Monday, September 17, 2007

column 18; facebook and Utah

So to start off with a topic I don't generally enjoy talking about: facebook. Due to certain restrictions here at the summer program I'm working at my ability to use facebook is greatly diminished. I can't post or do all sorts of things. It is disturbing how disturbing I found this. Facebook may have taken full possession of my social life. Let's hope they never branch out into email, or they will rule the world. And if they do, I just called it.

I could go on about facebook, and cell phones, and email and such things, but I won't. There are plenty of cantankerous folks out there who feel the same way and all our belly-achin' will not lead to Cingular and Facebook and Gmail holding a meeting and deciding to scale back the intrusiveness of their enterprises. And if it did then those of us complaining would be lynched. Perhaps in due time we'd be considered martyrs, but what good does that do me now?

One can remove oneself from it, if they choose. As increasing surveillance from the government, coupled with increasing lack of surveillance of the government, threatens us I recall Utah. No matter how scary Google Earth is, or the level of coverage provided by Big Government Satellites, I can always hide out in Utah.

A large part of my adolescence was spent in Utah, in the wilderness. No, Salt Lake City didn't qualify, it is a sizable city. Rather one should go to the Canyonlands, Zion, Arches and Capitol Reef. Lots of the area covered in Utah is designated as 'wilderness'. But let me let the NPS do the work. Wilderness is land where "natural processes are the primary force acting upon the land, and the developments of modern technological society are substantially unnoticeable." No cars. No electricity. No ranger stations within a holler, gift shops or cafes. Just you, some friends, and nature. In Utah this means you, some friends, and rock.

Rock can be scary. Probably one of my scariest life moments, at least in the top 20, had rock in Utah playing a crucial supporting role, the lead being given away to my stupidity. Coming down from a canyon plateau I decided to by-pass those tiresome winding switchbacks and go down. Straight down. With a pack on my back, free falling, my feet touching down upon rock every few seconds, trying with all power to avoid smooshing a lizard or losing my footing on a clump of desert plant.

It was damn fun after the fact. Most everything is. Breaking up isn't, and tragic passings aren't, nor chemo. But looking back on most of it, hey, it's been good times. I've done scores of dumb things, I hope everyone reading this has, and had some bite me in the ass, and others turn out to be adventures or stories. You'll regret the things you don't do, not the things you do. Unless its something really big and stupid, in which case you won't have a chance to regret it or not, but that's life. Or death, as the case may be.

So try and get out there to the wilderness. Or to a regular park. Or out of the city. Or into the city. Whatever change of scenery is best for your contemplation and escapist notions of life drudgery, take advantage and get out of here. Maybe I'll cross paths with you out there.

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