Fun

Technology and evolution of men

Progress in technology leads to changes in everyday devices, and changes our everyday life in general which leads to questions about the progress of men using the technology. For instance, over the last decades, the televisions have been getting slimmer, the phones are getting smarter, even laptops have been getting lighter and yet powerful that they have replaced our notebooks and gaming devices alike. With the advent of these powerful appurtenances of modern life, men have been getting more lazy and sedentary, making them act and look much less brighter in comparison.

With every 2GB increase of memory in our devices we stop using an equal amount of ours. There’s no point in remembering anything when Google, Alexa and Siri are available at every fingertip. We would rather use our brains in processing information and performing analytics. Technology, though has been thinking along the same lines, and with compute power getting less expensive, machine learning has come back with vengeance. It may eventually eliminate our use of the analytical brain too. It might not be a bad development either, because our generation has been reducing its exposure to material that may tax the brain. We scan hundreds of images every day on social media, we read texts with word-limits and even fiction flashes by our eyes, most of us wouldn’t even do the reading or photo surfing if we found a Youtube channel with the same content. The enormous amount of data that is accessible, and which is actually being accessed everyday numbs our senses of perception. One would conclude that we men are going to look and act outdated very soon.

That’s where the skeptics are wrong!

We are a generation obsessed with getting slimmer, fitter, and agile. Not just watching calories and developing a taste for green tea, we men have even embraced slim fit jeans that gave and still gives headache to many women, they of course have adopted these much before. We all know that women evolve faster because they go by intuition not by the need for survival. So coming back to men, we have been taking our race to catch up with our sleeker, faster and smarter devices and social behavior seriously, by upping the ante and moving on to skinny fit from slim. It needs a lot of balls, or lack thereof, to fit into these fits, something that our women won’t appreciate, not that they don’t have issues with circular appendages themselves. The modern alpha male walks out of the fitting room wearing the ultra skinny fit and looks disgusted at the slims and the skinnies. As he walks away with pride, one notices the severe punctuations in his gait, not that it matters because he has the evolved fingers that will win him all the females.

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Fiction, Fun

Bildungsroman

All his early life Bildung never felt at home in his hometown. As a consequence, he spent most of these years in finding the reason why he felt so, finding facts and faults with the town. Soon he was the living expert on Glevum, or more formally, Colonia Nervia Glevensium, a fort town of Roman Britain. It became a “colonia” of retired legionnaires in AD 97, much before Bildung was born. He could go on and on about the history, topology and the peculiarities of the place, none of which impressed him.

His father had joined the Roman army when he was young and full of stubble and therefore spurned by his lover in the little village on the banks of Rhine. The girl didn’t mind the stubble but wasn’t impressed because of his lack of education. So when his son was born, the legionary made sure he got ample education and be kept away from his ancestral homeland. The only tie he kept with Rhineland was the name, Bildung.

One of the reasons why Bildung hated the town was that everyone called him Bill and threw dung at him laughing and shouting that Bildung is German. One day laced with dung Bill had come crying to his father, who was scandalized by the aspersion. He started shouting – Bildung’s not German, Bildung’s a Roman, again and again till the neighbors came and asked him to get the name changed. That is how Bildung became Bildung’sRoman. This development threw the dung throwers off their balance and the practice stopped. Bill, however never forgot the ordeal and often had dreams of dung, of various hues, shapes and texture. Most of his girlfriends left the next morning because of the disgust they saw in Bill’s eyes as he sat up at midnight and looked at them, face contorted and nose wrinkled beyond recognition.

His peers didn’t forget the good times either, even though they bitterly conceded that Bildungsroman now, they never treated him as one of their own. He had trouble adjusting to school life, college life, and work life. His complaints however were not heeded to by his father. He would listen patiently to Bill’s whining, look thoughtfully at him and say – when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Bill would complaint he was not in Rome, but to that, his father would say – it’s not where you are that matters, but who you are. Over time, such senile statements started to have a subliminal effect on Bill, and the seeds of emotional and moral undergrowth took shape under the muck filled canopy that occupied his mind.

He grew up to be an emotional and moral grown-up, often making the concluding arguments in debates, fights and break-ups. His fame attracted many friends, Romans and countrymen who lent him more than their ears. The tales of dung were buried under the tales of Bildungsroman.

Centuries later, Johann Wolfgang Goethe wrote the story of Bill, his
great-great great grandfather and called it Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship. Wildungsroman, or the more popular Bildungsroman is still used to describe the genre of writing that details the moral and emotion growth of the young protagonist.

Written for Genre Writing Challenge

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Fiction, Fun

Did you check the date before you used it?

Story starter challenge from The Haunted Wordsmith tweaked.

The keeper of dates pushed the date into the machine just in time and the sun rose in the east lighting up the sand with a shade of orange that would have melted many hearts. The whole scene was wasted on him though, the keeper of dates, like his father, was a grave person.

Some said it came from his mother’s side of the family, while some blamed the presence of the communal grave that his family has been using for centuries. Not because it was communal, but because how it was placed in the centre courtyard of the house. On it grew the tree that sustained life, providing dates since the day the settlement came to existence.

Most people assumed his job to be the most trivial of all the jobs that could be carried out in the circumstances. No one was aware of his loneliness, but that was least of his worries.

With the dates getting scarce every other day, he had to subscribe to the local advertising agency inviting much criticism from the elders. The dates the agency provided were not exceptional but they did ensure time ticked on. The festival of fasting was approaching too, adding to his worries. Fasting men wanted dates as if it their lives depended on it. There were rumors of camels getting restless at night and not due to flatulence which would have made sense. The reason was attributed to the shortness of the days and nights, they simply didn’t get enough exercise.

The quality of dates was in decline and he had to be lenient in sieving out the bad ones. Sometimes the nights ended before his dreams did.

Today however, he woke up feeling good. Taking the first date that came in his hand from the sack he inserted into the machine. The machine creaked and coughed and time stopped. The keeper of dates was puzzled and hit the machine on all sides to make it work again, instead he heard the sound of a dot matrix printer and a slip of paper appeared in the rear end of the machine.

It was smeared with the remnants of the date gone stale and read – “did you check the date before you used it?”

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