I recently sat in an airplane for the first time as it flew through the sky. It was an incredibly interesting experience but not for the right reason. I really expected to be amazed by the idea of being lifted into the air far beyond anything I’ve ever known or seen, essentially strapping into a giant chunk of metal trying really hard to be a bird.
I was amazed for a very short period of time, however. Right as the plane took off, I could physically feel being hurled into the clouds with technology I couldn’t even begin to fathom. My body felt lighter as the tremendous vessel launched from the runway and into the air. I looked out the window to see a metropolis grow smaller and smaller until it eventually blended in with what seemed liked a vast amount of land that industrial development hadn’t, at least from an aerial perspective, strangled with its oil soaked claws.
Then I got bored. For like four hours. I have never so quickly felt so jaded by something so spectacular.
At first I was ashamed by my blasé response to being airborne for a few hours, something promised by nature to only select species of birds and insects, but now I’m starting to think such an attitude is actually a survival tactic needed in the 21st century.
Everything moves fast in our world: information, cats, cat videos, videos of cats doing things, other things you find on the internet, this list feels like it’s missing something, oh here it is, etc. If you stop and admire/cherish/acknowledge/care about/think about something for too long, you’re going to miss out on another thing you could patronize, mock, and eventually ignore.
The best way to describe the dominant attitude of the 21stcentury is an emphatic “meh.” Those who participate in sincerity or legitimate interest in anything other than the self are weak and will surely have demotivational posters written about them. Has there ever been a civilization that considered acquiring worldly knowledge a lifelong process of humility and complex thinking? I think not, and if there was, what did they ever get done? Now excuse me while I hit F5 on my browser until my eyes bleed.