(This haiku was inspired by “R.I.P. Blockbuster, You Frustratingly Magical Franchise, You” by Kevin Fallon in the Daily Beast)
RIP Blockbuster Video
By Jen Maidenberg
Neighborhood stop for
high school dates rated PG.
Press play. Then make out.
What You Need to Know About Me Before You Read My Tip
I like to curse. I think people who curse are cooler than people who don’t. I think people who don’t read blogs because the author uses curse words are over-sensitive. I used to have a blog called The Wellness Bitch. I like to scream, “Fuck,” really loudly when I stub my toe or drop something on it. When I say Fuck really loudly when I get hurt it makes me physically feel better. All my kids, ages 5 – 10, have said the F word out loud at least twice with my permission. (Two of them have a hard time differentiating between the F sound and the Th sound so at least one of them probably said THUCK. ) I have to hold back sometimes from saying to my kids, “Are you fucking kidding me?” because despite how much I like to emphasize my surprise, I know I don’t want them saying that phrase to their friends or teachers. All in all, I want to live in a world where people curse, but don’t want them cursing at me. For instance, I don’t want to ever be on the recipient end of “you are a f-ing …” well… anything.
If you like to curse, move to Israel where nobody gives a SHEET about cursing. Three year olds drop their pacifiers on the ground and say, SHEET! 10 year olds miss a goal on the soccer field, and they scream, SHEEEEEEET! Not to mention, every one and their 90 year old grandmother says “dafuk” which is basically a morphed Hebrew version of the F word.
It should have been obvious (but it wasn’t) that curse words not in your native language lose their strength. Which is why “shit” is something Israelis of all ages say by the way, without a second thought. (Including my own angelic little 7 year old.) Israelis don’t even consider “shit” a curse word. It doesn’t belong to them. It belongs to English speakers
But say “Lekh tezdayen!” to an Israeli and you might just make them flinch, or so I learned the other day when I said it a little too loud in my office coffee break room. Silly me, I thought I was being the cute immigrant. Turns out I was being foul.
Words have strength … until we decide they don’t.
And that, my friends, is one to grown on.
The internet, while seemingly a solution to the problem of the environmental impact of paper, is in fact turning me into a murderer.
For the past decade, I’ve been an obnoxiously devoted supporter of replacing paper with screens.
I’ve forsaken writing, receiving, and hoarding handwritten letters in exchange for emails. I’ve replaced the amusing 20 minutes I used to spend browsing the greeting card aisles of the Hallmark store in exchange for working too hard on a mildly humorous Facebook birthday greeting. I’ve even given up one of my greatest pleasures — lounging in a hot bath with a paperback — because now I read on Kindle and I’m too afraid of electrocution to bring my IPAD within five feet of a pool of water.
Did Al Gore, when he created the internet, carelessly forget about this thing called evolution that has now made it literally impossible for me to read on screen anything longer than 300 words?!
Yes. I admit it. I cannot read on screen anything longer than six paragraphs. All those articles I share on Twitter? Only read the first 300 words. Skimmed the rest. Occasionally I will force myself to read an entire 1000-word post of a good friend first by leaning in (thank you Sheryl Sandberg) and then by literally hugging the monitor close to my face, forcing my mind to process each and every word.
When I really need to read something I don’t want to read — because for some reason, people keep writing ARTICLES, CONTRACTS, and DOCUMENTS longer than 300 words and I am professionally bound to edit and/or respond to those documents — I print them out on paper. I have to. Otherwise, I black out and find myself mindlessly scrolling Pinterest.
Yes, tree killing is coming back. Watch. You’ll see. You and me — we’re headed towards a killing spree.