Glass Houses

 Standing with my wife (middle) and friend Judy in the greenhouse portion of Garden And Glass.

Standing with my wife (middle) and friend Judy in the greenhouse portion of Garden And Glass.

I've been challenged in the past 24 hours, mostly in terms of assumptions and attitudes, and I'm pretty jazzed. Bring it on.

It happened twice this morning, a couple of stray articles grabbing my attention for a few minutes and causing a big Huh. Both dealt with topics I get a little excited about and maybe don't analyze all that deeply, and both made me stop and think. I think Saturday gets credit for that, then. Some days we're just more open to suggestion, maybe.

Neither of these really rocked my world, in the sense that I thought Whoa! Back up, cowboy. I'd thought about these things before. It was more a question of emphasis, and for me the emphasis has to do with how public I should be in musing on these things.

One was just general health and fitness, a subject I've been a little obsessed with for the past decade. There's nuance there, for sure, and I've always been aware that I'm looking at quality of life and personal goals, transforming oneself, changing patterns, etc. I'm not thinking about longevity, and I'm always aware that I'll most likely die from something I can't possibly prevent by stepping on the scale each morning.

Anyway. It's just fun to get woke, on a Saturday morning when nothing much is happening. Like someone decided to shake my shoulder, point out a misconception and move on. I dig it.

...

The other one happened yesterday, when I was out on an adventure. Close friends from the east coast were in town, and while we made plans to hook up they mentioned a desire to see the Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit at Seattle Center (built for the 1962 World's Fair; it's where the Space Needle lives). It's a permanent home for some spectacular examples of this Northwest native's work, opening six years ago, although we'd never been and really probably never would have without the prodding of guests. Which is a cliche as well as being a real thing, so good for them and us.

I'd written a little screed that morning, my Friday a bit different from today. The first thing I saw on Facebook, in fact, was a friend casually tossing out personal information again, to some FB page that asked a question. A question that had hundreds of comments, which is what puzzles me the most: I can see if a friend shares a quiz, even an annoying one that poses too many problematic personal questions, and the compulsion to play along. I just don't get feeling the need to throw a comment into the bottomless pit of random strangers' feeds.

And I definitely don't understand why this continues to happen, after the Cambridge Analytica and Facebook and Zuckerberg news of the past month. Hence the screed, with the new realization that we're all not only complicit, but making it worse for everyone. Your personal information is sometimes also mine, and we might share common things that make grasping the connection a pretty easy thing.

One of my friends called me a hypocrite, which was the interesting part. I was out with our friends, and noticed the alert but didn't have much time to process. What the hell? was my response, basically. Just another tidbit in my daily adventures with social media. It only bothered me a little, and I was with the right group, as we all had plenty of experience with people in our communities who have peculiar takes on things. I shrugged it off for the most part, but I still understood what had happened.

It's what always happens, these days, particularly in this environment. Facebook is infrastructure now, as far as I'm concerned. You can definitely buck the trend, refuse to own a car, bike everywhere, only take electric mass transit...and you can certainly try to shame everyone else, but that's a deliberate look and it's not interesting to me, and someone else gets tucked away in my mind.

I don't know how to avoid the cliche: I just don't have the fucks to give. I'm an extremely polite, nice, even kind person. I don't want to argue with people, and unless you're a grifter who wakes up my inner Howard Beale, I probably won't engage.

But I'm not interested, as I say, and I'll just slip you inside my filing cabinet of people whose opinions I ignore. I don't have the time or interest to be patient with coyness or passive-aggression or cowardice or whatever is happening here. If you change my mind, I will be grateful. If you want to debate, that can be fun and interesting. If you want to misconstrue or politicize or just be cute in some sort of effort to embarrass me or force me into admitting that you're right, and you're wrong? I apologize for the yawning; it's an involuntary response, really. And I don't dislike you at all. I just find you boring.

Not Chihuly glass, though. That was something.

Chuck Sigars2 Comments