Photo by William Felker

A TWO PARTS WHISKEY COLUMN

There’s something to be said of the beatnik lifestyle of days past where writers like Kerouac and Ginsberg travelled the countryside in search of meaning, along the way meeting characters with stories so bold they couldn’t help but to embark on a great American adventure alongside their new friends.
Yet here we sit beside a stale blue light swiping for dates or making bonds through emoticons, afraid of meeting strangers in person, preferring to meet them online through apps. We’re a generation of cowards; afraid to venture into the metaphorical woods of unknown, meeting strangers through phones instead of on sidewalks or bars, delivery drones bringing cold cuts by way of a butcher we’ve never met. Probably from months beyond the pale.
But cowards in what sense? Socially, communally we’re somehow stronger through the online convenience of interpersonal relations.

Isn’t it funny how this generation can travel city through city, country by country without a care in the world? Isn’t it strange how we can walk fearlessly down into dark alleys all because some strange app promised a shortcut? We know so much about the roads we travel and the perils they promise — until the fucking power cuts. Well what if it all went down for good?
How would we find a subway, or a bus station? I’m not talking about the same route you’ve been riding to school for the last ten years or the bus you take to work every day, I’m talking about if you were out on the road how would you get from New York to the Mississippi? What about meeting a friend in a new city? If you were out there living free in this new enlightened age, catering to the every whim and desire of a liberal youth — what would happen if the internet suddenly disappeared?
I mean what is it that we really know about the world? How many of us can tell North from South or roads from boulevards; hostels from inns or taverns from fucking pubs? Does it even matter? Have we become so entwined in the webs of convenience that we’ve forgotten the importance of interaction? Or what it means to see the world at a larger scale? Am I being too dramatic or is the great American adventure all but dead?

Let’s suppose there is a light. Every generation’s become more and more pampered by means of industrialization, and cowardice does take many forms; because we’re also a generation of great progress and courage. And how in the fuck did we manage that if not for connection? If not for new relationships forging like wildfires through social media, our new era of political discourse would have never erupted, we would have never come together on issues that really mattered. But are we really united? If the power went out, would any of us really still care? About these causes? The people? Or would the floor fall right out from underneath each and every one of these tenuous #friendships?

With the state of connectivity wavering everyday, I ask myself if any of this really matters in the long run? I mean who really fucking likes people anyway?

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