It’s Complicated


James Burke and his late 1970s series Connections must be to blame for why the Professor and I always feel compelled to link up random comments about small seemingly innocuous “things” with their place in the far larger scheme of things. All those little bits of our world that we have become accustomed to, that we attribute or ascribe, that we deny or decry, sometimes have far different origins and infinitely more complex backstories than we take the time to consider.

Bringing such thoughts to others’ attention inevitably gets us into trouble. There seems to be a really fine line between revelation and lecture where offering up an alternate explanation for why things are often comes off as just plain pedantic. In real life, physical or verbal indications give one a relatively good idea of which direction the conversation will be going but in the virtual world context is variable and tone is highly subjective. Sometimes we are left unsure of just how much more to say or even whether to pursue the thread.

Our interactions on social media can be problematic for no good reason and bring to mind that uncontrollable kid with no censorship filters at the luau running around arms flailing, screaming “Why? Look at that! NO!” and then crawling under the table howling “Impossible!” when you offer an answer. Entering into such “discussions” becomes a fire-walk of promethean proportions. Meanwhile, his parents are otherwise occupied or (un)concerned and the guests are casting sideways glances at each other. We are left with the impression that maybe it is better just to drop it and help ourselves to some of the better libations. But doesn’t someone have to say something?

What to do, what to do…

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Wonder – Week 2


there be dragons in tom’s garden – an iphoneography collaboration

Once upon a time, we stated rather emphatically that we didn’t see what the big deal was with fancy cel phones. As long as reception wasn’t tinny and the numbers on the keypad were large enough to see without changing glasses, everything was about as good as it could get. Texting was for kids who didn’t care about the nuances of conversation – we needed the very clear and easily decipherable tone of voice to let us know whether the response to our being late was fine or fine. The no-frills phone did its duty, suffered being dropped, stolen by the dog and left overnight in a -20C car but it eventually outlived its usefulness. Said device was unceremoniously passed to our elderly mother-in-law (who was more than pleased that she could now ring us from the aisles of her favourite grocery store) and replaced, much to Miss Z’s chagrin, with the then-latest iPhone. We were doubtful about the hype but soon smitten by its charms.

We now tell anyone who’ll listen that this phone is the best ever. Not because of the quality of pictures it takes or the fabulous editing apps, instant access to alarm clocks and weather reports, messages and colour-pickers, translators and maps or even the built-in dog whistle. It has let us become connected in ways we would never have thought possible, made us more productive in a spontaneous way, given us the tools to create every single day and most importantly, to share our vision with people all over the globe in a fraction of a second. We even use it to call home once in a while – such is the miracle of modern technology. Like this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme, every time we swipe onto the homepage we – Wonder – where our little portable universe will take us.

Last week, Across the Bored enquired – ““What shape does wonder come to you in?” – Swirling leaves and sunlit skies, the grasp of a hand or babies’ sighs, lions that play as cats or cats who would be lions, fireworks, roller coasters, neon signs … We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.