When I was a kid a child psychologist told my mother that I had ADD. And basically, they were going to medicate me and I’d be on ritalin for most of my formative years. They then went on to explain that my hyper-activity, and personality would diminish, and I’d become far less rambunctious, and thus would be easier to deal with. Thank God my mother’s a bitch, because she basically told them, “No, he won’t be medicated, you’ll just have to deal with him”, I was never put on ritalin or anything else. Most people I know, especially guys, were informed early-on that they had ADD, and I guess depending on whether or not their moms were bitches, they were either medicated or not. It’s a slippery slope. (I know adults who will pop an adderal to beat a hang over, that’s true.) Thankfully my mother mother taught me early on, “drugs are bad” and my creativity flourishes!
Strangely, it’s not just me, people have always said that my generation was prone to ADD. Are you serious?! Of course we were, follow this set-up: we first had TV, then cable, then MTV, then VHS, then upgraded from a Walk-Man to a Disc-Man, then Laser Disc, then DVD, finally around high school the world got cell phones, then we got our iPods, then iPhones, then MacBooks, all of this mind you, while still taking the SATs, applying to college, playing high school sports, learning how to drive, dating, drinking, learning how to pack a bowl, and of course discovering the wonders that are the pubescent human body. Of course we all have ADD!
But, so what? Maybe ADD is the way it should be. Who cares if you can focus on one thing and accomplish it, when you can do five things at the same time? As long as shit’s getting done, right? For instance I’m writing this blog while I’m at work, and later when I edit this I’ll be at home: probably checking email, watching HULU, and, if I know myself, there will be a window of porn somewhere. Maybe the phone will ring and I will incorporate it into what I’m doing. I somehow have become “the Blob” of multitasking--nothing stops me in my tracks, I just incorporate it and move along. So I’ll have a conversation with my best friend, while writing, and checking scores for the Yankees and the Giants, and ordering a sick new shirt from snorgtees; it would take me too long to do each of these things at their own time, and to be honest I don’t have the attention span.
I’m not the only one either. Like I said, this is a generational thing. Look at Occupy Wall Street, they are basically a protest for those with ADD. When asked what they were protesting by a New York Times reporter, the answer came back, they were protesting the following (and I will summarize, as the answer was about three paragraphs, and well, it rambled): the lack of accountability of corporations, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the general state of the environment, and the U.S. Economy, and something about how the U.S. is viewed in foreign countries. First of all, I agree with them on most of these issues, except the views of foreigners, because, I mean, they’re foreign, why would anyone care about their views? Seriously though, they are protesting the right stuff, but all at once? I mean, pick a topic people. No one can take it seriously when all the protesters are shouting different things. I had a friend who was in Washington Sq. Park this weekend and almost got arrested, now he wasn’t part of the protest, but he was in the park. He told me that he heard at least five different chants going on at once. And these people are serious and willing to get arrested for their beliefs, and yet refuse to coordinate a singular statement.
It’s not just the message that lacks focus either, I’ve seen signs at NYU encouraging students to go study on Wall St. Literally, go protest, but while you’re there make the most of your time. It’s like someone’s mother came up with the concept, “Well you can go down to the protest, but you’d better bring this book along, and do five math problems before you pick up even one sign, and make sure to call me and text me every fifteen minutes so I know you’re safe.” Done! 24000+ videos on YouTube, mom. You can just click refresh and see how safe I am. No joke, people are doing all sorts of things during this protest, streaming and blogging, and posting to YouTube, and FaceBook. Why would they focus on one thing when they can get tons of shit done at once?
The best part is how stymied the institution is. I mean Bloomberg’s furious, so are several of the large banks and brokerage houses on Wall St., and the best part is their reaction is very much the same as that psychologist who told my mom that I needed Ritalin: They don’t know what to do, they don’t have an answer for people who just say, “No, I refuse.” It’s brilliant! I won’t do what you told me I have to do, and now you have to deal with that.
If Bloomberg actually wants the protests to stop he should just have the demonstrations crop dusted with Adderall: suddenly you’d have protesters with incredible clarity and need for efficiency, and they’d probably just return to work, but of course that won’t happen so until then, our ADD asses will continue to demonstrate, and write, and blog, and post and change things so that the world better fits us, instead of making ourselves easier to deal with...