Thursday, May 13, 2010

Douglas Coupland | Girlfriend in a Coma | 1998

Dear Karen,

We don't know each other, and I feel almost embarrassed to write to you out of the blue like this. I would like to express my happiness that you woke from your coma with no lasting damage. I can't imagine what it must feel like to find yourself in a world completely different to the one you left seventeen years ago.

I saw you on TV recently, talking about how you feel in the modern world and what you said really struck a chord with me. I agree wholeheartedly; a world in which all everybody thinks about is work, just to possess the latest gadgets, is a very scary place to live in. It isn't how I imagined the world when I was younger, either, the difference between us is that I grew up with it, where it has been thrust on you.

Now don't get me wrong, technology has vastly improved the way we live our lives in many ways, but at what cost? I feel nostalgic for the days when people would go visit their friends for a chat, instead of switching on a machine and writing shallow messages to each other. How can we possibly have a conversation full of nuance and feeling through two glass screens, so detached?

In a way, I envy your naivety of the modern world. I dream of the day everybody abandons their computers to step outside and enjoy the world while they have the chance.

I can't shake the feeling that you're going to be leaving us shortly, so I will take this opportunity to say goodbye, and thank you.

Michael Barr