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Life as performance art

Life as performance art


By Fr. G. Corwin Stoppel

I had to stop by a mobile phone store to have tinkering done to my flip phone. The tech whistled, “Haven’t seen one of these dinosaurs for a while.”

He fixed it, then asked if I would be happier trading it in on a device that would let me text, read e-mails and surf the net. If I had one I could tweet and twitter.

The tech assured me my grandchildren could connect easily. I said no thanks, adding when a friend got a phone with the twitter-tweet-text feature, all he heard from were people who wanted more of his money.

“Aren’t you afraid of missing out?” he asked in a voice generally reserved for loan officers at banks and in funeral homes, I looked at him for a moment, then said I had no such fear because all I need to know I’ll read in the newspaper.

The poor fellow looked befuddled. For a moment I thought I might have to explain newspapers.

As things stand, there is a surplus of TMI (Too Much Information) that leads directly to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). I refuse to participate, much less support this contagion.

I have no desire to keep up. After all, I am a retired certified curmudgeon and member in good standing in the Ancient and Tolerated Order of Old Geezers.

When someone asked what I thought about the latest antics of the Kardasians, I said I hadn’t seen “Star Trek” for years.

I’m not curious what someone wore to a major media awards night any more than I am about who won or didn’t get a trophy. Nor about wardrobe malfunctions. Years ago the elastic broke in the waistband of my unmentionables and, frankly, the latter are overrated experiences.

As for twitter and tweeting, I fell behind from the start. People get all a-twitter about something, then have a penchant for tweeting. Our Twitter or Tweeter in Chief does it so much, why would anyone listen to me? That seems like a lot of wasted effort and time that could be put to better use figuring out how to murder someone on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry or the demise of “Nine Fingers” Charlie at his art emporium.

There is already TMI and I have no FOMO. Will Rogers had it right when he told the nation all he knew was what he read in the newspapers.

C.S. Lewis took it a step too far when someone asked him which papers and magazines he should read. After a thoughtful puff on his pipe, Lewis said, “Don’t waste your time. If something important happens someone will be sure to tell you” — that in the midst of World War II when the Luftwaffe was doing industrial-strength aerial urban renewal over England.

Stick with The Commercial Record, and do something dangerous anarchistic: talk, face to face, with the folks around here. It’s far more interesting than the pontificators who disturb billions of electrons every time they twit. Or is it tweet?

Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t care and I have no FOMO because it would be just TMI.