Sunday, March 27, 2011
The Onion Imitates Life
One thing the internet is good at is making an inventory of what you’re doing and where you have been. And that’s a scary thought. Just look at your browsing history, multiply it by the amount of time you’ve been using to wander the internet, and despair. The internet provides the best and worst aspects of the best friend you wish you had and yet wish you never had. The amount of time we spend using the internet is generally spent serving up redundant, trivial, and mainly unmemorable information that leaves us regretful of the time wasted that could have been spent mastering a foreign language, spending quality time with the spouse and kids, or vacationing in Paris. Obviously, the folks at the satirical website ‘The Onion’ agree, and have given us this personal account of a fictional sort who could easily be us.
During an unexpected moment of clarity Tuesday, open-minded man Blake Richman was suddenly struck by the grim realization that he's squandered a significant portion of his life listening to everyone's bullshit, the 38-year-old told reporters. A visibly stunned and solemn Richman, who until this point regarded his willingness to hear out the opinions of others as a worthwhile quality, estimated that he's wasted nearly three and a half years of his existence being open to people's half-formed thoughts, asinine suggestions, and pointless, dumbfuck stories.
According to Richman, it was just now hitting him how many hours of his life he's pissed away listening intently to nonsense about celebrity couples, how good or bad certain pens are, and why a particular sports team might have a chance this year. The husband and father of two said that every time he's felt at all put out or bored by a bullshit conversation—especially a speculative one about how bad allergy season was going to be—he should have just turned around, walked away, and gone rafting or repelling or done any of the millions of other things he's always wanted to do but never thought he had time for.
At various points throughout the day, Richman could be heard muttering to himself that he couldn't believe he was almost 40 years old.
"Twenty minutes here, 10 minutes there. It all starts to add up," said Richman, who sat down and figured out that between stupid discussions about favorite baby names and reviews of restaurants in cities he'll never visit, he'd wasted 390 hours of his life. "And you know what the worst part is? It's my fault. Here I thought being considerate to others by always listening patiently to what they had to say was the right thing to do. Well, fuck me, right?"
…….By his estimates, Richman's receptiveness has resulted in 160 irreplaceable hours of listening to grossly uninformed political opinions, 300 hours of carefully hearing out both sides of pointless arguments, and at least a month of listening to his parents' bullshit about how important it is to be open-minded.
"All those hours I could have been relaxing, or reading all these great books, or getting into shape, or working on side projects that I'm really excited about," Richman said. "But instead I've been listening to overrated albums recommended to me by my asshole friends."
"Did you know that in my life I've listened to five days' worth of people talking about their furniture?" he added. "It's true. That's a trip to Europe right there."