Tonawanda News

Columns

June 7, 2013

We take this stuff too seriously

Tonawanda News — Among the things I half-learned recently:

The actress Amanda Bynes patronized a local trampoline park to bounce her troubles away, or maybe she didn’t. New Jersey is open for business but its governor, who has assiduously lost weight, so I hear, still looks like he hits the lasagna a little too hard.

There is an intriguing new way to contract throat cancer, or maybe there isn’t. State politicians in New York, some of them at least, are corrupt.

The Internal Revenue Service videotapes its employees’ dance parties. The Rolling Stones are back on the road, as is Paul McCartney, about to turn age 71. (After Brooklyn and Bonnaroo, he plays the new soccer stadium in Warsaw, Poland.)

It takes an Internet-enabled computer to follow all this stuff, whether I want it or not. Fortunately I have one in my pants pocket. As the alien played by John Lithgow once said on the television program “Third Rock from the Sun:” it’s none of my business, and I’m obsessed with it.

So, which came first, social media or the need for social media? The sheer mass of information available these days demonstrates the inadequacy of its delivery methods. Consider local television news, the 11 or so minutes before the sports and weather, an amalgam of damage done, videotape of stuff gone awry. Unless it’s a tearjerker of a privacy invasion, what is offered is a nightly litany of errors. Only the lack of snarky commentary differentiates it from “Tosh 2.0.”

Back in the early 1990s, I remember being in an evening graduate school class, and in walked a student with a device on his hip we used to call a pager or beeper. On this night it was for following the progress of a Sabres game (someone was relaying him updated scores), and he employed hand signals to inform me of goals scored and the like.

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