Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Time's up

C.S. Lewis famously noted that time passes at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whoever you are, whatever you do. C.S. Lewis was right. But now he’s wrong. Now we have Facebook.

It’s not that Facebook and its electronic allies like e-mail, video games and blogs eat up time. It’s that they wreck the ratio. Watch someone burn up half an hour, an afternoon, a day on Facebook. Then ask them how long they’ve been on it. “Just a few minutes,” they’ll say. Watch them burn up a summer, a year, a relationship, a lifetime, staring at the screen and they’ll tell you they’re on it maybe ten minutes a day.

This is not a rant. It’s an observation, and one of the people I’m observing most closely is myself.

And I’m only making things worse. United Feature Syndicate and I just went live with the Official Frazz Facebook Page. And by “United Feature Syndicate and I,” what I mean is apparently “United Feature Syndicate.” I’ve already burned up an entire morning trying to figure out how to get onto it, let alone how to update it with each day’s new strip and some quick comments, which is the plan. Once I do, I’ll also link to it from this blog and back again, because if you’re going to thumb your nose at C.S. Lewis, you might as well do it reading Frazz and whatever insight I can pull from my sixty minutes per hour, 1,440 per day, 524,160 per year, around 7 per mile in a good run, 1.5 per kilometer on a good bike ride and someday, dammit, 1.5 per hundred yards for any length of time in the water.

But unless you can figure out how to get there yourself, you’ll have to wait another 2,800 minutes until my next blog post while I make sure I don’t get any further behind on strip and magazine deadlines, which approach WAY faster than 60 minutes per hour and fade away much slower. Not only did C.S. Lewis fail to anticipate Facebook, he didn’t know about the Deadline Doppler Effect. Some genius he was.

C.S. Lewis wasn’t the only genius who tried to explain time and came out the worse for it. None other than Albert Einstein (actually many other geniuses, and t-shirt printers galore, said the same thing in slightly different words) said time was a conspiracy to keep everything from happening at once, and we’ve all had days where it couldn’t have been more clear that that was a big crock.

Actually, time is such a vague, nebulous entity that hardly anyone can comment on it without coming up wrong.

Except Groucho Marx, who said, “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

And it goes by slowly while grown-ups like me whine about it. Wow. Where did my morning go?


Liz said...

Congrats on getting the Facebook page up. I'd comment on it, but my laptop is warded against Facebook with garlic and horological symbols.