About to hit up my Wii Fit for the first time in months. Is it wrong to fear being judged by a video game?
Shamed in Syndey
No, it’s not wrong. It’s entirely appropriate to fear your video game.
Electronics are in a position to exert an enormous influence over us. It’s not like we talk to people anymore. And that’s because we don’t like people anymore. People have opinions, they judge us, and even though they can be nice, and soft, and sweet, they can also be screaming bringers of death. They take our Sunday paper when we’re not looking, and late at night they pee behind our house. Ahem.
Electronics have no expectations of us. They don’t mind if you cut in line ahead of them, or if you cheat on them with other electronics. Or if you go into the work fridge, and even if electronics’ name is written in big black letters that say “This is iPod’s Lunch–do not eat”, we can eat that lunch and iPod wouldn’t mind a bit. They’re very accommodating.
You can talk to your Smartphone. Your Garmin can talk to you. Your microwave feeds you and your sounds-of-the-ocean clock lulls you to sleep. If they could do a fist bump and drink a beer, they’d be our best friends.
And then there’s the Wii Fit. The Wii Fit is terrible and mean. It tells you you’re fat, then proceeds to kick your ass. There’s no reasoning with it. There’s no stopping it. It is the Terminator of exercise. It will make you lose weight, but it will make you lose weight. You are part of the losing-weight equation, my friend, and you will damn well work as expected! Lift those knees, maggot!
After years of being coddled by nicer appliances, Wii Fit illustrates what will happen when the machines eventually take over the world. Oh wait…[looks around]. Damn.
(If you’re looking for more reasons to be afraid, just look at what Wii Fit has done to pop culture. This woman is now famous because her boyfriend posted this video. Guys, you can thank me in the form of unfettered adulation.)
Everytime I hear the word “mashup” I think of mashed potatoes. They’re not talking about potatoes, are they?
Baffled in Boise
The word “mashup” is a new word that people are using to describe a combination of two or more things, usually of a different origin. Like if you put deer legs on a table. Or table legs on a deer. Like that. It’s a combination. I have no idea why they don’t just call it a “combo”, except that fast food restaurants everywhere have co-opted that term.
“How come this jazz-punk combo doesn’t have fries and a drink with it?”
“Because it’s a mashup!”
“I’ll have the #4 watercolor and mixed-media combo, please.”
“I’m sorry ma’am, this isn’t a drive-thru. You’ve crashed your car into the front of an art gallery. Oh, and that’s a mashup.”
There are lots of examples of mashups around the internet these days, some of them are very innovative and exciting. Some are hackneyed and soul-sucking. Some are, well, this.
Ceil Kessler has been writing since she was a small child, at first in kindergarten with crayons, moving to pencils in first grade, and pens shortly thereafter. She was introduced to the computer later in life, and immediately stopped writing and began to surf the internet. Years later, she realized that you could also write stuff on a computer, and that’s where we are today.
She now consults on business intelligence software, markets and publishes the magazine “Business Perks”, runs the Laurel Highlands Vegetarian Society, obsessively reads her just-published columns, and heads a team in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s “Walk for a Cure” on September 17th. To join or donate to Team Kessler, go to the Teams page and find Team Kessler in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Follow her on Twitter at @ceilck.