Synaptic Irrigation

by julianwiddows on March 2, 2011

As a rule, I complete at least one full-game a month.  I’m talking this generation console, full-length, epic-scale experiences.  This is above and beyond the iPhone, XBLA, PSN and handheld journeying along the way.  I play more than this, trying to fit in at least a casual look at most of the key action releases, but I complete at least one – an enjoyable, habitual discipline I’ve been maintaining for as long as I can remember.

I have this friend who you could call adventurous.  Back in the day, his girlfriend bought him a session of colonic irrigation for his birthday.  His post-operative reports didn’t sell the experience, it must be said.  If you haven’t had the pleasure, if you’re struggling with the visualisation, I’m sure youTUBE can help you out.  Did you know that hydrotherapy was originally conceived of by the ever-industrious Egyptians?  Me neither.  Death was supposed to start in the bowels.  By the application of regular herbal enemas the inevitable could be delayed for a few more passing runs of the dung bettle.  If you’ve seen ‘The Road to Wellville’ you’ll know that John Harvey Kellogg was a staunch believer in the judicious use of the enema.  He was also a tea-total vegetarian seventh-day adventist.  How time must have flown between the enemas.  I remain a committed omnivore.  As I understand it, the irrigation is supposed to cleanse the colon, removing stubborn protein and general matter which gets lodged down there as we graze and consume.  Herbal water is absorbed by the colon, leaving an incomparable sense of hydration and wellness.  My friend failed to feel the wellness.

It’s a cliche we’ve been chewing over for years, but with increasing platform diversification it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of media content vying for one’s attention – facebook, twitter, iPhone, Steam, App Store, PSP, DS, 3DS, X360m PS3, PC, blogs, RSS feeds etc. ad nauseam.  My own threefold piles of shame are large enough to be troubling – games, books, magazines/periodicals – and I’ve failed to give enough attention to those analogue activities that have always balanced the relatively sedentary nature of my working life.  I need to address the imbalance.  I need synaptic irrigation.

Friends, I’m having a digital purge.  14 days.  No facebook – no wasting leisure time vicariously peering into other people’s lives; no twitter – no updates; no gaming – this will be the hardest.  14 days – I’m going analogue.  I’ll be working through the magazines and books; taking more photographs (one of three concessions to the digital life); mountaineering; some manual labour in the garden (read, yard); I’ll still be on email, from which there is no escape (concession two); and I’ll be blogging more regularly (concession three).  Through the purge I’m hoping I’ll get a better perspective as to which parts of the digital blitzkrieg I really feel like maintaining, which games in the pile I really want to play, and which ones are there out of obligation rather than desire.  I’m very interested to see not only how much time do I waste consuming the social media experience, but how much bandwidth I use just thinking about the social media experience.  I plan to only come back to the elements of my digital life that actually deliver value and add quality of life.  I aim to come out of the desert many pounds lighter; cleaner for the purge.

Wish me well.  See you on the other side.

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