Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Ode to All of Our Stupid Pictures and Memes

My generation is the generation that thinks the apostrophe makes an item plural. It’s on billboards, slipping past professional editors onto those roadside ads I see on my way from Muncie to Anderson to Indianapolis to wherever. “Hot dog’s” and “burrito’s” the signs say. Or even better, “our student’s are the best” says one sign for a school. We don't capitalize or punctuate. We use commas like meat cleavers and exclamation points like crack. We've replaced periods with ellipses because three periods are better than one. Twelve years of school and a high school diploma and most of us still write like LOLcats.

We are the generation of pretty fonts, and they aren’t even ours. Our fonts are mutations of the fonts our grandparents drew by hand and carved into steel and wooden blocks to be pressed in ink onto paper. We can make a punk variation of Helvetica in five minutes and call it art.

We are the generation that communicates via text message in the same room, sending signals across a party to ask where the bathroom is. We take pictures of our excrement and post it to facebook. We turn everything into an acronym, but not to be clever so much as we can’t be bothered to say the whole name of anything. We make slang words of the slang words our parents made. Totally becomes totes. Adorable (in modern context) becomes adorbs.

We create internet memes of cats talking in textspeak, and our ADHD is unmedicated, so we repeat them in our heads like mantras, and aloud like catch phrases. Hot topic is where memes go to die, after everyone has sucked the fun out of them. Once it’s on a T-shirt and some green-haired hipster is trying to sell it to you, it’s little more than bones rotting in a grave, and if you buy it that makes you the undertaker. Recycling is what happens when memes come back. It has nothing to do with trash.

We’re the generation of the duck face, the surprised face, our sunglasses larger than God himself. We would never consider not making some posed, stupid face in any picture because we ourselves are posed and stupid.

My generation is lost. We’ve got nothing. We see the world around as that other stuff around us in the mirror or the backgrounds of our selfies. Nothing more.

Monday, March 17, 2014

I Am Not Fooled, Indianapolis

The thought has occurred to me that I might move to Indianapolis at some point. Following all the other gays out of the smaller places, you might assume. No, no. Not exactly. You see, I am not fooled by this giant fake city in the middle finger of the south. Sure, it has towers and all that other shit cities have, but it’s full of plastics. Credit card junkies, shiny gay fools who drink too much to go home, and people who didn’t make it to Chicago.

Indianapolis is where you go when you’re too good for Detroit or Cleveland, but not good enough for New York or Los Angeles. When one of those cities eats you alive and spits your corpse out on the sidewalks of your shitty little hometown in the Hoosier state, you go to Indy to pretend it never happened.

Indianapolis is a place of crowded sidewalks and cars parked in turn lanes and sparkling midnight glass and steel towers rising to the sky. Not quite Willis Tower or the Empire State Building, but the Chase Tower will do I suppose, right?

I suppose anything’s better than cornfields and lonely nights and a car that wants to go, but no roads to take it away. I wanted to leave, so I came to Muncie. I suppose I didn’t go far enough.

I am not fooled by Indianapolis, with its thousand dollar fake German sausages and its spider web capillary freeways extending to the horizon and sucking small towns dry of future rock stars, bringing in more refugees. I am not in love, but I will hold Indy’s hand for a while. I merely want the experience.