In The Intelligence of Evil Baudrillard references Lichtenberg’s aphorism on the concept of the tremor: “Any act, even an exact one, is preceded by a trembling, a haziness of gesture, and it always retains something of it.”
Baudrillard discusses the tremor in the context of photography, one of his passions. Smiles, rainstorms, a 98-mph fastball—everything begins with hesitation and uncertainty.
“The true image,” writes Baudrillard, “is the one that accounts for this trembling of the world.”
I believe life’s big decisions contain this initial trembling. Some people push forward, confident in their ability to recover from failure. Change doesn’t induce panic attacks.
Then there’s me. Sometimes I forget to breathe.
I was watching Comcast SportsNet the other day via my Comcast Triple Play subscription when an ad for Comcast’s new Voice Control Remote caught my eye. Forget scrolling through guides or pressing buttons to access menus—coming soon viewers will use simple voice commands to train their clickers to do everything but roll over and play dead. Possible requests include:
“FIND The Biggest Loser.”
“SHOW me Tom Cruise movies.”
“RECORD Murder, She Wrote.”
“MAKE me happy.”
“PUNISH my enemies.”
“CONVINCE Kate Upton to have sex with me.”
OK, those first three I made up.
Last week Amazon announced a new way to structure our lives around buying shit from Amazon: the Dash button. To avoid a detergent crisis place the Dash with the Tide logo on your washer. When you’re nearing your last load simply press the Dash to order more soap. Of course, you’ll still need to verify the purchase on a smartphone, tablet or (if you’re old-fashioned like me) a laptop.
This is great news for people with busy lives and no time to waste. Sorry, Mr. Keats, but efficiency—not truth—is beauty.
But more free time increases our chances for boredom. To combat consumer angst I hereby announce the Stash button, your on-the-spot vice shop.
Jonesing for chocolate? Stash has teamed with Nabisco, Keebler and Hershey’s to help send you into a diabetic coma at the flick of the wrist.
Down to your last Oxy? Out of Zoloft? Stash knows a guy who knows a guy. With a little help from your friends at Pfizer you’ll be riding the wave in no time.
Traditional porn too soft? Stash has you covered. One click and we’ll deposit thousands of kink links into your spank bank, available for immediate withdrawal.
We’re working with the FDA, FBI and DEA to help smart shoppers secure the best deals on American staples like alcohol, tobacco and firearms. Lawyers and lobbyists (many of whom are lawyers) are pounding the pavement to help you get off.
In this age of over-stimulation there’s no limit to our capacity for numbness. Paper towels are nice, but when life gets messy I’m anxious for a bounty only Stash provides.
America has become the most earnest nation in the history of the world. Tolerance is our cartoon Muhammad.
This week Comedy Central picked Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show later this year. Controversial tweets he posted as far back as six years ago have resurfaced.
Roseanne Barr told Noah on Twitter to “cease sexist & anti semitic ‘humor’ about jewish women & Israel.” This from a comedian who twenty-five years ago, after yelling “The Star-Spangled Banner,” spit and grabbed her crotch like a baseball player.
In 2012 she tweeted George Zimmerman’s parents’ home address and phone number. They sued her.
Maybe this is all Twitter’s fault. Kids, if you’re planning on running for President three decades from now, be sure to delete your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Google Plus, Spotify, Pinterest, Myspace, Foursquare, and WordPress accounts immediately. Apologize to anyone with the slightest memory of one of your tasteless comments. Oh, and don’t connect to the internet or speak/text into a cell phone ever again.
If you’re a comedian refrain from humor. Or you’ll be found unfit to tell jokes on TV.