Sunday, September 04, 2016

[Rant] Things I Have Missed Out On

Snapchat -- I still don't get it. As far as I can tell it does nothing that other services don't do - Instagram in particular - except everything is ephemeral, disappearing after a few seconds, or 24 hours in the case of "stories". Although it's not really ephemeral, it just appears to be. The NSA can still see what you are doing, but I suppose short of a court order and a threat to National Security, it is ephemeral. I don't see any commercial use for it other than as an advertising conduit. So my image of Snapchat is that it is used by a bunch of folks who want to communicate with each other but don't want to be held accountable for the content -- which means it's heavy on images of bad behavior of one sort or another -- and a bunch of companies chasing their eyeballs. What am I missing?
Board Games -- Board games are huge, and according to most reports, more creative and imaginative than ever. This has been going on quietly for quite some time. At work there is a pack of guys who have been playing board games over lunch every day for well over a decade. I thought it was just one of those nerdy, Magic-Trolls-and-Dice sorts of games, but evidently these games are remarkably nuanced and diverse. Not that I would get involved; somewhere in the course of my life I lost interest in games almost completely -- this from a guy who used to play D&D all night and have multi-hour sessions with Sid Meier's original Civilization. Not sure what happened to me. Some of Popular Mechanics top games for 2016 sound fascinating. Evidently, video games are not where all the action is. Who knew?
Music since the early 80s -- Oh I know lots of songs that have come out since then, but I haven't followed performers or music trends in any way. Music was a driving passion for me from my early teen years until I was in my mid twenties, then nothing. Of course judging from what I hear in the background, not many other people have been following new music intently either, although that could just be the world catering to my demographic because it's the only one that has any disposable income anymore.

It's disturbing to continually have the music that I found so vital drift further and further into history. For example, the first album I ever bought with my own money was "Band on the Run": A true work of brilliance that has stood up over the years -- proving I had good taste even at age thirteen. But it is profoundly old. You know those vicious idiots who come up with the comparable time between events to show how old something is just to freak you out? Well, 2016 is to "Band on the Run" like -- I don't know -- some piece of music in the 1930s was to me when I first bought "Band on the Run" but I don't know any music from the '30s, nor did I when I was thirteen. Did they have recorded music back then or did everybody just listen to Aunt Millie play hymns on the upright piano in the parlor? By the same token the interval I have not paid close attention to music is equivalent to the interval between Singin' in the Rain and This is Spinal Tap. Yet, oddly, I don't feel like I've missed much. And plenty of kids know Band on the Run, and Paul McCartney is still touring. I hate to be the guy who talks about how better it was back in the day, but maybe in the case of music, it was.