If the 21st century has taught me anything, it’s that we’re amazing at inventing technology that sounds perfectâ€¦ until we get our paws on it.
Remember MySpace ohmygod she requested me before it was all spam, promoters, and piss-poor bands? Now it’s that party in high school that too many people found out about.
And who didn’t light up with species-pride when hearing about ChatRoulette that’s so cool until they figured out it was 90% filled with dudes beating off? The end result was a hell of an introduction and an up-close look at true humanity.
Technology has always been a way to see ourselves more clearly. With enough years and dollars, we finally managed to create the Internet – a complex and advanced mirror. And when we looked into it, we saw ourselves masturbating.
Oh the humanity!
It was a surreal and recursive loop of embarrassment. What happens now? An awkward silence? A shake of the head? A frightened shout: close the door!
We had such high hopes…
But hold on a second.
Don’t go blind from all that masturbation.
The days of Internet Innocence can seem as far away and fictional as Leave it to Beaver or Lassie. But they’re not. They’re still there, if you look hard enough.
Craig’s List, for example, is still as good an avenue as any other for human connection. It’s a cesspool, and unashamedly so. I’ve only used it to purchase material items, nothing carnal not yet anyway but it’s always been good to me. It’s shopping online and getting your stuff the same day. It’s ludicrously cheap. From Craig’s List, I have a 10 foot wooden desk (free), a record player in near mint condition with speakers (20$), a full size female mannequin (5$) and a few other things that have utility, luxury, and character.
The total amount of times I have been raped or molested as a result of these purchases is negligible. My small interactions with the sellers have been at least as valuable as the goods they’ve provided. Each cousin of Craig has been very real and very alive and very human. These people were the good apples, full of enough lush detail to fill an entire book. But why listen to a man talk about apples when you can pluck one off the tree?
Whether you’re buying a chair, selling a lamp, or swapping concert tickets, don’t leave the real prize on the table. Grab some humanity. Go on, it’s free.
Here are some tips for successfully using Craig’s List:
- A bizarre opening message will endear you to the poster. Days can get boring once you land your first 9-5. Empathize with the poor soul. Introduce some flavor. You’ll stand out. I’ve had people hold items for me and sell at a lower price just because I made them laugh or raise an eyebrow via text message or voicemail.
- Pretend the person you’re contacting is a close friend. Don’t be rigid and formal. These aren’t your grandparents. The average poster, in my experience, is somewhere between college-aged and early 30s. They were raised on the same televised garbage as you. You practically have the same father.
- You are about to touch someones life. That’s becoming increasingly rare in a digitized age. Be fucking nice.
- Don’t live in fear, but don’t be caught off guard by hostility. Acting relaxed and normal with the average stranger is like waking a sleeping person. They may react in a disoriented and grumpy manner. Don’t take this personally. They were out cold.
- The goal is to play and have fun together with someone else — but some people are real party poopers. Rattle these people’s cages. They’ll thank you later.
These are tips, but the real fruit comes from personal expression. There’s no way to teach it. You just know if when you come across it. Here’s an example of a man who might “get it”, taken from a post I came across yesterday:
IPOD CLASSIC 60GB $120 (SANTA ANA)
JUS DONT NEED IT NO MORE.. NEDD DINERO FOR COLLEGE.. 120 CASH… IT HAS MUSIK IN IT.. NO LOW BALLERS..
HABLO ESPANOL TXT ME AT 17145973012
ALSO SELLING RABBIT .. WITHOUT THE CAGE.. HES BLACK AND VERY INTELLEGENT SELLING IT FOR 55 CASH OR TRADE FOR GAMES OR SUMTHING
OR BUNDLE IT IN WITH THE IPOD CLASSIC . MAKE OFFER
NOTE: The fact that he gives a “rear view” of the rabbit (to display the lack of defects) bumps his chances up significantly in regards to selling both it and the Ipod.
Here’s the e-mail I sent him:
|***** <*******@gmail.com>||Wed, Jan 4, 2011 at 3:58 PM|
|To: [email protected]|
No response has been received.
Here is a different, more successful example taken from last Saturday afternoon. This woman took 3 days to contact me about a chair, one which I had already found for cheaper (from a different poster, a man named Ray who loves Roger Waters and has a stripper girlfriend named Candy). Due to this woman’s tardiness and lameness, I took a harsher stance. I did it for her.
The following exchange took place via SMS text message:
Me: Saw your Craig’s List ad. I am a sitting enthusiast. Looking to accessorize. Would be happy to negotiate a transaction.
Her: If you mean the chair, I still have it. $50.
Me: Can you tell me more? How does it sit? Are there options?
Her: It’s leather. Brand new.
Me: I know that already. Are there options? How does it sit?
Her: ?? It can go up and down to adjust height ??
Me: But how does it sit?
Her: I don’t understand. It’s a normal chair. It’s really great.
Me: Generalities are for used car salesmen. Deal is off.
Her: What? It’s a leather executive chair. Never used. Pics online. What else you need to know?
Me: HOW DOES IT SIT? HOW DOES IT SIT? HOW DOES IT SIT? HOW DOES IT SIT? HOW DOES IT SIT?
Her: IT SITS LIKE A DREAM I’M ON IT RIGHT NOW AND IT’S LIKE A CLOUD OKAY?
Me: That sounds amazing.
Her: It is amazing.
[5 minutes pass, no messages sent]
Her: So does tonight work for you?
Me: No you’ve sat in it now so I don’t want it anymore have a nice day.
Her: Go fuck yourself.
Again with the masturbation.
No tangible transaction occurred, but I got a taste of her soul in the end and I offered her a slice of mine. It was worth the 8 minute investment.
So when you go out there, don’t be afraid to show a little soul. If you’re not prepared to do that, you may as well stay home and play with yourself… but please leave the camera off.