... and no, I don't mean the latest round of trillions of dollars looted from grade schoolers and handed out with a pharisaical display of faux-compassion. I mean smartphones and TV.
Last night, one of our sons came over to do his laundry and eat fried chicken and biscuits in celebration of Robert E. Lee's birthday. After we had munched, we watched bad TV - Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! While we watched, we all played games or surfed social media sites on our phones. We commented on this to each other. The shows weren't enough to amuse us, we needed stimulation from our phones as well.
It is a credit to our devotion to asceticism that we did not hire nubile, Asian girls* to come to our house and massage us at the same time. Truly, it was like unto the trials of Job.
It was legs and thighs, bathed in plain buttermilk for a few hours. I read later that I should have seasoned the buttermilk first. The dredge was regular flour with a variety of seasonings - paprika, Slap Ya Mama, garlic powder, poultry seasoning and pepper. I fried them for 10-12 minutes at 315 and they were delicious. Mary says to keep the oil at such a low temperature to allow the chicken to cook while not burning the crust. She, of course, was right.
|Without an egg wash and another layer of breading, the crust was light and delicate.|
Like social media and politically-bent news, they're more addiction than tool. I try to put mine down as much as possible, but I'd be lying to say that I was even remotely successful at keeping it away from my face. We were recently watching a Tom Selleck Jesse Stone movie and I was playing my brick-breaker game. I could just imagine big Tom towering over me in my living room, asking why I was bothering to play his movie if I wasn't going to watch it. Those camera angles all had purposes and I wasn't appreciating the team's artistry.
Guilty as charged, Mr. Selleck.
My conclusion from all of this is that giving in to constant stimulation isn't as much of a generational thing as we'd like to pretend. Yes, our kids are more addicted, but we're well down that path as well. And no, we can't quit any time we want.
Fishes To The Rescue
I've been teleworking a lot lately. I'll confess that while I keep one monitor devoted to work, I would sometimes keep the other on Twitter. It was horrible. I've since switched over to explore.org's Underwater Manatee-Cam at Blue Spring State Park. That's much better and I would argue it improves, if not my productivity, certainly my mood and calmness. The fish are slow and soothing and the blue-green water provides a serene backdrop. Much better than the endless klaxons of social media.
* - It's a sign of the times that I fought with this phrase even though it immediately came to mind and provided exactly the imagery I wanted. Should I say "Asian?" How about "nubile?" When you read it, you know exactly what I mean - the kind of indulgence you might choose if you were one of our Tech Overlords or a highly-placed minion thereof.
It's a similar sign of the times that I tweeted a photo of the chicken and mentioned that we were celebrating Lee's birthday, but took it down a few hours later, fearing possible repercussions.
This isn't a Brave, New World, it's a Fearful, New World. I hate it already.