(originally written 10-26-12)
I've been out on assignment for the last week in Paris. I've learned some things during this trip that’s dawned on me with more weight then the years previous. Age does that, doesn't it. Perspective is a fast track to the discovery of subjectivity in all human experience, and shit, the more of it, the better.
Most of the things learned are of a personal nature. I usually forget most of these insights once settled back into my norm, but still, its a good feeling and you can't take that away from me.
But, what I am most preoccupied with is the refinement of Parisians in aspects of society, compared to us Americans. The dress code, the social habits, the little nuances. We slobber over our apple pie, and they, with a fork in left hand, nibble at those little pastries with the delicacy of a surgeon. Ironically, with all these refinements, Paris doesn't understand the concept of customer service. And, this is NOT just my little opinion. This is a known fact, like that of gravity, or the law of inertia (yes, i understand, we are past linear Newtonianism’s, but entertain me this one time).
And, most important, the thing that I'm taking away from this particular journey, is the same as any of those recent trips I've taken recently, where, by necessity and a little willpower, I turn off the data on my GODDAMN SMART PHONE. A wonderful thing happens after you survive the initial shakes of withdrawal. A simple lesson we all intuitively understand; Life is better lived, then wasted eyeing a little screen, scrolling endlessly in the sea of public opinion, whose constantly engrossed in sharing a few of those tidbits of information and ideas that comes to ones head, with few if any conscientious filters. Ah, the pedestrian, mundane and irrelevant thought of the second. It’s gross desire for declaration! I'm through with these pocket sized opinions and observations for the time being. I never wanted them to begin with (is this really true), but, psychology has me (we, us) lacking self-control, gripped unconsciously, deep in a Pavlovian headlock because of a few loopholes of mind.
See, you might not know it, but if your updating your social media accounts 20 time a day, or logging in 20 times a day its probably a solidified, honest to goodness habit at this point. Your a little dog salivating at the ringing of the bell, telling you its lunch time, whether your getting a real treat or a trick, doesn't matter.