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Athens, Ohio, United States
"Art and love are the same thing. It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you."

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Day in the Life of "The Man"

I am "the man".

I wake up in the morning to the sound of the alarm on my cell phone. I scroll through all the numbers of the people I know looking to send an early morning text. Then I put my pants on (one leg at a time, obviously) and place that phone in my pocket. Everyone I've ever known; all in my pocket. I open up my personal laptop and receive only news I want to receive. I read the blurbs that I want to read and watch the videos that I want to watch. Then I close my laptop and head out for my day.

I walk the streets I want to walk. I take out my iPod and push the bulbs of oblivion into my ears. I pick the soundtrack for my life and go on my way. I see things how I want to see them as I pass others in their own sphere of musical bliss. I sit down at a bench to check my e-mail. I delete the spam messages from companies all wanting my money, my attention. They found me directly and solicit me directly. After all, I am the man. Disappointed with my e-mails, I open up Facebook. Headlines on the front page of the internet's ultimate vanity shout out every details of all my friends and acquaintances lives. Apparently, so and so aren't dating anymore and whatshisface got a new piercing and the pictures to prove it.

I go to lunch and read the posts of my favorite blogs in-between bites of a cheeseburger. I know which ones I want to read and which ones I want to avoid. They exist solely to be chosen by me and augment my current ideas. After I have eaten I go back to my tiny corner and write my own blog post. I spill my ideas out onto the (digital) paper and write about what I want to write about. Later, others will read it...but only if they want to. After all, they are all "the man" too.

I get lost on my way to class so I text Cha Cha for directions, receive them and go on my way. During class, I instant message my girlfriend asking when she wants to do dinner. 6:00? Excellent, plenty of time for me to update my iTunes playlist. Before dinner, I get some homework out of the way. When a question confounds me, I solicit Wikipedia for help. Which, in turn reminds me to update the Heroes page to include the early critical reception regarding the third season premiere.

After dinner, I see someone stumbling around my hall, clearly intoxicated. So as my responsibility as "the man" compels me to do, I take out my phone and take a video of the spectacle to put onto Youtube at a later date. The world can then see what I see and share in this man's self-inflicted pain. I then settle in to watch some late night football and check up on the stats of the players on my fantasy team. After all, I am "the man" and they play for me and only for me. I then lay down to go to bed, but not before watching clips from Saturday Night Live on my laptop. I missed last weeks episode but thankfully they exist online for me to watch when I want to watch them.

I fall asleep soundly, looking forward to tomorrow.

But across the world there are those who sleep less soundly. Those who we all used to see as part of the establishment. Politicians, corporate leaders, men and women in power: all who used to wear a slick suit and speak with venom in our minds' perception of them. The ones who we used to refer as "the man". They all go to sleep wondering what happened. Wondering how they went to bed one night with populations and demographics to appeal to and then woke up the next morning to find a world of over six billion individuals. Six billion individuals who all want to remain individuals and now have the technology to stay that way. Six billion individuals who can tailor the entire mass media to their very whim. Who can watch whichever movie they want to watch and when they want it, or can receive news regarding their current location whenever and wherever they want to. It is now a scary world for these men and women of the "old model" of media.

But the rest of us simply get to live our lives as the new "man". And I think we can all agree: it is good to be the man.

4 comments:

Woozie said...

Soundtrack for reading: "Working Class Hero", John Lennon. Coincidence?

A.G.B said...

Oooh. That would be a nice song to listen to while reading it!

A.G.B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitchell Kinnen said...

Hate to breake it to you, but the "old" man is laughing. He's chuckling and chortling until he almost spills his scotch. He's so happy because all of us individuals are consuming his products at an unheard of rate. A lot of it is the same media too. Granted, we can now pick and choose what we want, but we're still practically doubling our input.