Ode To The Paper Page
October 12, 2011 | 02:49 PMOh, bouillabaisse brains! If synapses are anything like spices, it's no wonder the undead forgo peaceful rest for the zombie buffet line.
So sometimes I wish there was a little latch in the cap of my skull–you know, like one of those basement trap door things you see in movies.
If a kind, Kevorkian-esque, trepanning witch doctor would slice one open for me, I'd be most grateful. Then, keeping the hinges well WD-40'd so I could flip the lid with ease, I'd pull out the lot of what's useless and replace it with stuff like information, unearned wisdom or a small bomb with which to end it all. With regards to the latter, I suppose I'd settle for some sort of release valve (my ears, unfortunately, have not learned the cartoons' steaming trick–or perhaps are too clogged with wax for the task); or maybe an assistant or five (haha, now I'm really dreaming).
And on that note, before I bury my lead any deeper, I'd like to send a proud (albeit obviously hypocritical) middle finger to social media et alia. Sure, while one hand flips the bird, the other's still molesting the mouse–but we haven't much choice, have we? Even my most Luddite-ish friends are on Facebook. A lot.
Yes, I love the impetus of social media. Yes, I'm a willing accomplice.
Yes, I care deeply for the human beings behind it all. But in aggregate, it's just too bloody much. And though I ache for every bit of information-intake, somehow swimming through a slimy sea of so-and-so-eating-a-sandwich then so-and-so-taking-a-shit makes me care less, do less, want less. And less is what we get, though not in the ways we want. Everything is faster and dirtier and bitch slap-chopped into fact-less fragments; so much so that even the things that ought to be meaty are relegated to the same processes.
I hate it.
(Mmm. I can hear it already: "Oh my god, how can you say that now? Steve Jobs, like, just died." OK, sorry. Sort of. Look, everyone dies–the people we love, the people we hate, the people we pretend to know, the people we'll never know. Even world-changing rich guys die. But suffering the sifting of ukubillions of hyperbolic posts about Jobs's passing makes me want to kick the bucket, too... Here's one tweet that turned my stomach: "@chemingineer A little bit died in each one of us today. #SteveJobs" Puh-lease! Yeah, thanks for the toys and tools, Jobs, but the Blow My Brains Up app is taking too long to download and I'm still wallowing in over-capacity messages.)
But... Ooh! I got an @ reply! Ooh! So-and-so likes my post, ergo they like me! I'm validated! I'm important! I'll keep posting!
And so I do: @anuheayagi is eating a sandwich and will subsequently...
But seriously, I could use a break.
Ah, enter the paper page. The spoken word. The creak of the stage under step.
I love it. It's a break (though be it a leg) indeed.
My buddy Michael Pulliam (you know, the guy who writes the theater stuff for The Maui News) has been inviting me to tag along as his plus-one to various events–which works out great for the venue because they get two journos for the price of one.
Last week Thursday we caught "An Evening With Lee Cataluna" at the MACC's McCoy Studio Theater, and I was gleefully beside myself. Being so enamored certainly has something to do with being a young wahine writer from Maui–and Cataluna's our small tribe's finest warrior–but it was more than that. It was the glorious golden feeling of a hundred human beings–smart phones all shut down–sitting in a black box theater, on a work night, listening to a great (local!) writer read. Being the sappy beast that I can sometimes be, I was moved to tears right from her "Hello, I'm Lee Cataluna" (or whatever it was) introduction. (Because while I won't shed a tear for any celebrity death, I'll readily weep over gorgeous living moments.)
Afterward, Cataluna signed books. But I must have bought the wrong one because when she signed mine, I think I noticed a small flash of disappointment when she noticed I'd bought He Leo Hou, a compilation of four plays to which she contributed "Da Mayah," instead of the very (awesome) book she'd spent the evening reading from, Three Years on Doreen's Sofa. But I bought He Leo Hou because it's translation and subhed reads "A New Voice: Hawaiian Playwrights"–and that's exactly what Cataluna exemplifies and inspires in others.
Still, as much as it oft irks me, I'll keep tweeting and whatever. What can I say, I like the likes. But Cataluna's reading was a reminder that quality over quantity is what makes a single IRL soapbox preferable to a million little e-ones, and that [bloop!] Oh, excuse me. I just got an @ reply...
To read more Kula Kid with links and photos and stuff, and to leave comments, visit mauifeed.com/kulakid
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