voters cast a ballot.

I don’t want to get too into it, but I wanted to give this little recap from my perspective.

I made the worst omelette this morning. It had mushrooms, green pepper and spinach, and then I added nutritional yeast. But I didn’t just add an appropriate amount of yeast, I dumped far too much into one small part of the omelette and couldn’t spread it out. I just finished it and I think I might cry it was so awful.

EDIT (30-10-19): As a vegan I do not endorse my prior behaviour.

I haven’t managed to find a good use for nutritional yeast yet. I’ve only tried a couple recipes so far, but none of them tasted better than okay. I think part of the problem is I’ve been using recipes that call for yeast as a substitute for cheese. You can’t replace cheese! It’s irreplaceable.

EDIT (30-10-19): Again, this is very much untrue. Check out Blue Heron cheese on Main, go to Virtuous Pie, check out the selection at Vegan Supply. There are tons of delicious plant-based cheeses.

I think one of the important things to realize if you’re a vegetarian is that you have to change the things you eat. You can’t just use meat substitutes and expect life to go on.

Meat substitutes suck.

EDIT (30-10-19): Again, I still agree with the sentiment that you shouldn’t focus on meat substitutes. HOWEVER, they can be a good transitional food for people trying to cut down their meat consumption. And they’re starting to taste very real.

I mean, they have their place. Like, I’ll be the first one to scarf down a baker’s dozen of tofu dogs but it’s because I respect the medium. The hot dog format is one that I love, and I’m not going to let my personal choices get in the way from enjoying culinary perfection. And veggie dogs aren’t that bad.

Most of the meat-substitutes seem to be soy based as well, and I don’t know the science, but I don’t think it’s good to be eating too much soy. I love tofu, but I don’t get all my protein from it.

EDIT (30-10-19): It’s not good to eat anything in excess.

Oh, have you tried veggie ground though? It’s like vegan ground beef. That’s a good substitute for meat. I bought a small pack of it yesterday for $3.5 and I think it’s around 320g. Hopefully those numbers make sense, I’m going off the top of my head.

It feels like the mushrooms are punishing me right now for what I said earlier. My stomach is making some weird noises and it feels like there’s some plotting going on. I didn’t mean it mushrooms!

Overall, I’m a pretty bad vegetarian. I ate a lot of meat when I was in Asia, and I have had some questionable miso soups since I got back (is it fake crab that they put in it? don’t tell me, I don’t want to know). I’m working on it though.

Transportation and Urban Development

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

One of my favourite things about where I live is that if I leave the windows open I can hear the skytrain going past. My place is really close to Joyce-Collingwood Station and I’ve lived here for almost two years now. I’m a big fan of East Van, and though I’m not in one of the cooler parts of it, I’m pretty happy around here.

There’s a pizza place called Super Great Pizza across from the station. I think it’s been here forever and I love it. The name is enough. All the places around Joyce are interesting, like the Bamboo Cafe. I’ve never eaten there, but they have a deal on Pabst cans if you’re into that, and the coffee’s pretty good. I’m also a big fan of their big muffins.

EDIT (30-10-19): It’s been just over a year since I moved out of Joyce-Collingwood. I’m not sure if Super Great Pizza is still there, but the Bamboo Cafe has since closed down. In its place is a joint called “Milk and Sugar BBQ Bar.” Sounds gross. 

I’ve always loved trains. There’s something romantic about rail-travel, maybe I get that from old movies. Compared to flying, which is such a utilitarian way of getting around, train-travel has a certain something to it. I’m trying to put my finger on it.

Recently I took my first 24-hour train from Beijing to Pyongyang (and then again in reverse). We had sleeper bunks, and I don’t think I could’ve done the trip otherwise. China (and the DPRK more so) felt like such an alien place. The words on buildings are different, the houses are built differently, the landscape is different. There’s more of everything. It was really cool to see a chunk of it from the train.

North Korea was the same. (I’m realizing now that I haven’t done a write-up about that trip, I wanted to have a chance to digest what I saw, but I think I’ve had enough time by now). It’s very brown in May. They seem to cultivate every bit of land, so while we were coming in on the train it seemed like it was just endless farm land. There are also billboards up with the notorious former leaders of the country, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and slogans encouraging people to work (I think, they were in Korean). When we were in the city and I had the guides translate something for me, it was almost always a motivational phrase.

It’s a shame that throughout the 20th century the USA did such a thorough job of quashing left-wing people’s movements all over the world. And it’s a shame that the communist experiment in the Soviet Union failed so magnificently. It really works to delegitimize people’s movements elsewhere. Anyway.

I didn’t get the chance to take a good picture, but the image above is the train station in Pyongyang. You can sort of see the pictures of Kim Il Sung and Kim John Il on the building. We were in a perpetual rush on the trip, and even when we were leaving we had to hurry into the station and onto the train. The weather was beautiful until the day we left.

(As a sidenote, they seem to be really into volleyball in North Korea. They had a court set up on the train platform at one end, and we saw a few games going on from the bus or train window).

I’ll do a bigger write up of my experience in the near future, maybe tomorrow.

 

Yam Hashbrowns

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I almost burnt the yam hashbrowns this morning. I had the element way too hot and the room filled with smoke. It was so embarrassing.

I normally use red potatoes, but I’m branching out today. Maybe I’ll do up a little review. (The yams were a little burnt, but the overall breakfast experience left me satisfied. 3.5/5, I’d come back).

I’ve been eating two eggs, a tomato (sometimes an avocado too) and around three small red potatoes for breakfast every day for a while now. I really like breakfast and I was worried before I stopped eating meat that I’d miss bacon. And I do, but only a little bit. The smell is amazing though. I’ll sometimes wake up on the weekend and the place still smells like bacon from my roommate cooking breakfast early.

EDIT (30-10-19): I’m vegan now (have been for almost two years, and do NOT endorse the message contained in this post). Also, can you believe I used to eat two eggs, bacon, and fried potatoes every day?

Yams don’t fry as nicely. And we’re out of coffee filters. I knew that, I should’ve bought some yesterday! 

I’ve been thinking about picking up a little french press, because I figure it’ll make me drink less coffee and it’ll taste better. Then I’d need to get a grinder, and start buying whole beans. It’s a whole process.

I read about coffee culture in one of my classes last term. There’s a lot behind it, and people get so absorbed in the search for the perfect cup that they spend thousands on equipment. There are online communities dedicated to brewing espresso. It’s wild. Though I suppose it isn’t any more crazy then people who make their own beer.

I’m getting back into The X Files which, if you haven’t seen it, is probably the greatest police procedural ever. It’s like any other cop show, except the characters are awesome and the criminals are supernatural. Also, when they aren’t investigating odd crimes in small towns in the USA they’re unveiling the global conspiracy to hide alien existence. It’s a deep show.

You can see Vancouver all over the first few seasons. Even the SFU Burnaby campus makes a couple appearances.

I was a big David Duchovny fan from Californication, (another great show, except at the end), where he plays a washed up writer who (kind of) tries to get back with his ex-wife/girlfriend(?) and reunite with his daughter, but only halfheartedly. Years ago, when I was watching the show, I really idolized that character.

In Californication, the actor that plays Duchovny’s agent’s wife is Pamela Adlon (I just googled her) and it turns out she is also famous for doing the voice of Bobby Hill from King of the Hill. Crazy.

I love the old nineties-era Vancouver that you see in The X Files. It has the old skytrain (just in a couple), nineties cars on the roads, a less condo’d city, and the fashion style! It’s also neat that the city can be basically any US state the writer’s want it to be. What a versatile place.

I’m in season 6 now, and my biggest question is whether or not Scully and Mulder will get together by the end. I mean, they’d be so good together.

Vegan Curry for the Mind

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

I wonder if it’s as fun to be in a music video as it looks. One of my bucket list points is to be in a rap video one day. Realistically, it doesn’t have to be rap, but I think co-starring in something like a Gucci Mane video would be wicked. As an old man I could show my grandkids.

‘Yeah, that’s granpa there. No, in the jacuzzi. Yeah, beside her in the red top. No actually, she was really sweet. Of course not, I was married to your grandmother! Yes, she is beautiful though. Her and her husband run a restaurant in Toronto now. Yeah, we’ll go next time we’re in town. It’s totally vegan.’ 

At least that’s how I see the conversation going down. I wonder what popular music will sound like when (if?) I have grandkids. I hope grunge makes a big comeback.

There’s something wonderful about the music video. It doesn’t need to rely on a story, unlike other sorts of video-entertainment. With a music video the narrative doesn’t matter–though I’m sure the people that work on them would disagree. It isn’t driven by anything besides the song itself and so it can be made up purely of symbolism or just things that look cool.

I still like to think of Gangnam Style as the quintessential music video. It’s a catchy song about classy women in the Gangnam district of Seoul (I know this from a brief google search). The video, on the other hand, works more as a parody of rich people. At least that’s how I read into it. The frivolous nouveau rich! The bourgeois!

Anyway, long story short I love music videos.

I should put up a Craigslist ad. Man seeking Naan Recipe. 

Because normally I’d just google it, try the first one, if I liked it I’d bookmark it and if not I’d repeat the process. But it’s so unfeeling, it’s so lonely. We need a Google-alternative run by people. It could have a search bar, but when you type in a search it connects you to another person instead of finding websites based on algorithms.

Here’s how it would work:

I put in my search. “naan recipe”. 

I hear a dialing noise, like with Skype or a ‘telephone’. Someone picks up, and I’m face-to-face with another human being somewhere in the world.

‘Hey, I was looking for a good naan recipe.’ 

‘Не понимаю.’

‘Oh, my bad. Nevermind.’

‘Простите.’

And then you’d try again, I guess. Ideally you’d get to someone on one of the first few calls. I think I’d be really good at answering questions. Like, yeah, I probably don’t know the answer but I’m fun to talk to at least.

There would be ways to get around the language barrier, like you could set up the search engine so that it would only give you ‘results’ that were in languages that you understood. It might even be a good way to practice languages if you’re learning.

You could also set up topics that you’re happy to talk about. You don’t have to be an expert, you could just put down things you enjoy and want to share. For instance, I could put down ‘writing a blog about nothing’. And then people would be routed to me when they searched about writing blogs about nothing.

Great idea or great idea?

Mark Dunn: Male Model?

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

A friend of mine mentioned that Herschel, the lifestyle brand, was looking for a copywriter and since I’ve been trying to break into the ‘writing-for-money’ scene for a while now, I decided to track it down and apply.

They must’ve found someone, I couldn’t find the job-wanted post, but I may have found something even better. Herschel is looking for a male model. I don’t know if I fit the dimensions, they’re looking for an M after all, and I may be an L. Also, let’s not even get into whether or not I’m handsome enough to earn money with my body. I’m not ready for that conversation.

Anyway, I’m going to apply for the job.

I’d been holding myself back from applying for a lot of writing jobs because I figure they’ll just hire someone with more experience. I remember when I was trying to get an ad writing job in radio it was the same. I’d interview, they’d love me (naturally) and every single time they’d hire someone who’d done it before. I knew it was going to be that way, because if you want to work in media you need to be able to persevere through the rejections. But it turned out I didn’t want to work in media I guess, because I wasn’t ready to keep hearing ‘thanks and we like you a lot but we’re going with someone with more experience, try volunteering somewhere’ for jobs in places like Sudbury and Medicine Hat.

I’m not sour about it, so I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m whining about not being hired. Some people want it more, and when I thought about trying to get a spot volunteering my time in the ad department at a local radio station I realized I was not one of those people. Do you listen to radio ads? I usually change the station when it goes into an ad-break because they’re awful. I thought I’d be the one to change that, but I’m sure that’s a common sentiment and radio advertising doesn’t seem to be getting any better. But then again, I don’t really listen to radio ads.

I often wonder if business could be as simple as:

  1. I made this, it is good, this is how much it costs.
  2. Here’s how you buy it.
  3. Thank you.

But it feels like there’s so much more. Advertising sells a lifestyle. You aren’t buying shoes, you’re buying into an environmentalist ideology or into a brand culture. They aren’t shoes, they’re jordans, they’re chucks, they’re tims.

I knew a guy through school who googled how to tie his tims. If you didn’t know, you apparently tie each end of the lace into a knot instead of tying the ends together, rabbit-through-the-whatever style. What’s the point?

I can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure I do stuff like that to fit in as well. Whatever culture I think I belong to (it was bearded people who work in craft beer for a while) I must unconsciously work to perpetuate that image. We all do it. I think it’s part of being human. We’re social animals and we watch each other to constantly reevaluate our behaviour based on what the people around us are doing. Right?

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my career as a model.

 

Sounds Like a Jungle Outside

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

Sometimes it’s really hard to start writing.

I’ve written about inspiration in the past, on one of the older iterations of the blog, but I’m having such a hard time with it today I might revisit it.

It’s wild how inspiration can come and go as if it had a mind of its own. I like to think of it as a river that flows underneath our reality. Sometimes you can tap into it, but sometimes it’s completely closed off to you. (It’s not my idea, I’m sure I read that somewhere). And there are ways to widen the gap, or to drink from the river for longer, but ultimately access to it is out of our hands. It’s a romantic idea, isn’t it? And it takes a lot of the pressure off of the creator to think of it this way. Kind of a cop out, perhaps.

Stephen King has an interesting way of looking at writing too. He’s a proponent for the ‘just write and see where the story takes you’ school. In On Writing he compares writing a novel to an archaeological dig. You have your tools and you need to carefully work to dig up the artifacts or bones (or whatever) without breaking anything and then hope to put it all together. You brush away the dust and keep discovering little things eventually hoping it all adds up to something good, on the page.

It’s another version of the theory that ideas, creativity, live beyond the mind. Creativity lives outside of us and we tap into it. It’s not a very individualistic perspective, right?

With King’s metaphor there’s an understanding that something will always be left in the ground. Or the bones may not be put together in the same way. And no matter what, even if everything is pulled out of the ground and put together in the right order it’s still just a representation. Even the perfect situation leaves you with an imperfect product.

But life is imperfect.

I don’t know where creativity comes from, I wish I did. And while I like the cute metaphors I’ve mentioned here, they take all the agency away from the writer. There’s a lot of work that goes into good writing. It’s an intense process and there aren’t a lot of people out there who are willing to put in the work. There is a ton of bad writing out there. It sometimes feels like the standards have never been lower.

I mean, I put out five hundred words of garbage every day (except Saturday, sorry about that) and I’ve been doing it for around a week. That’s at least 3500 words of bad writing. And I suppose the poor writing doesn’t cover up the fact that I have nothing to say. Arguably never did.

The solution is probably to read more. If you want to be a good writer you have to read. I watch far too much television and it’s rotting my brain.

Also, it’s probably time for me to get away. I should spend a couple days in the forest, eating berries and drinking from a river. Screaming into the trees. Swimming naked in the ocean.

We’ll see.

 

Is Everything Bullshit Now?

Reposted from Drafts on October 30, 2019

So I’m probably not the first person to hate on list articles, emojis and the death of language today (also known as its evolution), but to meet my self-imposed post-per-day quota I want to talk about the things that frustrate me.

Back in March I spent a couple weeks in Asia and I left my phone here in Vancouver. When I got back it must’ve updated itself because I noticed a couple really irritating quirks. For one, it stopped automatically capitalizing the word ‘I’ when I typed it in and it started recommending emojis above the keyboard (where it tries to predict what you’re going to type next). Who decided those were good updates?

I don’t use emojis, not because there’s anything wrong with them, I just think they’re stupid and I don’t want anything to do with them.

EDIT (30-10-19): I reluctantly use emojis now.

EDIT (30-10-19): Not really that reluctantly, no one’s twisting my arm I guess.

But anyway, the point I’m trying to get at is more about me than anything else. If emojis, and list articles, and memes, and whatever else, are all part of the modern world, am I just the asshole in the corner with his arms crossed refusing to enjoy myself at a party because no one’s doing what I want to do?

EDIT (30-10-19): I’d by lying if I said I was still actively disengaged from meme culture too.

I’ve been criticized before as a cold texter because I never use emojis. I think people read too much into texts.

I feel like the guy from I Am Legend (the book), [SPOILER FOLLOWING] who realizes at the end that the vampires aren’t the monsters, he’s been the monster all along. Or, he’s their monster. Everything is relative, that’s the point.

I guess ultimately any sort of self-reflection is inherently narcissistic. The assumption that looking within is even a somewhat worthwhile endeavour must be at least a little arrogant, right?

Memes really frustrate me and I haven’t been able to figure out why. I think part of me just hates the word. Plus, it seems juvenile. It’s weird hearing the word come out of the mouths of other adults as if memes are something worth talking about in the first place. But then here I am, talking about them.

We had to do short presentations in one of my classes last semester and they could be about anything. One of my classmates did a whole thing on memes without any sort of presentation or even showing a single picture. How is that even okay? I busted my ass earlier in the term doing a great presentation on whether or not the universe is a simulation (jury’s still out) with pictures and around half a dozen slides. It bombed. Not a single person was interested besides the TA.

Anyway. Am I the crazy one? Are list articles just a better way to consume information? Are emojis just a better way to convey messages? Do memes simply help us share complex meaning in an easy and accessible way, drawing on a necessary pop-culture familiarity or a membership in certain communities of understanding?

The ways in which we communicate with each other often tell us more than the things we actually say. I suppose in a lot of ways we’ve always shared knowledge anecdotally, which is kind of what memes do. They tell a story, sort of, but they require a minimal amount of cultural knowledge to be understood.

Also, I often wonder if emojis are some sort of modern hieroglyphs. What if we’re moving towards a society that communicates with pictures? And is that a good thing or a bad thing? Is all societal change good? Is it necessary? Are we careening towards our ultimate death as a species and these are the symptoms? Should we dismiss technology and just live off the land?

Am I overreacting?