Google: “yummy food” Result: “Breadboard”
“Maman died today.” It’s supposedly one of the most famous lines in literature. As I sit in the Breadboard savoring a piece of perfectly cooked thick sliced bacon I am intrigued by the conversation next to me. Somehow the discussion has veered from the literary merits of one of the most famous openings of a novel to a heated dispute over the pronunciation of a name. “It’s French – like ‘Al – bear’ – not just ‘Albert’ like the Beatles’ uncle!” And this person is really fired up. “How do you know?” “Because I googled it!” Well, there you go. A paradigm shift. Not because of the AP English teacher that forever changed my life – nope. This person knows literature because of Google. Who needs AP English when you have Google? The dreaded instant authoritative Google expert – the seed of smartphones and the internet. All of a sudden, someone who doesn’t really read literature can pronounce and even lecture on Camus. Or someone who doesn’t even like jazz can spell and pronounce say …. Django Reinhardt. They’ve never even appreciated “Honeysuckle Rose” but they know all about Django’s burned hand and his tumultuous gypsy life and they’ve never worn a beret and can’t play guitar. I mean, OK, really… I don’t really think the decline of western civilization started with googling, but I do think that instant Google experts maybe should be put in solitary confinement on a restricted diet – no Breadboard bacon, or some other form of effective rehabilitation. Honestly though, there’s a balance. For example, I’ve always been bothered by people who think George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” was written by the ad agency for United Airlines. But that was almost pre-internet and a well-known classic long before the United marketing campaigns. In all fairness, I can’t blame Google or the internet. I mean, without the internet only a few people would get to appreciate the United slogan, “If we can’t beat our competition, we’ll beat our customers.” Or what about Emoji’s? Fun. Useful. They can add humor and warmth to an impersonal text. But they are teaching people how to not write… how not to write? . So many issues occupied my mind but my bacon was so good that I settled into a meditation on the grace of simplicity.. But I must have been thinking out loud because the Google addict next to me overheard me and googled “grace of simplicity” and a whole new extended period of philosophical pontification based on Google “facts” was off to a running start and I asked for another delicious cup of better not bitter Goodbean coffee and smiled to myself and settled in for the ride. Life is lyrical – love you maman.