It was the morning of New Year’s Eve, 2014 in Las Cruces New Mexico. Inside, the hotel heater hummed hot air into the dark room and outside the gray sky was bright with a frigid, bone-crushing cold. Bear tried to sit this morning and meditate but could not. So many thoughts rushed around in his mind and his breath was sort of choppy and random like Lake Tahoe on a windy day.
From an early age, Bear had always taken his birthday very seriously. When he turned 4 years old, he stopped wearing his beloved Superman cape, and when his mom asked him why he just said, “I’m 4 now, Mom.”
To him, New Years Day was the birthday of the world and he took that seriously as well. What would be different now that world was suddenly 2015 years old? (Obviously he knew the world was much older than that but you get the point.) How was the world going to finally grow up?
2014 was filled with so much weird energy though. There was Ebola and Isis and Robin Williams committing suicide and Obama just kind of screwing up on a bunch of stuff at once. Pop music wasn’t that great this year either and would have been a total loss were it not for Ed Sheeran, Pharell, that “Waves” song and that one “Take me to Church” song that came out recently.
Then, it dawned on him. Maybe that’s the problem. Nobody cool goes to Church anymore.
This year, on Christmas Morning, Bear went to Church at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. The irony, of course, was that he went to a catholic school named St. Louis in Cleveland Heights, Ohio when he was growing up. But looking around the Cathedral, all he saw were elderly couples and a few puritan looking families that had dragged in their unwilling children kicking and screaming. There were no hipsters at church, except for him. But there’s no wonder why, church is boring, tainted and ugly now with huge statues of a man being tortured on a cross. Religion in general is stale, outdated and debunked. The service itself reminded Bear of the way they keep making Batman movies over and over and over with the same storyline because they can’t come up with anything better to say. Church is like watching reruns of I Love Lucy.
The new legend of Jesus was that he was a super cool guy who probably hung out with the Buddha and smoked weed and achieved some sort enlightenment and consequently rock star status. But really, why not make the story of Jesus a little more exciting. It’s time to rewrite the Bible people! Coming Soon … The Bible Part II.
Anyway, back to 2014 ….
Religion is kind of a thing of the past. Now religion only exists for radical extremists, mass-marketing evangelists and those who are forced to say their prayers while thinking about something else.
Phones have sort of taken over the world. Everyone is on their phone all the time. Bear’s four year old daughter was sitting at dinner the other day and said, “Daddy are you a phoner?”
“What’s a phoner?”
“Someone who is on their phone all the time,” she said.
At that moment Bear realized two things, that his daughter was certified genius and that the word phoner should not only become a part of the common language but should be adopted by Webster immediately. In fact, we are in an age of Phoners. Everyone is a selfie obsessed, app hungry, Instagram junky. People everywhere are lighting up their faces with little screens and irradiating their brains with Facebook. It could be that smart phones are, in fact, the New Religion.
Bear thought about all of this as he sat there wondering what he was going to new on New Years Day. He thought about this equally terrifying and exciting world and suddenly he had a sort of Bi-Polar Bear experience that tore him literally in two.
One Bear made a new years resolution to throw all the computers and pads and iPhones away and make a run for the trees. The nature loving, tree-hugging Bear moved into a Teepee and built a fire and went back to wild foraging and hunting and farming. He sat up late at night writing with a old pen on home made paper and singing songs to himself on his little wooden guitar. He found his solace there away from the noise and confusion of all the melodramatic digital frequencies and mass-produced media. He found his religion in the silence.
The Other Bear, however, just jumped right in and became friends with the Gods of Google, Facebook and Twitter. He started making video blogs and digital blogs and writing movie scripts and making music videos. He built apps and websites and became the Keanu Reeves of 2015 as he jumped heroically into the matrix transforming his flesh into an infinite series of binary numbers. The super high tech Bear became the wise warrior of the digital age. He popularized new power sources, created educational apps for teens, built structures to develop and define the ScreenAge! He became a tech guru known simply as Bear.
After a few years had passed, the two Bears no longer spoke the same language. They were two entirely different species of animal now. But what if they somehow could get together and have an offspring. What if they could create a new kind of person who at once worshipped both Nature and the all powerful Google Gods? Was it possible to be a Naturalist and a Techie at the same time? Maybe that is a question for the children of 2015?
Happy Birthday World. Please Grow Up.