Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Insulated

About a week ago, I was at work when I saw my friend Jamar drinking some kind of flavored grape drink. It wasn't Gatorade, it was more like a knockoff energy drink that's like Gatorade, only packaged to look slick and modern.

"That's disgusting," I said. "I bet you like grape soda too."

"I love grape soda," said Jamar.

Now, grape soda--really, anything grape-flavored except actual grapes--and I have a simple understanding, namely I hate that shit and won't let it touch my lips. I think we've been able to replicate pretty much every flavor with varying degrees of success*, but science has simply failed to make artificial grape. It's TERRIBLE. It just tastes like purple--widely acknowledged to be the least tasty of any color. Blue is the best, in case you were wondering.

*We can replicate popcorn in jellybean form, for chrissakes.

Jamar is the first person* I've met IN MY LIFE who will admit to liking grape soda. I see it on supermarket shelves all the time, so someone has to be buying it. You'd think I know more of them.

*It has come to my attention that Adam Small and Marc Puleo both enjoy grape soda. Whatever. Point still stands.

Occasionally, I see advertisements for Christian music on television, and they fascinate me utterly. Apparently there are armies of people who go to these concerts and know every lyric, who close their eyes and do that thing where they lift their arms up in affirmation. That freaks me out a bit. I guess it allows you to commune with your fellow man in the spirit of group worship, but what if, like, someone steals your wallet? I guess theres a lot of trust at these things.

I don't know how popular said music is, but I gather it's got a pretty extensive fan base. I've met two people in my life who listen to it. Ever.

Preference and taste are important things. I may not be my khakis* or the music I listen to, but they define parts of me.

*Do I even own khakis anymore? I should check.

Could I be missing some key element in that whole process? Could all of us?

More than ever, it's appallingly easy to edit one's cultural experience. I don't listen to the radio anymore, so it's not necessary for me to hear music I hate in order to get to music I like. I can know everything about every movie that's out there right now--from plot, to cinematography, to character background--months before opening day. I read sports blogs by writers friendly to sabermetrics and the Red Sox. Ever get mad at something Bill O'Reily or Rush Limbaugh has said? I used to, but not anymore, cause they literally do not exist in my world. I don't know anyone who watches them.

Just now, my friend Yaron is editing movies of trips he's taken. His Mexico trip movie is on Facebook. Maybe fifteen years ago, this would have been a VHS tape. Thirty years ago, a slideshow. He couldn't just put it out there. He'd have to have people watch it, face-to-face.

They wouldn't be forced to, per se, but it'd be awfully rude not to. But now, it's buried somewhere in my mini-news feed on Facebook (made up only of people that I want to know), as an option. Only if I feel like it.

I've only tasted grape soda once in my life. How do I know I still don't like it?

1 comment:

Jamar said...

First of all, I feel honored to have a post "dedicated" to me and my love, or extreme like, of grape soda. Perhaps this will be the start of you beginning to partake in it from time to time. But I digress. I think it's a good thing to become familiar with different cultures even if in the end you still don't like it. We'll discuss at work.