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Van Gogh in Relation to Me

Van Gogh’s Starry Night

The other day I was driving home and my iPod started playing Don McLean songs. I listened to American Pie, and then Vincent came on afterwards. I always knew American Pie was his most successful song, and I’ve always determined that Vincent was at worst second best. But I had never actually pored over the lyrics of Vincent before. I didn’t know what it was about. I sat there, driving along, when I had an epiphany—you know, one of those moments where you connect the dots—and realized, for the first time in my life, that this song was about Van Gogh. It came to me during one of the last parts of the song when McLean sings “starry starry night” again. And then I realized that Daffodils was another painting by Van Gogh…and it’s well-documented that he was insane…and probably because he was in love. Wow, I was such an idiot. Truth be told, if I heard this song ten years ago I wouldn’t have realized the allusions to the paintings anyway, but it was still an eye-opener.

It reminds me of the time where my friend made the connection between the words shepherd and sheep (“oh oh sheep herd”), and it was one of those moments where I felt glad that no one else was with me, because they definitely would have laughed at me and my childish glee—“I made a connection! All by myself! Ha Ha!”—and I might never have had the chance to live it down.

I’m not the Mac Guy, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t Mr. PC

I was sitting in my boss’s office a few weeks ago, just talking, wasting time. We started talking about technology—ramblings that moved from portable GPS devices to iPods to Google’s purchase of a phone company. And then it hit him. He said, “You know, I’m the PC guy, and you’re the Mac guy.” If you don’t know what that means, other than betraying both of the general ages in this friendship, he was entirely right. I do own a Macbook.

Mac Guy and PC Guy

This one stray comment, seemingly a dawning realization on his part through our meandering conversation, hit me hard. Are Macs cool to the younger generation? Is that the only reason I have one? I suppose they are generally accepted to be sleeker and more stylish. They are advertised as such. And mostly to the younger generation as well.

In my case, Macs are regarded as the proper computer choice for my field of expertise, but if, say, I weren’t in that particular field I think I still would use a Mac because of its stability—compared to PCs.

But more importantly, in my boss’s revelation I began to see how he viewed me: someone more cutting-edge than himself, a little more technologically-savvy, at least twenty years his junior, and with plain blue clothes and very little facial hair. I’m nothing but a geek to him.

Am I “with it”? I do have a Facebook account. Should I disable it and walk around the world like the rest of the wandering youth without one? Or maybe I should be like my boss, someone who doesn’t see its merits and probably doesn’t really care about them either. He might not even know what one is, and I’ve had one for over two years.

If I had a better brain, one with a quicker wit and a flair for outrageous humor, I would edit my Facebook account. I am Facebook friends with one such person, a former classmate of mine from school. He created an entirely false account—a fake name, and a catchy one at that, with a running lists of honors, awards, misdeeds, and funny anecdotes this character supposedly did.

Spanning at least three “Page down” scrolls, this page is an enormous background for someone who doesn’t even exist, and I find it daring and hilarious. I picture a scene at Facebook Headquarters, in an underground bunker—though their offices are ironically probably in an Apple-like office building—mouthing into walkie-talkies.

Crssssshhhh Message to Base: We can’t find an actual birth record for User ID # Niner Ocean Beach Eightball Zebra. Over. Crssssh

Crsshhhhhh Keep looking. Google his name, he lists many accolades. Over. Crsssssh

I have read about people who instead of deleting their accounts over the data mining of Facebook, have edited them to portray information they could care less about. Copying and pasting random paragraphs of obscure articles found within the bowels of the internet, posting self-referencing hyperlinks, naming “Ponies, riding ponies, buying ponies, grooming ponies, and betting on ponies” as their interests. The information ruins the data Facebook receives, and these users are doing their small part to divert it.

I’m starting to think my level of technological-savvy is actually slightly below normal, and that my boss is the one who has been left in the dust. I demand that I be perceived as normal. Though just yesterday, I couldn’t figure out how to print from the new Microsoft Word!

However, I think this whole post proves that I am a geek, and now there is no going back. It’s time to embrace it.