They're Not Just For Soccer Players Anymore
by Mad Dog
Once the Big Three were discovered fire,
the wheel, and the TV remotelife became much easier. Suddenly we had leisure time on
our hands, meaning we could finally pursue our spiritual side.
We spend a lot of time trying to discover who we are and
what we should be doing with our lives. Maybe not as much time as we do trying to have
sex, sitting on hold for the next customer service representative who appreciates our
business, or standing in front of the mirror trying to get kernels of microwave popcorn
from between our teeth, but that doesnt mean its any less important.
search for personal identity. A quest to figure out where we fit into the cosmos. But
mostly its a boon to self-help book publishers and tarot card readers everywhere.
Even more importantly, its almost single-handedly fueling the current economic boom.
After all, if so many people werent convinced that amassing money is the answer theyd
realize that IPOs actually stands for Idiots Purchasing Overpriced Stocks.
search for personal fulfillment is nothing new. Its been going on almost since
humans crawled out of the primordial sludge and wondered when soap would be invented. Of
course back then personal growth wasnt the highest priority since there were other
more important things to worry about, like having to keep warm, killing for food, and
foraging for shelter. Kind of like the Donner Party in saber tooth tiger loincloths.
the Big Three were discoveredfire, the wheel, and the TV remotelife became
much easier. Suddenly we had leisure time on our hands, meaning we could finally pursue
our spiritual side. This gave rise to Christianity, yoga, Tony Robbins, transcendental
meditation, est, the Crusades, LSD, Zen, Yanni, The Psychic Friends Network, crystals,
guys in bars asking Whats your sign?, and the Sixth Sense. No one ever
said progress is always pretty.
When we were growing up we were encouraged to aspire to greatness, but not anymore. Not
since we saw the size of President Clintons legal bills and realized that no sex is
worth that amount of money, Jennifer Lopez notwithstanding.
We started to realize that it was important to better
ourselves, to use the talents we were given, and to set lofty personal goals.
Unfortunately going on Jerry Springer to tell your wife that your name used to be
Katerina, marrying a multi-millionaire because he likes the way you look in a swimsuit,
and setting up a webcam so the world can watch the dust bunnies grow under your bed werent
the goals our mothers and fathers hoped wed have.
But times change, and with them so
do our dreams. Take Tina Taylor, the woman from Cincinnati who was recently named Americas
No. 1 TV Fan by TV Guide. As a young girl do you think she laid awake nights
dreaming of this while other girls thought about becoming an astronaut or being deflowered
by the New Kids on the Block? Did her guidance counselor help tailor her education towards
this goal, talking her into majoring in computer science so shed know how to program
her VCRs? Or was she, in fact, sitting in a
lotus position in Nepal on the fourth day of a Taco Bell-free fast when her mantra
suddenly veered from Om to Om Improvements?
it was, it worked. Tina was honored with a trip to Hollywood, largely because her family
has six TV setsincluding one with a 52 screen which according to her are
on 24 hours a day, as well as five VCRs and a DVD player. The judges gave her the award
saying they liked that she has a life beyond television. Yes, balance is a wonderful
This will help give the 00s a slogan which they sorely lack. Forget the Iron Age.
Jettison the Industrial Revolution. Weve officially entered the Snooze Alarm Age.
It used to be that when we were growing up we were
encouraged to aspire to greatness, such as becoming president. But not anymore. Not since
we saw the size of President Clintons legal bills and realized that no sex is worth
that amount of money, Jennifer Lopez notwithstanding. With all the public scrutiny,
pressure, and constant media hounding that comes with the job, no one in their right mind
would want to be president. This, of course, says a lot about George W. Bush and Al Gore.
answer why children today have their eyes set on careers which are more attractive, more
fulfilling, and more profitable, like basketball player, supermodel, and sixth member of
N Sync. And who can blame them? Theres no question it would be more fun to
earn a living playing instead of working. Unfortunately, as I can attest, its not
easy. It turns out very few people can make a living playing computer solitaire.
someone whos the best at what they do, like Billy Mitchell, has to have a day job.
Hes the guy who last summer scored the worlds first perfect score at Pac-Man,
accomplishing the feat a good fifteen years after everyone else forgot the game ever
existed. He also holds the worlds Donkey Kong record which gives him incredible
bragging rights at family reunions. To make ends meet, Mitchell manufactures hot sauce in
Florida. While this is far from the worlds worst joblike say, managing the
Beef n Brew in New Delhiits also not nearly as cool as being Leonardo
DiCaprios paid friend.
might as well get used to this. After all, if the average number of words in a 14-year-olds
vocabulary has dropped from 25,000 to 10,000 since 1950which it hasits
only natural that some important words will be among those lost. Its a shame that
ambition, reality, and obfuscation are among them. But alls not lost. At least this
will help give the 00s a slogan which they sorely lack. Forget the Iron Age.
Jettison the Industrial Revolution. Weve officially entered the Snooze Alarm Age
where we postpone reality, so you might as well sit back and enjoy yourself. At least
until the alarm goes off again. But dont worry, you can always slap it and shut it
off for another ten years or so.
©2000 Mad Dog Productions, Inc. All
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while practicing your Pac-Man game.