Something Like Innocence

Sometimes I wonder what it was like in the time of Dalton from Road House. I wonder, what was it like to be free from mainstream usage of personal computers, smart phones, tablets, artificial intelligence.

What was it like to be Dalton, sitting in bed, reading Jim Harrison in a barn loft-turned-apartment. What was it like to have a radio and a watch, cassette tapes and real live stores.

There was nothing that needed such taking care of as a flat screen monitor needs wiping with a special liquid or a running computer must be kept in a room 70 degrees or cooler. Dalton had nothing like an Xbox or Playstation to keep plugged into a surge protector to protect it from power fluctuations. Or discs to keep in a case to protect from scratches. Dalton lived in a barn. He didn’t have anything to keep crispy clean so it looked pretty or worked well.

In his spare time, he worked out and did yoga, went to the auto parts store, read philosophical novellas and novels, dated beautiful women, and drank beer with Wade Garrett. He never had the slightest thought or inkling of watching another YouTube video, sending a text message to a friend, updating his profile picture on Facebook, or watching the latest super hero movie in 4K ultra-high definition on a 4K ultra-high definition television.

I wonder what that was like. Sometimes I wonder if I could go back to that, if I could live like that now.

It would be impossible at work, but what about at home, I wonder.

Could I move out to a small town with only a couple bars, live on some beautiful farm in a barn loft. Could I live without a TV or a computer or a smart phone? Could I live without online multiplayer video games? I could, but would it be better or worse? Would I get bored and give in, buying the latest and greatest TV and a stack of movies to go with it, or Netflix to stream to it? Could I live without an email address and online banking?

Sometimes I think I would like to do a Henry David Thoreau-style experiment in minimalism, but it wouldn’t be the same as being Dalton because I would always know what is possible. I would always know I could take a trip to Walmart and buy a smart phone or a new tablet. I would always know that it is possible to see ratings and reviews about my auto mechanic. I would always know I could go back to it.

The whole world is different now, changed. People work differently. We used to have to get to know the auto mechanic to know if we could trust him. Now, he does not need people to get to know him because they can simply see his ratings and reviews. So if we tried to go without ratings and reviews, we would be left in the dust because the mechanic is too busy doing work on improving his ratings and reviews.

We lost something like innocence. The whole world grew up. Is there any redemption?