Failure to Communicate

I heard David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell speak at Royce Hall on Thursday night. Funny shit. "When I was growing up pretentious…"

I saw a guy using a headset connected to his cell phone so that he wouldn't have to hold the phone while talking. What's next? I know! Let's implant antennae in our brains so that we can just channel thoughts to each other without having to talk at all.

Credit America Online's Instant Messenger for reducing the typical conversation down to a bunch of misspelled sentence fragments. It's quite a paradigm shift for the English language, if you ask me. "Like"-ridden banter has been superseded by acronyms and smiley faces, especially this one:


People use that one a lot. Only on AIM can you get away with winking after everything you say. In the real world, we call that "making a pass."

I also hate this smiley:


I simply don't understand what sticking out your tongue to the left represents and why everybody feels the need to stick out their tongue so much on AIM. I mean, look at it:

What the fuck is that little face doing? And what is its facial expression supposed to say? I, for one, interpret it as: "Hi, I'm mentally retarded, and look, I just said something clever." Either that or: "Hi, I got my tongue pierced and it ith thery thollen. Pity me and laugh at my unfunny joke."

Nowadays, the gauge of your sense of humor is not laughter, but rather how ridiculous your buddies, family, and co-workers sound on AIM. If they type "ha," "haha," "heh," "hehe," or any variation thereof, then you've amused them. If they type "lol" or "hahahahaha," then you've really amused them. If they go so far as to type "roflmao," however, then you must be Jonathan Yu.

The ending of chats is always so impersonal on AIM. Granted, we'd all sound pretty stupid saying things like, "Oh, my dearest beloved, parting is such sweet sorrow," but at least that's better than the abrupt hang-ups you usually get. "Gotta go," "brb," and "ttyl" sound like something a frat boy would say to a girl he just raped.

Movie of the week: Memento. Total mindfuck.

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