Some of you may or may not have heard that the next co-chair of the FCC transition team for the Obama administration plays World of Warcraft. This, in and of itself, is not news. But the way in which he plays does make a difference. It signals a major transition of what social activities men use to keep up with each other.
More often than not, a generation or two ago, golf was the major shared activity that lots of men used to facilitate hours of social interaction. There are entire literatures based on the bonds made over a round on the links. Massively-Multiplayer online games share many of the same attributes as golf, but allow for people to get together from anywhere in the world to play together. They both take a few hours to complete, involve a good amount of social interaction with your fellow players, aren't particularly physically challenging, and appeal to wealthy-enough people that can afford the necessary tools for playing (clubs or computers).
I won't go into way too much detail because this topic has been covered by people paid to write well about it, but I will say that I have noticed this trend quite a lot amongst my peers. One of the big reasons I play World of Warcraft is to keep in touch with a couple of close friends that live in Boston. We often fire up our computers, set up our headsets and microphones, and talk about any sort of thing while we work together to kill a big dragon.
Now that I'm out in California it gives us some common ground to talk about, which keeps the lines open and leads to closer, more personal conversations about things above and beyond just the game.
An ear-splitting bang sounded out around 2pm this afternoon at the office. A woman shrieked, thinking a gun had been fired. I can't blame her because it was just that loud. I wasn't scared, however, because I had heard the sound of a bicycle tire burst before. I had left my bike within 10 feet of a window, and the sun had just lined up to cook the air inside the tires of my bike this afternoon.
I headed out to the nearest bike shop, a 3 mile roundtrip walk, to get replacement parts. It wasn't cheap, either because it wasn't just the inner tubing that burst but the external tire, too. It's not cheap to get a replacement for a very specific kind of racing tire.
And to top it all off the walk to the bike shop goes through what could courteusly described as low-income housing. I got rushed by three large dogs (hooray for fences), and almost got peed on by another through a fence if I hadn't noticed the raised leg and dodged away.
Fun day, especially when you've only had 3 hours of sleep because you like video games too much.
In California this year there is a Proposition to amend the California constitution stating that marriage is only between a man and a woman. I've seen a lot of silly advertising on both sides since it's such a highly-charged issue. Things have gotten dirty as voting day approaches, as you could expect when one side sees their religious views under fire while the other sees bigotry nearly put into our state's constitution. Claims on both sides have been crazy, but minutely based in truth.
In a word, bullshit.
One good thing about the past 8 political years is that I've developed a sophisticated bullshit radar. It's so strong that I have just learned to turn off any program "covering" news save the ones that make fun. My radar failed me today when I couldn't ignore an online advertisement that completely took the cake.
Marriage is between a woman and a man?
... that woman and man?
Vote Yes on Proposition 8 so Joe Biden and Sarah Palin get married?
What the hell?