Some days...  

rm_OreoEyes 36M
11 posts
7/24/2006 8:52 am
Some days...

you wake up with clear direction. Some days you wake up with a sense of innate possibility and positivity, that you definitely will get something accomplished.

And some days you wake up at 4:30 in the morning with half a hangover (you know, just a splitting headache and that annoying dry-mouth feeling that is probably not helping the headache one bit) and you kind of have to help positivity along.

But being so full of negativity, that is definitely not what this weblog post will be about. I just can't bring myself to write about self-awareness and all that psycho-babble. As a twenty-something, I still waffle between a worldview of "It is extremely important to constrain my behavior to the code adopted by society" and that of "I will express my viewpoints uncensored, even if it does relegate me to a career in stand-up comedy as a Dennis Miller wannabe." (Actually, Miller is far too socially conservative for me. Nor could I profess to even approach the greatness that was Carlin or Bruce.)

We will, though, be talking about comedy. I was browsing through the archives of one of my favorite webcomics, "User Friendly," drawn by one of our neighbors to the north in British Columbia, pen name "Illiad." Anyone who has ever worked in tech will get 90% of the jokes, and most of those are actually funny although bitingly satirical. A particular storyline concerns one of the main characters and a "friends with benefits" relationship he gets into. Our main character in question is a creative guy with technical aptitude, but he's socially stunted and his relationships with women are often short-lived and ineffectual. But this time, the artist implies, he's actually getting some.

Why? Because he can program the girl's VCR. She confides to a friend, much to the other's chagrin, that she's "using him for techs." (Non-techies, scrunch up your nose in disgust. Techies, scrunch up your nose in disgust, then laugh secretly to yourself.)

I regularly get people asking me to look at their computers in the same way that a doctor at a party is approached by people and asked to give her opinion on whether something looks infected. Sometimes they offer to pay me for my expertise; sometimes they just want free advice. But this is what I find strange: none of them ever offer to barter. No one ever offers to bake me cookies to upgrade their old Windows 98 PC, or to build me a CD rack (not that I have ever asked outright). And it wouldn't be very gentlemanly of me to ask what else they'd be willing to trade, now would it?

You might say, "Well, it's a cartoon, it's a traditional exaggerated stereotype, et cetera." True, but stereotypes exist for a reason: to point out excesses and faults in social mores and practices. It makes me wonder if our legal bias towards what we consider prostitution (sex for money) has affected how we value sex in this country. We as humans trade sex all the time, and people hook up with no intimacy involved and no expectation that the other will want to pursue a relationship. As indicated by the number of active profiles on this site, some of us are even willing to give it away with few conditions.

Maybe it really is all conditional though. Or maybe I'm just running into the wrong sort of people who don't know how to use their DVD burners, huh?

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