Scroll On My Friend Today, after my daily scroll through social media on my phone, I sat back and chuckled internally like a grumpy old man about to win a card game.
I am old enough to remember rotary dial phones. They were big and heavy and usually sat on their own tables. They had very short wires that went into the wall. Usually, next to the phone, there was a list of relevant numbers or we had a few memorized. If you had nice nails, you used a pencil to dial a rotary phone.
Local news was on the television at six, and national news (on one of three networks) was on at six-thirty. Then in the eighties, cable television came, and news was on twenty-four hours, but really, I just wanted my MTV. Nowadays, I scroll through the news on my little rectangle robot phone. I can even watch videos. Holy smoke, did you see what Simone Biles just did??
My amusement at the magical smart phone is not a new thing. Books have been written about how it's changed how we interact, how we get places, how we live, how we learn things, how we amuse ourselves. I can play spider solitaire on my phone. I can not remember the last time I have played solitaire with actual cards.
Is all this scrolling on the little rectangle making me depressed? Apathetic? Lowering my attention span? Wait! Will I ever write a complete sentence again? (Phew)
Recently, I realized that I needed more artistic stimulation from the physical world. I also needed a break from my dream boating lifestyle. Can I have a day where I am not putting on sunblock and thinking about wind direction?
So I went to see art.
Or specifically, I went to see the Sarah Lucas exhibit at the Hammer. I strolled through a gallery instead of scrolling through my phone. I could stand and look at something for as long as I want to.
Sarah Lucas's art turned out to be just what I needed. She has a lot of sexy humor in her sculptures and objects. She made me giggle. I especially appreciated the giant plaster penis sitting on top of a car that had been squashed into a cube. She had lots of stuffed nylons (pantyhose) forming shapes like legs and nipples. She had a lot of legs. I think she likes legs.
As I left the museum, I felt happy. I liked the whimsy of the exhibit. Have I gotten too damn old for angst? Or maybe I just like to smile more. Or am I listening to too much pop music on my phone? The scroll will always be there. I need to make sure I stroll more.