Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Blackberry Blitzen

You gotta wonder if your new PDA was a mistake when it's featured in a CNN story a week after you get it. Blackberry Blackout Still Unexplained; No Comment from Research in Motion--it all sounds so sinister. See, I told you popping the battery out to make it behave was a bad idea. Next thing I know it'll start emailing pictures of me swapping smooches with Britney Spears to my boss or something. It's smarter than I am, and now it's bent on revenge. I'm in trouble.

What's really interesting about this article, though, are some of the Blackberry users. That one guy they quoted, Mr. Gold, gets a thousand emails a day. You gotta wonder how many of them advertise things that will make your penis bigger. And the Canadian politician who said all of Parliament shut down because nobody could communicate? Uh, hello? Talk to friends much? There's an old Twilight Zone episode where aliens shut off the power in a suburban community and everybody goes bananas. I guess ol' "Bod" Sterling was a pretty sharp guy after all. Here we have one three-hour gap in emails and somehow that's equated to a catastrophe.

Myself, I didn't notice. Well, I noticed in that I was trying (unsuccessfully) most of the evening to check my bank balance, but I didn't attribute that to any global clusterfuck. I just thought that, once again, I couldn't figure the darn thing out, or it couldn't figure out my bank's Web site, or my bank's Web site couldn't figure out how to talk to this tiny thing, or something like that. I don't remember getting furious and calling Research in Motion to berate them for their three-hour gap in service. Then again, I don't get a thousand emails a day, either. I suppose if I missed 125 emails I might be pretty furious, too. (Does that guy ever sleep?)

Which just goes to show something or other about perceptions about whatever's going on, and attributing the cause to something that may not be so. For years I thought I kept catching colds because I went out with my hair wet. Then, when I was about 28, I discovered I had a rare-but-documented-birth-defect-of-the-sinuses and I needed surgery. I had it. Colds went away. Well, not entirely but I don't get sick but once or twice a year now. Also, from the time I was about six I thought I was some kind of train wreck as a human being because I was too fat, couldn't stay on a diet, ate everything that wasn't nailed down. And gee, there was nothing like parents, kids at school and society in general to buck up that little preconceived notion. All fat women are miserable moral failures, you know. (Fat men, on the other hand -- well, that fella must've played him some ball back in college. Nothin' wrong with him but a healthy appetite!)
Now at the ripe old age of pushin' 40 I discover I have a chronic, incurable illness with no name, that's like alcoholism or drug addiction but involves--food.

Imagine my surprise.

In a way, recovering alcoholics have it easy. They look at a bottle of something and if it says, "Contains Alcohol," they just don't drink it. Food, though--kind of necessary for life. Ya don't eat, ya won't have to worry about any of your other problems either, at least if you do it long enough. Yet the treatment, such that there is, involves the same treatment program that's helped zillions of alcoholics. There's an Overeaters Anonymous, people. Yeah, it's hokey, and yeah, it talks about God every five seconds, but I go. Look, I'm the most cynical person on the planet, practically, and I wouldn't have hung around with these folks for five minutes if it didn't, somehow, work. It does. It's weird, but I've decided I'm okay with weird, at least on that level.

This may surprise you, but even though there's this very strong Judeo/Christian thing going on in AA, OA and the related Twelve Step groups, there's no conflict with Buddhism, at least that I can see. The whole Buddhist mindset of remaining in the present moment and being mindful of your actions totally fits in with the Twelve Step thing. To say nothing of this idea that you need to take your hands off the controls and let God drive because you keep crashing into a wall. I'm not especially good at that, but One Day At A Time and so on.

So anyway, next time my Blackberry gives me fits, I'm going to find out if there's something else going on besides a chronic screw loose in the operating system (me). And one of these days I'm going to get my mind around the idea that I couldn't stay on a diet and I ate everything that wasn't nailed down, but it wasn't my fault. It's a disease. Kind of like malformed sinuses.

(Like how I came full circle on that one?)

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