I Am Spoiled And Impatient
At work, I often listen to music on my iPad streaming over Pandora. For those of you not familiar with Pandora, it allows you to select an artist and then creates a radio station just for you based on songs by (and similar to) the artist you selected. Better yet, you can tell Pandora if you really liked (or really disliked) the last selection, and it will learn from your input to better serve you. And Pandora is free. Well, not quite free, and that’s how I learned exactly how much of a spoiled, impatient prick I can be.
A typical session listening to Pandora will go like this:
Me: Hmmm, I think I’ll listen to some music. Let’s see, I’ll type in Led Zeppelin and…
Pandora: (provides 30 minutes of music designed to make me happy)
Pandora: Pandora is brought to you by Snickers! Not going anywhere? Grab a Snickers!
Me: COCKSUCKER! FUCK YOU!
Yes, I am so spoiled and impatient that I will furiously object to a 10 second audio commercial at the end of a 30 minute block of music that was tailored specifically to my preferences, broken down into digital bits, served up over the internet, then beamed wirelessly to my tablet computer where I can listen to it using wireless headphones. And this service is free.
And not only will I get pissed off at that, I’ll get pissed off when Pandora adds a song into my mix that I disagree with. “What the fuck? I’m listening to the Black Crowes, so why the fuck is the Marshall motherfucking Tucker Band playing right now? I hate those assholes!” And I will stab at the thumbs down button so fast that you’d think that Marshall Tucker himself had molested me as a child or something. (For the record, he tried but only got to second base.)
In general, we’ve all become terribly spoiled by the technology that serves us. That’s not exactly an original observation, but it boggles my mind that I can take it for granted so thoroughly that I’ve got actual plans in place to assassinate the board members of the Pandora Corporation. (Not really. Maybe.) After all, I vividly remember Pong being released to widespread acclaim. I remember hating people simply because they had a zero or two in their phone number, because that shit is fucking annoying when you own a rotary phone. And do you know how hard it was to procure pornography pre-internet? Guys my age (and we all did this back in the early 80’s) used to tune in to the old scrambled broadcast channels (like ON TV in Chicago) late at night because if you turned your head a bit, squinted some, and then performed some mental spatial gymnastics, you just might find your self looking at a boob. Or a dresser. It was kind of hard to tell which.
Right now, in fact, I’m engaged in an activity that is fairly mind-blowing: I’m writing down my thoughts and publishing them in such a way that they are accessible to anyone in the world with an internet connection and the desire to see Corey Feldman make an asshole out of himself. Yet when WordPress informs me that my login has expired while I am doing so, I lose my fucking mind.
WordPress: For security purposes, your login has expired. Please close this window and then login again.
Me: I am going to fucking cut you, WordPress! I am going to find out where you live, break into your house, tie you down and slice you from neck to nuts, motherfucker!
Me: (3 seconds later) Ok, where was I?
And I don’t even have anger management issues. (And I’ll stab anyone who says I do.) As a matter of fact, most of my friends, family, and coworkers regard me as one of the most laid back people they know. I can’t imagine what I’d be like if I was wound too tightly. You’d probably find me in my office dressing my computer like the Gimp and doing all kinds of disgusting things to it.
Me: You like that? Yeah, take it bitch!
My iMac: Aaaahhhhh! Aaaaaahhh! Aaaaaahhh! This iMac ass-raping is brought to you by Snickers! Not going anywhere? Grab a Snickers!
I should know better. I should appreciate the wonderful things technology has brought into my life. And as a matter of fact, until I do, I’m going to go old school.