We hit the ground running with a promise that this story will be featured "Only on KRON 4." Well, at least now I have a name for this bizarre alternate Earth that I'm forced to live on. Actually that's a "station" on something called "television," a pill that's arguably harder to swallow than my exile on a similar but fundamentally broken planet theory. I guess this thing is sort of like the internet except it's an almost entirely passive experience and you're totally defenseless against the advertisements. Yeah, this "television" fad ain't going anywhere, man.
Welcome to KRON-4, earthling. Your bitcoins are safe here.
Our cheery anchorwoman, who is sadly caught in that awkward life stage when you're no longer a "cougar" but not yet a "granny" informs us that we better start getting used to seeing people with electronics strapped to their faces. Stop resisting, it's the irresistible arc of the universe toward horrible new alienating inventions. You're on the wrong side of history, sorry.
Oddly enough, not everyone is comfortable with this fundamental shift in the paradigm. The reasons for this are so inscrutable that we're forced to leave ex-cougar town and confer with a specialist in technology named "Gabe." Not surprisingly, he's awkward as all hell. Huh, it's almost like being hunched over a computer or staring at a fist-sized screen you carry everywhere might have behavioral consequences.
I don't know what to do with my arms. Let 'em hang, I guess.
In all honesty, I like Gabe. His first words are "Let me tell you" and anyone who uses that as an opener is going to be a solid human unit. Please Gabe. Tell us. He quickly introduces us to a "Social Media Consultant" who wears her Google Glass almost everywhere. He then explains that this garnered her "A lot of attention at a bar in San Francisco" and I know it sounds like the build up to the sort of joke that will hopefully be illegal very soon, but that's not where this is going.
While this exposition dump is happening we also get Gabe's Twitter name, which I guess could be used to "Live Tweet" this story if it hadn't happened back in February. Please use hash tag #AwkwardArmPositions.
#SemiFingerTent is trending right now!
Anyway, let me tell you. We are promised "captured" footage of a rare time when resembling a Dinner Theater version of the Borg didn't go well and even resulted in "Unwelcome Attention." Yes, there is apparently such a thing, although you'd never know it if you even have a passing familiarity with "face-booking" and allied narcissist time sinks.
First impressions mean a lot. Just like Gabe won me over with his wussy version of Pro Wrestler talk, our Social Media Wizard immediately earns my disapproval, something not at all given lightly, by using the word "literally" incorrectly, as is the way with this courageous new world. She "literally" kept saying "I don't believe this" and goes on to further explain it was "the only thing that could come out of my mouth" and just how "weird" this entire situation was.
Clearly it's the rest of the world that needs to change, she's literally the minority of one, the last sane human being. Wearing a camera on her face. To a bar.
It's literal, while not being literally true.
After this "You need to come down from the space station and land, young lady!" drivel it's back to Gabe's tight narration. She was out at the bar with "friends," which I'm assuming is code word for various electronic devices when things went south. Patrons hold up open hands and beer bottles, but the "ass kicking for violators" once promised by a dive bar is not in evidence.
Back to our bubble-headed glass user, who claims there was a lot of "animosity." Please, stop killing words that used to be good and full of legitimate meaning. What to do in the face of this Technophobia? Well, you turn on the video and start recording them, of course! I'll show you who can display the worst possible public behavior! I haven't even begun to fight!
There were also "negative comments" and our tech-head looks like she's on the verge of breaking into tears. "They said bad things about my camera-face!" Children starving, war atrocities, massive government corruption and this is what I get emotional about. Sometimes I think there might actually be some negative aspects of our current societal direction.
"Everyone's racist against FaceCam Americans!"
She then mentions how the evil normals were trying to shield themselves from being recorded and insists "It wasn't on!" even as we see the footage that was collected when she, you know, had it turned on. It doesn't take Encyclopedia Brown to see the problem with this.
I recorded this while it was turned off.
We get an appeal to "They didn't understand it!" which I guess would carry more weight if she actually knew the difference between "off" and "on." Then, the Luddites turn hostile. Well, sort of. One obscurantist tells our technology booster that she's "killing the scene." Hey, I didn't put in all this "make the scene" work just so my moment of triumph could be snatched away by a Google victim.
Then we get the big payoff, as a "towel was thrown" and Gabe offers Zapruder film-style analysis of this critical moment, complete with a giant orange immobile arrow that is actually correctly lined up with the offending cloth for about a tenth of a second.
Clearly the towel came from the grassy knoll.
Some other barfly also makes a halfhearted attempt to grab at the glasses, complete with slo-mo Sports Center replay, but it's so lame there really isn't much to say about it. How about more rambling? We're told that this technology could prevent these kinds of incidents.
It will prevent the incidents we just saw it cause. There might be a small logical problem here.
Most people love the Google Glass, in spite of the massive visual evidence to the contrary we just witnessed. What happened in that bar was a actually horrific anomaly, one last pathetic gasp from a past that needs to die. She keeps ranting about the benefits of this product with all the numb sincerity of a victim of cultic brainwashing. We're told we'll be won over if we "actually try them on." Yes, let's. Come down to the center. Take a personality test and learn about The Savior. Join us, it's blisssss...
Gabe, clearly as fed up with this b.s. as I am gives a quick "peace out."
Aaron Zehner is the author of "Posts from the Underground," now available in paperback and e-book. Read free excerpts here and here.
His first novel "The Foolchild Invention" is also available in paperback and e-book format. Read free excerpts here and here.