The Search for Silence

Our minds are poisoned. I hate being so pessimistic but it’s true.

Whats even more heartbreaking? I’m not totally sure were at fault. A combination of the times we live in and the attractiveness of things. If you take a step back and look at your life, you’ll very clearly see a picture of static surrounding you. What is that static you ask? One word I came to find: Noise.

Noise could come in many variations: sounds, screens, opinions, jobs, motives, goals, etc. Really, you name it, it could turn into noise. Believe it or not a bunch of our time is spent in noise. Noise controls, surrounds and for the most part, dictates us. Whether we agree with that notion or not, noise is a constant companion to our lives.

In our homes, we turn on our televisions. In our cars, we turn on the radio. When we exercise, we put on our headphones. Even when waiting in elevators or on hold with customer service, sound fills the void. I challenge you to find an area in your everyday life where you achieve peace and quiet. Report back, please. I promise you the task is sadly difficult.

That’s where the search for silence started for me: the realization that tranquil, calming moments were strangled by a stronger force. I started to see how routine noises had become, how it seeped into my life. And unfortunately, how it didn’t seem to bother me much.

You know, sometimes life has a way of swooping you up and turning the volume on so loud that we forget what no volume is like. Truth is, I can’t say I really miss the silence because as much as I think I’ve experienced it, I haven’t. Neither have you. Think about it. There is so much noise surrounding us. So much clutter, and so much distraction. Maybe it’s because I’m a minimalist at heart but all of this noise was an overwhelming force I had little control over. That bothered me.

A lightbulb then sparked: my quiet was gone, my God given rite to tranquility stolen. Like stillness was something I used to hear about. Like a distant relative that you don’t see any more, that doesn’t come to any family parties. I started thinking very intently about the sense of silence and about what benefits moments of quiet brings. Here’s a crazy thought exercise: What would the world be like if we all had a designated time of quiet? What changes would spark? What realizations as a people would we come to?

One of the biggest realization for me was taking control of my time. I don’t have to live a life of distractions and unnecessary detours. Although it doesn’t always feel like this: I am empowered to choose. The problem is, choosing is hard. Because habits are hard to break, especially bad habits. I started to focus on my bad habits. Social media…noise. Radio……noise. Podcasts……noise. Sports…….noise. I’m not saying all these had to go. But balance had to be achieved. My scale was way out of whack.

Like I mentioned earlier, all of our quiet to noise ratio is overwhelmed by the latter. We just don’t realize it. We’re overpowered and unaware of the noise. That really got me thinking. If I’m so out of balance, it’s impossible to see what I’m missing.

So, what am I missing? Are there benefits? Benefits to having quiet in our lives? Or did silence go by the wayside for a reason. Was it unconsciously chalked up as unnecessary?

Is time worth spent searching for silence?

Well, I deemed yes and i’ve started searching for ways to achieve silence. It meant breaking habits and routines. It meant odd, long spaces of nothing. It meant unnatural long pauses of quiet. It meant many bonfires by myself and long quiet walks. It honestly meant going out of my comfort zone and all I’m used to.

What I’ve found thus far has been startling, though.

I want to talk about focus and reflection a little bit. When I started quieting down elements I sensed something creeping back into my life. Something that was there, but much harder to achieve. I’m talking about focusing. I’m unsure if I’ve been a clearly focused, but knocking down the distraction of noise has helped tremendously.

Looking deeper though, it seemed most of my noise came from my wanting of content. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but I really wanted to know what I was missing in those time blocks of noise. I found that when left to just silence, I was reflecting on my past a whole lot more. Not in a depressing manner, but in a pro active learning objective. This was super interesting to me.

The focus and reflection I achieved that resulted from times of quiet where astounding and equally priceless to me. That’s an amazing notion, huh? That we could possibly produce something priceless with no worldly amount tagged on. In this case, my priceless product of silence was focus and reflection. I was able to think more clearly because I felt so much more in tune with myself. That made sense to me. Connecting with myself was an inability before, now it seems more reasonable based on reflection time in silence.

Of course, It goes without saying that I’m still in the very beginnings of this exercise, but what I’m finding is eye opening and demands personal documentation, in my opinion.

At the end of the day, what are we as a people if we don’t think, focus and reflect? I think piling on so much noise that prohibits silence is an extremely hazardous that equates to us being a whole lot less human as a society.

I fear the value of true, unobtrusive, calming, personal quiet time is fading softly into a dark sea. What I fear even more is that no one even flinches. Like throwing a life jacket is too much of a hassle. Personally, if I lose my quiet time, I lose myself and thoughts with it. Over the past few months, I’ve become aware of how valuable quiet time can be. It can be an escape in times of crisis. It can be as comforting as a warm blanket or as soothing as a hot cup of tea. The truth is silence is what you make it. But you can’t make anything from what you can’t find.

 

“She’s a Blind YouTuber”

I was extremely fortunate to meet Casey Neistat at the Hills Film Festival in New Milford, CT  back when I was making the rounds for my film, The Fiction. He was a genuinely nice guy and gave me some great filmmaking tips. Since then, he has become sort of a youtube sensation to say the least. If you haven’t check out his videos, they are most certainly worth your time. (links below)

His most recent video touched me on a deep level and I thought it was worth sharing. I can’t think of a better way for someone with 7 million subscribers to spend 12 minutes. This was truly sensational and good on Casey to showcase such a inspirational talent.

Casey’s channel

Molly’s Channel

You should subscribe to Molly’s, truly inspirational stuff.

Luca – Age 1

Hard to believe Luca is turning 2. With Liam, it felt more spread out and time was patient. With Luca, days and months have been relentlessly rapid. Luca has grown so much in the past year; from barely walking all the way to running around talking. He is growing fast.

Making his video this year was interesting. There seemed to be a lot of footage of him and Liam. I think thats a good sign, whether Liam admits it or not, they love playing with each other, they love being around each other. The other bunch of his footage was him being his crazy self as demonstrated in the video.

I’m not sure what the next year brings for Luca. The addition of another little one and Liam starting school full time will be interesting changes for little Luca. One thing is for sure though, he will be his happy, always smiling and brightening everyone’s day, self. A priceless gift Lindsey and I don’t deserve but most welcomingly accept.

Happy Birthday Luca. Love you ❤


 

Our Trip to Connecticut (2017)

After many TSA check points, gate changes and traffic jams, we are back home in Georgia. But thats the end of the story. It’s funny, when you return to your normal life its easy to forget where you were just a mere 24 hours prior, geographically and mentally.

For those who don’t know, Lindsey and I spent 3 solid days in Connecticut recently. It was a fantastic time as usual. I’m still feeling a huge deal of thankfulness just being able to travel and see family.

Believe it or not, my intentions were to vlog this trip. I wanted to really capture all we experienced through video. Plus, vlogging continually fascinates my filmmaker senses. At the end the day though, I was worried the pressure of carrying a camera around and ensuring the best shots possible would get to me. I ultimately decided not to vlog but instead go to trustworthy medium. Writing. Maybe one day i’ll vlog a trip, it just didn’t feel right for the one.

· NO KIDS & GOING NORTH  ·

Leaving our kids behind was a tough thing to do. We have a great babysitter and all, but anytime you travel 1000 miles away from your kids, it’s not easy. This was Lindsey’s first time being that far away for multiple days. I thought the distance would be good, though. We needed a break and they were in good hands. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough, but once the dust settled in and we were on our way to the airport everything was fine.

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Me and Lindsey on the plane heading north!

We flew up to JFK on Saturday, June 24th. We had to drop the kids off early and hustle to the airport, but we made it. Even squeezed in a Panera stop. Our flight was on time and super smooth. Two thumbs up JetBlue. I watched the great Werner Herzog‘s latest documentary: “Into the Inferno.” Spectacular as usual. On a side note, that guy is turning into my favorite filmmaker. His filmography spans decades and everything I’ve seen from him is thought-provoking, intelligent and honest. But thats another blog entry.

·  NEW YORK CITY  ·

New York City was anything but smooth. We landed at old faithful JFK and I immediately remembered that I completely forgot the busyness of NYC. The plan was my brother picking us up from baggage claim, dropping us off in Times Square and then Lindsey and I taking the train from Grand Central to CT. Well, that didn’t pan out. Due to enormous traffic constraints, my brother was unable to make picking us up and while he felt awful, I told him no sweat. He had somewhere to be by a certain time and we didn’t want to hold him up. It was sweet of him to try, but traffic was a monster. Lindsey and I ended up taking an Uber into the city. Our driver Chen didn’t speak a word of english. But he knew how to drive to Times Square. All is well.

While in Times Square, many ‘interesting’ things occurred. Too many to list. I’ll highlight the high points. Walking unknowingly through a gay pride parade happened. Needless to say, Lindsey and I were taken a bit off guard. We then were en route to find some food. Well, once again I seemed to forget NYC and Saturday’s tourist demand for food. Everywhere we went there was at least an 2 hour wait. We were starving and would have taken McDonalds. We didn’t though. We were able to score a table at Guy Fieri’s joint and I gobbled a $18 cheeseburger. Not the best cheeseburger in the world, but at that point I really didn’t care. Lindsey ate this exotic looking chicken dish. We both shared desert.

A quick trip to the Disney store for the kids and we were off to Grand Central where we caught the 8:30 train and headed to the homeland. Well, my homeland. Connecticut!

·  CONNECTICUT, CRISP AIR & MORNING TALKS  ·

The minute we stepped off the train in Fairfield, CT I felt at home. The cool breeze whistling through the summer night’s air, the hybrid of city and town, hillside views and those shiny blue license plates. Everything just felt right again. After a quick car ride home from my Mom and Mike and some political/baseball/cultural conversation, Lindsey and I got some well needed rest.

The next morning I woke up early to find my mom sitting on the back deck enjoying the crisp morning air. It was a great opportunity to talk about her recent major life-changing decision. My mom recently retired from her one and only job of 50 years. Although she didn’t leave quite as she would have liked, anyone with knowledge of the specifics would agree it was the right move for her wellbeing.

She seemed in high spirits. She mentioned to me how not working has completely changed her mental health and she even has added some new hobbies. Bike riding, long walks and planting her own garden were actions she just never had the time to do while working full time. I came out of the talk happy for her. She seems to have found peace and contentment in life after work.

·  CHURCH AND ITALIAN FOOD  ·

I was particularly excited for Sunday. The whole reason we came to CT was for my Poppa’s 90th birthday bash which was Sunday PM. But Sunday morning was exciting also. We went to our old church and saw some friendly faces. It’s amazing what places and faces can do. Just being in church and talking to all of our friends immediately brought me back to living there. We also were able to meet the new Pastor, who was super nice and genuine. Seemed like all is going well at FBBC.

After church Lindsey really wanted some good Italian food. So we ventured to Joey Garlic’s, a staple in Plainville, CT. As usual the food was amazing. Sticking to my diet though, I did OK. But that grip was soon to be loosened. We had the pleasure of being accompanied by my best friend Jeremy’s parents at lunch. Lindsey made the statement that she feels so close to Mrs. Lilly (Jeremy’s mom) because when she lived in CT, Mrs. Lilly really treated Lindsey like a daughter. Always checking up on her, always inviting her to places when she knew Lindsey didn’t know many people. Truth is, they are both great people and Lindsey and I were blessed to spend some quality time with them.

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Joey Garlic menu shows proof that in CT “subs” are called GRINDERS for some GA non believers

·  POPPA’S PARTY  ·

We got home from lunch and helped my Mom pack about 8 large dishes of Italian cookies into the back of Mike’s truck and off they went. As they pulled out it hit me how hard she worked over those cookies and planning with my Aunt Chris and Aunt Judy for this party. All three of them really wanted to make this party special. They overwhelmingly succeeded. Anyone who attended would say the same. Their efforts did not go unnoticed.

I’ve thought the whole way home and up until this moment how to put into words my emotions attending this party. The truth is; any words I attempt to type will never meet demand. The three hours at my Poppa’s party very well may prove to be some of the best memories I’ve had the privilege of making.

I left feeling so thankful that we were able to come and experience such a special event. To me, what made it so special was all my family in the same room at the same time just honoring and celebrating this man, who no one would deny is a genuinely great man. There’s something to be said for celebrating someones life. For myself, it really puts things in perspective. Sure, we have stressful days with our jobs, kids, situations, etc. But, thats not the end all be all. We are on this earth for a bigger purpose; to help and treat people well. To be a great role model for our kids, to teach them the right paths. My grandfather did all of those things to perfection.

As long as I live I will never forget that night and all of us saying kind things to our grandfather from the podium. Even if some people didn’t, there was an unspoken feeling that everyone had a collective opinion; he is a great man.

·  BACK AT A FIRE DEPARTMENT  ·

We really wanted to see my cousin Mike, so although late, we went over to his work at Waterbury Fire. The guys he works with are all pretty awesome and didn’t care how long or late we stayed. We had a good talk about many things (as usual) and said our goodbyes for now. A big part of me always wanted to work there. So whenever I get to visit is always special. And yea, hanging out with Mike isn’t so bad either.

·  DAD AND PEPE’S PIZZA  ·

My parents are divorced, so whenever we travel up to CT I always try and spend equal time with my mom and dad. I don’t in anyway look at this as a burden, but an opportunity to have quality time with both independently. So we spent our last day in CT with my Dad and Diane. We headed up to his house around 10am and just hung out a bit.

Dad wanted to take me to the hair salon (where I used to manage) to give him a haircut and help him with some paper work. Its always extremely hard for me to go back to the salon. I have so many memories and vivid thoughts about that place. After all, I spent close to my whole life being there. I miss it. I can’t help but think about the “what if’s” but I pushed forward and tried even harder to be in the moment and spend good time with my dad.

While we headed back to his house I had the window down the whole time. I couldn’t get over how no humidity was in the air. Just a cool breeze all day long. It was so refreshing.

Pepe’s pizza was on my list of “must do’s.” So the whole ride there I was questioning the merits of my diet and how many pizzas I was going to order. Sure enough, I ordered one, but of course devoured it. What I didn’t eat at the restaurant, I polished off for breakfast the next morning. We went to a new Pepe’s, though. This was a first for me. I have only been to the original in New Haven, but the Danbury location was almost just as good. Lindsey was asking me afterwords if I thought it was as good as the original. I didn’t mind the tiny difference, but I told her if I was bringing someone for the first time, I would definitely go to New Haven.

After Pepe’s we headed to a very interesting grocery store called “Stew Leonards“; a Connecticut exclusivity. Not many people know about Stew Leonards, buts it’s basically a circus for super markets. Talking animals all over the place and food samples galore. I could tell Lindsey really enjoyed it though. She got a sample of coffee, cinnamon buns and I think a few other things. Anyways, she was a fan. We headed back to my Dads to just chill out and rest the remainder of the day.

My Dad and I had some good talks about his current situations in CT, continually looking for real estate in Florida and just every day stuff. When your used to spending every minute together at work 6 days a week and now don’t, you’d be surprised how much you miss the presence of that person. At least, thats how I feel with my Dad. Very thankful we got to spend good time together.

·  GOING SOUTH  ·

Our final day was a quick one. We had to leave for JFK at around 10am because traffic into the city is always an unknown. But before we left my brother Mike and Urszela came to say goodbye and pick up their car they so nicely allowed us to use. My brother is currently planning on building a house in front of my father’s so it was interesting to me to see his blueprints and my dads recommendations on modification. I doubt any of the suggestions will be used, but that didn’t stop my dad from shooting some out there.

We left for the airport and got there in plenty of time. There was a spirited “discussion” between Lindsey and my Dad involving Amazon, salon products and future proofing salon business. While both perspectives were on different ends of the spectrum, they both brought very interesting points to the table. Another side note, the older I get the more I like participating in conversations as a spectator of sorts. I learn a whole lot more that way.

Buying the JetBlue “even more space/speed” upgrades was a huge help side-stepping the normal security lines. Then things got rocky. Our flight got delayed 3 times pushing it back about 3 hours. It all worked out though, Lindsey had work to do on her laptop and I was knee deep in some food and a few movies.

When we finally did take off, our ride was a little bumpy and we fought some rain towards the end of our flight. This flight home, I watched “The Stanford Prison Experiment.” It won’t set anyone’s world on fire, but it was an interesting look into authority and the abuse it could take unknowingly. Anyhows, after we landed in the pouring rain of Jacksonville, Lindsey and I were anxious to see the little dudes. We sped home and got some very big, much needed hugs.

·  REFLECTION  ·

All in all, we had a great time. I’m not just saying that because its what your supposed to say when you travel back home, I’m saying it because its really how I feel. I was so thankful to be back home and see all of my great family. Some I see on the internet everyday, some I haven’t seen since we moved 3 years ago.

I often marvel at the technology we have at our fingertips and am thankful for FaceTime and phone calls, but nothing could replace being at my Poppa’s party hearing him give a heartfelt, genuine thank you to all who attended.

I especially am happy Lindsey and I got to go just the 2 of us. A big part of me would have loved for our kids to come, but we really needed some time to just relax and talk like humans again.

I already miss Connecticut, my family, fantastic food and the cool breeze. But if I learned anything from going back home time and time again, Connecticut lives on without me. Thats a hurtful truth and sometimes hard to come to grips with. But I like thinking about Connecticut that way. Moving on, moving forward. My family still doing family party’s just like I was there. The traditions of my family and their get-togethers mean more to me now than ever. I need to know they are continuing, thats more important than me being there. I’m just a small piece to a larger puzzle. But the older I get, the more thankful I am to be a part of such a special family. Thank you to everyone and anyone who made our trip so special. We love you and miss you very much.


 

10 Years of iPhone

Hard to believe the iPhone has been around for 10 years now. Today marks the exact 10th anniversary of the original iPhone release. Love it or hate it, use it or don’t. You can’t deny its impact in the world today. Calling it the most successful consumer product of all time is accurate and anything less would be selling it short.

Let’s see where another 10 years gets us. Happy 10th Anniversary iPhone.

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Rewatching My Movie 10 Years Later

I don’t talk or write about my movie much and I often ask myself why. Writing, filming, post-production, etc. Honestly, it’s difficult to list everything I was responsible for before my mind gets exhausted. Making ‘The Fiction‘ was one of the highlights of my life and If I die tomorrow, to have been able to make a movie from start to finish would be one of my favorite, most cherished experiences of my existence.

Truth be told, the finished product just didn’t end up the way I envisioned it. What I didn’t realize before filming was how immensely hard making a feature film is. Especially when you have extremely little experience. I think anyone who read the script before shooting knew there was something special, but most people politely instructed me to not film it. To sell the script and move on. The ever repeating phrase of first time filmmakers hardly ever work, just never faded from consciousness.

I look back now and of course see mistakes I made. From inexperience, to just being entirely exhausted by the time we got to filming. I had that odd combination of being completely driven where no one, and I mean no one, could have stopped me from making that movie and combine that with not really knowing how to execute on a level this script deserved. In hindsight, I should have sold the script and starting work on something else. But that’s a lot easier said then done, especially now.

I often forget that when you believe in something so much, it takes a lot more than sense to sway you. Honestly though, I’m proud of that. I’m proud I had that characteristic in me at such a young age. I had a no tolerance, take no prisoners approach to getting the film done. I was stubborn, but in a good way. In a way you would want your kid to put his head down and dig hard for a goal. Show some mental toughness. Unable to be swayed by the world. I had that for sure back then. I don’t so much now. I’ve lost a lot of that energy as of late.

A few nights ago I did something I was dreading for a long time. Almost 10 years after wrapping on The Fiction, I watched it. I was nervous about this for so many reasons. I mean, I was nervous about being nervous. But I went to Amazon, rented a copy of my own film and watched.

Magic doesn’t work through time, the film still has many shortcomings as I remembered. Like I mentioned earlier, there were many technical issues as well as experience issues that plagued me throughout production. So watching through the other night couldn’t hide any of that. Those emotions rushed through me. I remember those feelings well. Being in our dark editing room months after shooting only to realize there is no way this scene is going to work as planned. Thats a scary feeling. At one point I remember driving home from an editing session and looking at the script sitting on my passenger seat, almost like it was staring back at me in disappointment.

The rewatch didn’t spawn all bad feelings, though. Actually, most of the viewing really comforted me. It comforted me to know that that was me. I know that sounds stupid. But its been 10 years now. It feels like another life ago. But it wasn’t, it was me. Still in the same skin just 10 years removed.

I loved seeing the cast. Eric, Andrus and all the heavy lifting they had to do to make up for my inexperience. They were sweet and gracious at every point of the production. I admired seeing Jeff play his multiple roles. I loved seeing young Allie play a role she was so committed to. Watching also made me recollect on the crew. Mike and Spike immediately come to mind. I have never and certainly now don’t mind saying this; The Fiction would have been half the quality it was without those guys. They did an amazing job with cinematography and Mike with editing. I am forever indebted to them. Of course I remembered Chris, my sound guy and long time school friend, who dropped everything so he could help me. He wasn’t completely comfortable with all the responsibility of a full sound team squeezed into one person, but he did it because he cared. I will always be appreciative of that.

Speaking honestly, watching The Fiction felt like a breath of fresh air. I know its a movie and to strangers, thats all it will ever be. But, to me it’s a time capsule for my life. Good or bad, I achieved this. Success or failure, no one could take it away from me. It was a tremendous learning experience about filmmaking, team work and most importantly, friendship. I would like to think everyone else on set felt this way, but I felt an extreme closeness to them while filming and anytime I saw them afterwords. Even when I rewatched, that feeling came back. The memories of jokes in-between takes and script revisions, prop placements and plot discussions. To me now, all that stuff feels so special.

After the rewatch I really wish I could hit the rewind button and go back. Not to fix little sound problems or acting quirks. Not to rewrite a scene to make it work a little better. Not to make different choices on set or off. I know it sounds crazy but I wouldn’t change a thing. I want to hit that rewind button so I could feel the warmth and camaraderie that the filming experience induced. I know I’ve tried to explain in words what I mean, but its just impossible.

Everyone involved in ‘The Fiction’ holds a very dear, special place in my heart. Who would have known the most important result of filming my own movie wouldn’t have been a completed film, but friendships and experiences that I never deserved and could have never achieved on my own.

Without a doubt, creating The Fiction was the biggest challenge of my life. But undisputedly, without question the most rewarding.



This is in no way a shameless plug, I promise. That was never my intention. But, if you read this post and are genuinely interested in seeing the film here are some links:

WheezyWaiter Reaches 10 Years

He’s one of the original YouTubers and still a favorite. Craig was doing super advanced editing and CGI before it was a thing on YouTube. He also gave me some advice when I was working on my film, which was super nice of him. Anyways, check out his page. He is very talented and a joy to watch. Whenever I’m having a down day, I watch a WheezyWaiter video and it never fails to make me smile.

Big Incoming Post, New Furniture & Connecticut

I’ve mentioned previously that working on big, long writing entries have been far, few and in between lately. Well, at some point in the next week or 2 I’m going to post one that I have been working on a while. It has to do with silence, or the lack of quiet time in our lives. I hope everyone enjoys it. **By the way, I have put my most recent “deep thinkers” in a widget either on the bottom or side of the site (depending on mobile or not) for easier accessibility.

In other news, Lindsey and I just bought a bunch of new furniture for our home. We moved in almost 2 years ago now but never really furnished our house the way we would have liked to. Recently, we purchased a bunk bed for Liam and Luca, a new media table for our tv and electronics. A bunch of “homey” type things for the walls and decor purposes.

Then Lindsey went to the Restoration Hardware outlet in Jacksonville and really got some good buys. We’ve always loved Restoration Hardware but can barely afford anything there. The outlet offered some great deals and we took advantage of it. We got 2 gorgeous dressers for the boys bedroom and our bedroom. Also we got a great kitchen table that fits our home well. All in all, our house is shaping up quite nicely before arrival of baby #3.

Lastly, Lindsey and myself will be going to Connecticut in a few weeks to celebrate my Grandpa’s 90th birthday. We are super excited to spend time with him and all of my family! It is quite an odd trip for us considering we are going alone. No kids. We are both looking forward to enjoying some sane time again, but i’m sure we will miss the kids within hours of leaving. All in all, I love going back to Connecticut, though. I lived 27 years of my 31 year life there and as much as things change, everything in CT seems to stay the same.

That’s about all the updates for now. You may have noticed I am not posting everyday. This is half intentional and half because of how hectic everything has been lately. But for now, I’m going to focus in on finalizing my “deep thought” post on silence and hopefully upload it within 2 weeks.

Fidget Spinner & Rubik’s Cube: The Tale of Distant Cousins 

It’s no secret today’s kids get a lot of flak. They don’t dress right, they have zero attention span, they stare at a glowing plastic screen all day, etc. etc. etc..

Sure, I’ve heard all of these statements. But the other day I was watching someone at work spin this toy thing on their finger for minutes upon minutes. Finally I asked: “What is that thing?” “A fidget spinner” he replied. And so it began.

Something about it struck me as odd. Well, many things about it struck me as odd. First, apparently this is a country wide phenomenon, to the likes of the infamous Furby revolution. They didn’t exist and then bam, there they are. The 2nd thing was how no one was making the obvious comparisons to the Rubik’s Cube. It’s a no brainer for me. Make sense or not, these things are cousins. Well, distant cousins.

The toys have some major differences though, the Rubik’s cube was a problem solving mechanism. It had a mission statement. That little cube stared at you, playing or not, and demanded to be solved. For the majority, the RC was a puzzling, difficult contraption that was a bicycle for the brain. A tool for young and older minds alike.

The Fidget Spinner is none of that. It’s a thing that spins, thats it. It doesn’t even try to be advantageous. It has no motivation or drive. It just spins. Even someone as dimwitted as myself could see the potential for some kind of gaming experience or challenge inducing feature. Like just thinking out loud, maybe a digital counter to number the spins. So when you pass it from person to person, they could compete for the most spins. I don’t know, you get the idea. But no, the Fidget Spinner effortlessly lacks the ambition.

So your probably asking why are these things distant cousins? Simple reason I tell you, the masses are consuming it. Sure the majority of certain demographics play with other items in large scale. Video games, cell phones come to mind, but this is a plastic little toy.

Here’s why this is somewhat scary to me. The way my brain works is odd sometimes. I try and reverse situations to make sense out of them. So here I go. If the Fidget Spinner was released when the Rubik’s Cube was (1974), is it a hit? Is it a run away, hands down worldwide sensation? Or what about the Rubik’s Cube? If the Rubik’s Cube took the stage in 2017, does every young child to early adult lust for one?

I mentioned in the first paragraph what the general consensus of the young generation is to some. Lazy, unambitious, and mostly idle, a zero competitive spirit, etc. Personally, I don’t really believe that. I’ve always believed you can’t judge by the majority, you have to do your due diligence and judge on a person to person basis. Thats how I would want to be judged.

I will say this though, with the rise of the Fidget Spinners, I’m scratching my head harder then ever. Truth is, the Rubik’s Cube wouldn’t make it in today’s world. It’s problem solving, thinking required, mentally intimidating demeanor would be unattractive in comparison to the Fidget Spinner customers. Which makes me wonder more than ever; after the Fidget Spinners time in the limelight is long gone and the masses spin their last fidget, what comes next?

Could it be that the these toys mirror the current state of cultural and societal span of attentions? I seriously hope not. But it does raise the question quite boldly.