I know sometimes I try a bit too hard to stay relevant and topical. It’s not always easy these days, as “dad-brain” is apparently a real thing. We used to give my dad grief for one time calling the band Ace of Base, “The Big Base.” I knew I was starting to slip when, a few years ago, I was playing with my boys and casually called Batman’s cowl his “hat.” It was a real eye-opening moment. Still, I’d like to think I’m not too old to find the cultural pulse enough to share opinions on things. What I can’t do, however, is keep up with people’s nanosecond long attention spans. Social outrage flies on the fickle wind of these summer heatwaves and on top of that, some people are just plain crazy.
In the week between me writing my column on the live-action Little Mermaid and it being published, nearly the entire conversation vanished. Replaced might be more apropos since there’s always something dancing on the tongues of the masses. It’s no wonder we can’t solve any of our big problems, we can’t even stay angry about the same thing for longer than a week! I bet some of you were never even angry, to begin with. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are people out there who have no clue what I’m even talking about, and it’s those I envy most. They’re the safest from the Russians.
What Russians, you ask?
One of those replacement topics seemed to be an app that edits photos. Perhaps you’ve seen it? It shows you what you’ll look like as an old person, and it might also grant access to your personal information to the Russians. I’m no strategist, but if there’s one thing I imagine the Russians can put to vital use, it’s pictures of your cousin Dustin as an old man. They’re as excited to have that intel as Instagram is having all those pictures of your bath bombs and brunches. But seriously, if you’re reading this on a smartphone then your privacy is already shot. Wave and say hello because they’re always watching.
Another thing has been this Area 51 raid. A really solid source for quality memes, but (Principal Belding voice) hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?? Doesn’t this all start to sound a little crazy? In under a week, people have gone from being pissed about the Little Mermaid being black to spreading Cold War techno-fear through photo manipulation to raiding Area 51! I’m just trying to surf some tasty waves on the world wide web, and it feels like the walk back from the water fountain after having to take your Ritalin in grade school. Everything moves in slow and fast motion at the same time. People are familiar, yet you notice little differences about them that you never really saw before. Or that’s what I imagine it feels like.
Maybe it’s just me and I’m blossoming into another old man yelling at the clouds. Maybe this is who I am now. Maybe, just maybe, the Russians are using this privacy hysteria to somehow fuel the Area 51 raid, because they already know what’s in there… A little, black mermaid.
Bo Walker is a local writer who wants you to know that until Nicolas Cage joins the raid on Area 51, it will be doomed to fail.