December 4, 2015

GOOD TASTE ALONE | The End of the World

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It’s the last day of publication and, as with birthdays, first and last days of school, moving days and other era-markers, I find myself gripped by the anticlimactic. (Which may come as a surprise considering that I just began a clause with “I find myself,” and if that isn’t an indicator of a flair for the dramatic and climactic even where it doesn’t exist I don’t know what is.) Most people seem to feel this way, myself included. On the biggest days of our lives we are left disillusioned. Largely because we are still alive, I would guess.

Although this is my last blog post of the semester, the world will keep turning, unlikely as that may seem. It will continue to turn until the first day of finals, at which point it will probably stop. I’ve learned not to expect anything different. We wander through different environments, contexts and eras, and it seems like our minds make some sort of concerted effort to smooth out the timeline. Our society makes the opposite effort in some ways, making a big deal out of life transitions and new beginnings. Maybe that’s why we expect things to feel more climactic than they actually do; despite the best efforts of motivational posters, life has only one beginning and one end. The crests and troughs of day-to-day life have been blown out of proportion in order to serve as mini-beginnings and mini-ends. In reality, life goes on, and our search for adrenaline is nothing more than a thirst for death.

Just kidding! That’s just one theory. It’s also entirely possible that we just don’t care as much about our lives as we think we do or as we used to in the “good old days.” If I were about 60 years older I would corroborate that assumption by snidely commenting that you can take just as many selfies in college as in middle school. Then I’d get mad at the author of this blog post for taking a dig at an older generation that’s just worried about the state of the world.

And maybe that’s why nothing ever really seems that different. Of course the older generation doesn’t understand why I would want my camera to be able to make phone calls, I mean, my phone to have a camera. And of course I think they’re outdated and unable to keep up with the times or the Kardashians (although the latter is more likely). It’s an old-age struggle. Whoops, age-old struggle. Finals approaching. Enter bad puns. Some of us are resistant to change and some of us embrace it, but all in all, we’re too busy talking about it and debating whether it’s good, bad or a poison to society. Maybe it’s our way of ensuring some constancy. Things may change, but at least we’ll be able to argue about it.

Of course some things aren’t safe and some things aren’t moral but taking selfies, surfing the internet and using your phone to check if a store is open are not among those things. “Doing something worthwhile” and embracing modern trends don’t have to be mutually exclusive, if we take charge and inspire worthwhile trends. I’m not thrilled that a number of babies in 2015 were named after Instagram filters. But I also don’t think it’s the end of the world (although that would be climactic).

Sarah is a sophomore Psychology and Performing & Media Arts major in the College of Arts and Sciences. She likes to exist sometimes, but mostly just recite lines from The Office. Her favorite food is oatmeal raisin cookies dipped in curry sauce, and she can usually be found using the words “film” and “movie” interchangeably, highlighting her favorite words in the dictionary or trying to transcribe feral cat noises into the next groundbreaking Twitter trend. Good Taste Alone appears on Fridays this semester. She can be reached at [email protected].