Modern Times at the Bus Stop
Yesterday I got to the bus stop and was faced with a simple decision, thanks to the digital display boards that tell you how many minutes until the next bus comes by. (What do you call those things, anyway?) 2 minutes for the 4 bus, 4 minutes for the C2, which was already at the stop and waiting because this is where that line begins. The C2 would bring me almost to the door or, if I got off one stop sooner, leave me very close to Angela, where I could pick up some bread. But the 4 was leaving sooner and though it would leave me with a longer walk, it would leave me right in front of OpenCor, where the bread was likely to be fresher than at Angela's. But OpenCor is part of a huge multinacional and these stores tend to put people like Angela out of business, so... If it weren't for the excess of information that we are constantly bombarded with I wouldn't have been making any of these calculations, but as it were, I did wait for the C2. On the short ride up the Paseo del Parque I was thinking about the Chaplin's classic Modern Times, which Asun and I had watched the night before on Turner Classic Movies. And thanks to the marvels of modern technology, with a simple touch of the remote we were able to watch with the original audio, an impossible convenience not long ago. Chaplin's film is a wonderful comedy, but it also makes a stinging critique of the maturation of the industrial age, of how it works to destroy the individual. Man against the machine. With the Information Age it seems more complicated, but maybe it's not. New technologies offer us many opportunities, like writing a blog, for example, or making an informed decision at the bus stop, but the constant onslaught of information can also overwhelm us. And, of course, what has happened to our privacy? As I made my mental calculations at the bus stop, a security camera was very possibly capturing my inaction on camera. After the short ride, I got off at the stop that would lead me to Angela, but at the last moment, I decided to walk an extra 60 meters and opted for the bread at Sara, another local merchant whose bread is preferable to Angela's.