Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Train Time

So, living in Brooklyn and commuting into Midtown I spend a fairly dismal amount of time on the Subway. Let's say about 40 minutes each way on a workday. Naturally, you have a good, hefty number of minutes to muse on something, nothing, or everything.

I think there are some people who will start paying attention to their infants when their infants have ipod screens implanted in their foreheads. What motivates you to watch video on an ipod when you have a very rapidly developing human being looking at you for interaction? It is still the case that you don't have to have kids in this or any country if you don't want to. I can certainly see that they don't always want to talk about Proust, or the latest Roca Wear lineup with you, but isn't it a bit of a good thing to look at and/or talk to them? If you were going to have some entertainment or media with you, how about at least reading a book or something?

Don't get me wrong, pompous asshole that I am I definitely understand that not everyone is going to be perusing the latest issue of Foreign Affairs on the train, or even The Economist or the New Yorker, but all that being said it's better to listen to them, occasionally play with or watch them, and even reading People or InStyle would be an improvement.

Yeah, I'm judging you all, all the time. My glass house is absolutely rent and shattered, needless to say.

Also, am I crazy, or was that guy playing a PSP version of Dance Dance Revolution??? Even if weren't someone who hated dancing, I would find the life-size actual footstomping monstrosity that is Dance Dance Revolution (the Arcade version*) blindingly, hoppingly stupid.

Playing it with your fingers?? Doesn't that defeat even the purpose that was defeated by the original purpose of Dance Dance Revolution?**

Until today, I had a bit of scattered schedule for the prior four days of workweek. On each of those days, the time I got on the train was off by a few hours one way or the other. Anywhere between 3:00 PM and 5:15 PM I would get on the train, and on my homeward bound train for four days in a row was the exact same person. I could believe that this was a result of taking the red pill, but I don't believe that. I could believe it was determinism, but I don't believe that. I could believe it was a lot of things, and I could believe that if we do have an all-powerful god he sometimes really, completely phones it in on the details.

Hey there, hypothetical all powerful deity: we do notice these little things, especially in a place where you really don't expect to EVER see the same people again, and feel almost warm when there's a repeater on your regular commute.

Perhaps the presumption of anonymity is the reason why a guy suddenly leapt up from a seat next to me, and crop dusted right past my face at a sprint before plonking down in an empty spot perhaps 12 feet away. Everyone knew it was him, and if he hadn't moved we would have only had a sense of aromatic discomfort (trust me, everybody farts on the train occasionally, it can't be entirely avoided, and while it's not as much fun as farting right before leaving an empty elevator behind it is something to be done stealthily.) As it was, I couldn't help but just exchange completely baffled glances with all my immediate neighbors, as we clutched shirts and jackets over our noses and held our breath.

*I briefly, and badly, played singles league pool, and the place had an attached arcade. The matches were very seriously played, and though I got beaten a lot even with a handicap I enjoyed the quiet focus of the event. It was real, and beautifully laid out pool hall with new tables. There was nothing quite as awesome as lining up a critical shot while listening the brittle, special sound of vigorous pairs of feet stomping away on plastic in a frenzy of hypnotic suggestion.

**I always thought the point of dancing was social, and regretted not being a dance happy fool as I figured it would have been a good sort of activity to be really happy about at all kinds of clubs and parties that I've been to. I didn't go home with the dumb girls at the time, and I feel dancing was my Achilles Heel. So, to me, DDR takes the only thing that makes sense about dancing (fun, sweating, hitting on people when you are single, physical closeness with somebody etc.) and kills it. Everyone stares ahead, grabs on to a couple of hand rails, and takes the stupid, but potentially fun activity and try to beat one another at flailing around.***

***Yes, I'm misanthropic towards elements of our collective "anthropy", and I feel I have my own reasons. See above re: glass houses.****

****Additional thought for a substitute aphorism: "Those who live in glass houses should be well acquainted with a good glazier, or opt for small, petty rocks."

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