Well, here we go again -
About a year ago, when I was living quite the life indeed, I went on a tear about how some time in 7th grade some woman told the class to write letters to ourselves which would then be posted back to us some years hence.
Naturally, the practicality of this last part weighed on my mind back then, and continued to do so through the years - what if the price of stamps went up? What if the price of lettuce went up? What if Ms Thompson moved or changed jobs and decided to toss the letters out? Well, turns out, I was a little premature in my worry - I had the delivery timetable wrong - it was not in fact to be when we all turned 21, but rather, 10 years from the time we wrote them (approx.)
So here it is, August, 2008, and I'm sitting upstairs eating cool-whip off of the sharp edge of a fillet knife when the mail comes in. And there's this letter. And the handwriting on the address and return address is atrocious, AND it has TWO 32c stamps on it, and the return and mailing addresses are the SAME ADDRESS i.e. my own. W'at(?). Exactly. So I look at it. Bio-warfare attack on my person, probably. Probably anthrax, or egg yolk. Suggested make omelet. Irrelevant anyway, but I immediately began to wonder who had it in him to try to poison me. So as I'm looking at this, it hits me what it is, and I loudly curse my 7th grade self for my poor penmanship, and open the letter. Below is presented its full text:
_| ) 9-8-98
Today is the first week of 7th grade. I wonder what the rest of the year will be like. What is 2008 like? Is it much differant? These are the things I really wonder: What job do I have? What was y2K like? Last year I was on the track team; how many more years did I join? What is the latest fashion? What collage did I go to? How do people look? How do machines look? Are Rick and Logan still your friends? What new laws are there? Have we colonized planets? I guess it's really not that far away, I'm just impatient. Well, I'll know when I'm there.
So to answer his questions (because my position on the question of inter-temporal identity preservation has changed slightly)
What is 2008 like?
It stinks with the stench of social inequality, high gas prices, corporate handouts, sweaty mobs of spineless losers who claim to support liberalism but are impotent to stop the looting of the world's morals, bubble tea, and portable mp3 devices. But I'm doing pretty well myself.
Is it much differant?
Note here that I'm not asking if 2008 is substantively different from 1998, but rather, posing the question of what the meaning (after the sense of Derrida, as signified of my use of the constructed word "differance") of the present year is to those who seek to interpret it. I think this is a complex question which can be answered in a number of ways, and I'll leave it alone for now, save to say that a textual reading of what "2008" signifies is not what those who were alive in 1998 would have expected of it.
What job do I have?
Telling it like it is.
What was y2K like?
Gore was elected to the Presidency, briefly.
Last year I was on the track team; how many more years did I join?
What is the latest fashion?
What collage did I go to?
This one, though strictly speaking, I think it's a mural.
What do people look like?
Orange with the stain of a thousand cans of spray-tan!
How do machines look?
Pretty iridescent...or should I say iri-decent!!1
Are Rick and Logan still your friends?
I think he meant "Nick". Look in the tunk. I think he meant trunk.*
What new laws are there?
Well, I can't speak to that, but W. Hubbs Rehnquist died and John G. Roberts is Chief Justice.
*This is especially funny, because not only does it quote a line from Ralph Wiggum et al. that sounds similar to what I said, but also, Logan actually did hide in a trunk on one occasion, circa 2003.
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