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Avoiding mirrors and how to lower case your i's
In this post I am going to try and avoid the seediest of pronouns. So far I'm not doing so well. It's just habit I guess and am I so wrong to place myself in the center of the universe? I mean, I'm the first to admit it's my own personal universe occupied by only me and an increasingly problematic ipod, which, despite its lucid attempts at self-reliance and financial independence is really just myPod. 

Who's that cat with the busted walkman headphones circa 1995 Cranberries? Oh, that's just Robin, busy ignoring you and me and the rest of the world while checking himself out in the copious glass-windowed reflecting buildings all the rage in our increasingly unprivate shared experience we call life.

To be fair I'm sporting a fairly fresh moustache and need the opinion of every mirror in a city-wide's girth. 

Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the fairest moustache of them all? 

Oh, you do Robin. 

Really? Are you being honest? I was attempting for this upper-lip cross between an aspiring pedophile and back-up uniformed man from the village people and I'm really not sure how it turned out. I imagine it will keep looking better from every new angled glass building. Or if not at least I can watch it grow as I walk back and forth to my favorite hangout, the gym, but which I really call "Robin, from 360 degrees"

I saw a picture today of Kanye West and LeBron James together in Connecticut for the King's holiest of holy news. I am surprised a black hole wasn't born out of the camera lens and then proceed to suck the rest of the world into its belly just to maintain the necessary energy needed to sustain the steroidal level of self-adulation present in either. 

Or what is more likely is that their egos are able to maintain equilibrium by an hourly quota of twitter updates mentioning their names which aid Yeezy and His Highness by relocating the ego of two astronomical narcissists to the millions of minute narcissists who deem themselves important enough to have their daily starch in-take followed by a personal network of groupies. 

And still I have the time to ignore all that and be vain and blindly self-loving on a daily basis. They should scare you as kids and say you'll get cancer if you look into a mirror too much. And give you a quota of I's to use in a day. And still I have the nerve to post this expecting people to read it. I hope you don't read to it. Humble me.

Maybe e.e. Cummings didn't go far enough. He Should Have Capitalized Every Word Except i. 

I've gotta do this for this effect. I've gotta better myself. I've gotta find salvation. I've gotta look out for me. I've gotta go to Miami so I can put a ring on my finger. I've gotta make sure everyone knows I'm doing it for the kids. It's for the kids, not me. 

I'm guilty. Fuck you Freud. Is there a reset on that ego of yours? I mean mine. 

Just go talk to people. Better yet, listen. 
The smart phone is more like a personal assistant. It is hemmed to fit your life and not just anyone's. And so it gives you the news you want to read about, the songs you want to hear, and the apps you need the most. The personal computer is the same thing and the iPod, the kindle and netflix, pandora, gps boxes, tivo, facebook,, google homepage, etc, etc, life. 

Technology is intensifying the significance of the individual. Every new wonderous achievement that seemingly sits on the brink of the future is being marketed directly to you. This isn't so different than any other period in the modern era except that the advertisements are directly using our names.

 "Morgan Milford, with the new iPhone you'll be able to send flirty text messages to that girl in your anthro class (the one with the nose ring and the neck tattoo) while simultaneously browsing pitchfork for the latest snobbery hipster music" This has been a message from Steve Jobs. 

And so it's hard for me to feel like a part of anything. For us, the grandbabyboomers, it's been a long time coming, this shift to the I. They've taught us since we were in diapers that we can do absolutely whatever we want. "fulfill your dreams, the future is all yours, you are special." And sure, those are viable, true, and inspiring messages. But they inflate our ego. And so does all this technology. As if everything in the world is just a really on-point team of servants at my every beck and call. 

And so it's easy to be apathetic. Because there are a million different causes and even they are specialized and if they don't match my particular DNA sequence I can put their plight to the back of my mind. In this way I can filter happily through the reality of the times, a reality that translates to 50 dead Ugandan world cup watchers and to the rising caste based honor killings in India and even on our front porch soldiers returning from the war living with post-traumatic stress disorder and a black shadow engulfing the gulf and all of these things that I just can't get angry about because I'm busy being told that I am the most important person in the world when really all "I" means today is consumer. And so as all of our group affiliations (family, nation, state) are falling to the wayside and I continue to make purchases that mark me as an individual and give more and more power to the one shared space left which looks something like a consumerist machine. And I can't even get mad about that, because I've convinced myself I need all these things, I need the computer and I need all this music, no worse than that, I've convinced myself I deserve these things. 

I can say you're my neighbor but I can't even draw you a map of the neighborhood anymore. 

In response to Morgan Milford
You two [Robin and Morgan] evoked a lot of empathy and sadness in me this morning. To have awoken as it were to the brutal self-reflection of two obviously thoughtful and optimistic if cynical persons is invigorating in a way. I find however that whenever my introspection delves deepest my bitterness and misery at the senselessness of it all approaches proportions almost too high for my will to bear, "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." I pray you two find consolation in that a reflective world is our only hope of learning and understanding - not that you need consolation in fact 'bleeding with rage' will be necessary for transforming ourselves and our 'i-world'. You two write beautifully by the way, the hope is palpable atop the 'self-effacement'. The point if I got any of it was clear, the problem with the world is too many people looking in too many mirrors for all the wrong reasons and non to few for the right ones. Thank you.

In response to Morgan Milford
Yes, that's where we find ourselves.  Is relief a wilderness?  It seems so sometimes.  A place where there is only "I;" but can there be an "I" with no witness?  

From within, it seems that there is no one, no conscious, sentient being that is free.  I find my co-dependence keeps me trapped in the phenomena of being co-opted that you describe.   I complain, but at the same time am to weak to refuse the rewards I get in exchange for my freedom.  Giving up selected things allows me to step out of the Matrix, and discover that I am in a group of free compatriots. 

Zen, not in it's classical sense, but as a useful, secular affirmation.  A free person is never alone because the world presents itself in a present that defines accessibility.  What I have found helpful, is to strip existence itself, and all its contents, of meaning.  Meaning is a hook we carry in our mouths waiting for the tug of the fishing line of the Matrix.  Life without meaning is not grim, like they want you to believe.  It is clear.  We are unfree when we cannot do without something that is ultimately controlled by the Matrix.  Meaning is the uniform we wear when we do The Man's battles.  Meaning makes us keep responding to ideals that have little to do with our in-site predicament .  Without the prejudice of meaning we have less chance of interacting inappropriately to a situation.

Don't learn this and be young and poignant for a few years.  Learn it and be young and poignant forever.
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