‘The unexamined life is not worth living’.
Socrates I believe – or was it Oprah?
So hard to recall, amid these times of endless self-examination, to remember just who said what.
No, I do believe it was the famous Greek philosopher who made this observation. True to some degree, but were he around now, he may elect to re-examine his theory, as it seems that almost every event in a person’s life is worthy of such artful scrutiny – in picture form, at least. A ‘selfie’ for every occasion.
Be it eventful or not!
Breakfast; lunch; dinner: Literally!
The ‘selfie stick’ is the latest invention.
Or as I would have it renamed – the ‘narcissistick’!
You know, those long poles to which one is encouraged to attach something expensive and electronic, then dangle it awkwardly in front of their face and act natural.
Ego wands is another title which would suffice.
Of course, the idea behind these latest ‘must haves’ is to make it possible for the owner to film themselves. So when a tourist visits say, The Tower Of London, he or she may capture their take on this great piece of British history.
Watch the birdie. I mean, the Beefeater!
And with the extra distance the pole provides it won’t be ‘off with their heads’ when they come to view the footage at the hotel later.
Now, when some lucky traveller gets to see The Eiffel Tower for the first time, we get to see their reaction to the monument and not the mighty erection itself – somewhat akin to soft porn!
Even the word ‘selfie’ meant something quite different when I was a teenager, and it was certainly something you didn’t want to be filmed doing!
Well, not without payment!
It seems as though these ‘selfie sticks’ are just an extension, (forgive the pun), of the way things are going. Now we can all star in our own movies, even if the script, cinematography and casting are crap.
We can shoot ourselves at places where people have been shot, literally, and say, look, I was there.
Bomb – flash, bang, wallop – what a picture!
There is something very unphotogenic about this latest craze. The cheese at a funeral used to come afterwards not during. We are all turning into the despised paparazzi. We loathed these feckless photographic freelancers when they helped to kill Diana, but would doubtless act the same way were a celebrity to stroll into our local for a quiet pint.
Of course nowadays, it would just have to be a ‘selfie’ – us and the celebrity, just to show we were there too.
Are we missing something here? Who are we trying to impress? Who do we want to notice us posing with the B-lister at the bar or stuffing strawberries at the Wimbledon final?
Ultimately, these selfies are not for the self, but for other selves. To prove to the outside world that we do have a life. To show them our interesting existence and let it be examined.
I am almost positive this is not what the old Athenian had in mind when he proposed his theory, but hey, unlike the Greek economy, things develop.
Just like photos once did.
And as I come to the end of this pretentious, philosophical short, I am reminded that when Andrew and I go travelling, which we soon shall, we could never be described as camera shy. In fact, with this optical obsession in mind, Andrew has even suggested purchasing one of these evil extensions so we can capture our upcoming adventures in Indochina.
After all, it is very difficult to get both him and I in shot without looking as though we are both gazing into the back of a spoon.
It is also practically impossible to get someone else to take a snapshot when there is no someone else for miles around to do the snapping, other than the odd croc!
And after a rough night, in a rough town, in a rough bed, with a rough git, any extra distance is useful.
Therefore, I think we may be packing one of these ridiculous rods into our rucksacks after all.
Of course, the last thing we shall be doing whilst using the silly contraption, is examining our life. For, were we to, we would no doubt discover how ludicrous our behaviour was, and cease doing it. Immediately!
No. Instead. Stick in hand. Free with our lance. We shall be living the unexamined life. Just so that all of our friends and family are able to live it too.
Socrates would not be happy.
And after this little diatribe, I am convinced, when the cameras start rolling in January, we shall be getting a lot of stick!
But the great philospher also threw in –
‘Beauty is a short lived tyranny’.
Therefore – with just a touch of ’hypokrisis’ –
I’m ready for my close up Mr Kennedy!
Only this time it won’t be quite so close!
And one piece of ancient Greek wisdom we shall try not to ignore.
Never use a ‘selfie stick’ with a camel nearby.
Just couldn’t resist!