Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Zombie Apocalypse

It could have been worse, I suppose. 
I could have heard myself singing.
I was listening to some music on my iPod and sort of dancing around the apartment. I say sort of because I happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror; an older white guy trying to shake his booty and get down with some soul tunes... Stevie Wonder. Umm... I looked kinda drunk and was debunked that I might have any crunk-funk in the trunk. So much for feeling hunky.
Dude... is that REALLY the best move you have? Don't ever, ever, EVER do that in public.
I tend to listen to a lot of different music. I sometimes listen to the tunes of my generation and sometimes I go looking for something fresh and new. I like world music. I like some of the intricacies of indie music (as I'm listening to Far Away by JUNIP). Sometimes I'm in a classical mood and other times I'll funk out to some arse-shaking soul melody.
~Stand in front of a runaway train,
Just to feel alive again~
from JUNIP's Far Away
I watched as the woman stepped off the curb, staring intently at her cell phone and not noticing the light was red for her and green for me. At no point did she seem to notice she had stopped four lanes of traffic with her blithe, incoherent meander across the white-lined tarmac.
A young man skateboards across three lanes of traffic without so much as a glance either way, headphones strapped to his toque clad head. I see red taillights ahead of me and the tell-tale dive of the front of cars under heavy braking.
One needn't see a B-grade horror flick to understand the zombie apocalypse is upon us. We've stopped paying attention and many of those among us are pretty mindless in our daily pursuits.
I suspect there are several reasons for this affliction. I could easily point at technology and blame our irrepressible fascination with what is happening on a small screen rather than what is occurring in the real world around us. I'm not sure technology is the issue though. Technology is technology and nothing more. We vilify technical devices when how we engage with said tech is a choice. If we, as human beings, weren't seeking some form of refuge, electronic or otherwise, cell phones, tablets, flashing big screen billboards and computers wouldn't have any fascination at all.
We are looking for something, yes?
Of course we are and that thing is distraction. We want to be distracted from our bland lives. We want to be distracted from whatever unimaginably gargantuan problem is dangling from a stick in front of our faces today (even though next week that trial will be forgotten altogether). We seek refuge from anxiety and heartache and broken down cars and money issues and death and taxes and dreadful bosses and eroding relationships by diving into whatever convenience is at hand to divert our mind away.
We are avoiding what we believe are the low points of our daily existence. The real issue with avoiding feeling the low points at all costs is overall numbness. We begin to avoid all feeling, even the good stuff.
And then, to get that joyous burst of energy we seek to feel alive again, we subconsciously stand in front of a runaway train.
Though technology isn't intrinsically a bad thing, (insert booze, drugs, internet, needy relationships, workaholics, surfing 198 nonsensical channels, etc), the use of it for escapism rather than dealing with the issue is the problem. It is, in my experience, far, far better to deal with an issue up front and resolve it, or let it go, than it ever is to attempt to sweep it under the Persian Avoidance Carpet and spend the rest of life walking on lumpy floor covering.
I tend to trip too easily to have lumpy floor coverings.
That we have become a society of zombies isn't really a surprise, is it? We have numbed ourselves to the “bad” feelings by using outside influences to avoid. By doing so, we have also numbed ourselves to the “good” feelings. We have become a society of avoiders and in that avoiding have become a collective of bland, middle of the road , boring skin suits.
The solution to the problem is not turning our backs on technology. The real solution is teaching humans the only way to deal with issues is to face them... and themselves. By facing (and feeling) the low points and dealing with them head on, we also open ourselves up to notice the exciting high points life sends our way every day.
If you want to feel again, forget the zombie movies and the text from your BFF and the depressing television news. All you need to know is none of the solution is outside yourself. It is all contained within... and it is a conscious decision to feel... everything.
Of course, there's always that funky, painful looking dancing thing-a-ma-hooey I seem to have a proclivity for. I'm not all that concerned about looking like a goof. After all, I can dance like no-one is watching... because they're not... because they're zombies.
I wonder what would happen if I sang.