So our insatiable, smiling mediating behemoth has made it all the easier for us to get lost in its latest cloud, Play, and spend our money on a seemingly endless array of meaningless distractions. Entertaining ourselves to death, indeed, Mr. Postman. I don’t think even you could imagine the depths to which media technology could plunge us. Oh, and on the matter of distractions, how ironic that Google’s latest gimmick is launched the same week that Rachel Maddow’s Drift delineates how artfully our puppet masters using such tools as Play have distracted us from the denigration of our culture through a seamless tapestry of wars. Our forever wars stretch out to the horizon and we numbingly track ourselves and others on Facebook, Twitter, etc. and now we have the multiplier, Play as hyper-distraction. (Oh, for the curious, the American death toll in Afghanistan is 1,915. The deaths of the spirit have been estimated at 100,000.)
So what does all this tell us about us? I’ve been spending a considerable amount of quiet time lately (comes with aging) trying to figure this out. Has there been a significant shift in our society's attitudes regarding what’s important to us? Joe Nocera seems to think so, but he thinks we have some embers in the ashes that can be called on to re-ignite in us a sense of purpose, a few optimists out there who think organized society can, in fact, do some good things in group ways. It’s sometimes called government. And that’s not really a bad word except when it’s modified by money.
But for most of us, those who would languish our lives in Play, what does our future hold? What do we care enough about so that Play is not so important as our focus on creating substantial solutions rather than turning our backs on enormous problems? How do we explain to ourselves our idolatry of and devotion to our distractions? Is it time for us to get our heads out of the clouds?