“The chief proof of a man’s real greatness lines in the perception of his own smallness.” – Arthur Conan Doyle [Sherlock Holmes, “The Sign of Four”]
Living large is touted ceaselessly across the airwaves of our contemporary society as a matter of drumming up customer support for the ongoing myth of a failing economy. The larger obviousness of rotund abdomens of Burgomeister’s from former eras replaced by a trimmer faster version of more expensive Darwinian acceptable material objects, the exorbitant price connected with same, vindicating the concept that excess is the most desirable of all lifelong goals. To be considered incidental is to mind nothing beyond the simple basics of the clothes upon one’s back. No room on the bridge for any Diogenes’! “All philosopher kings need to keep on moving and not impede the flow of normal business traffic with their unnecessary ramblings.”
But of course we now have another new more proletariat accessible method of quantification to determine one’s appropriate status within this life! The number of hits and ‘likes’ that one daily receives on their social media site from untold legions of anonymous friends. For the really successful social important notions of, “Charlie bit my finger” or the PSY-op K-pop of ‘cheesy’ leg warming of Gangham Style. One can only dream about a mention assuring their permanent status upon About.com or Wiki that in turn verifies the innate vision of their natural ‘savant’ like qualities to the world at large.
Yet, the appearance of one good ‘perfect’ snowstorm or an episode of extraordinary sunspot activity and “Whammo!” Bereft of their main instrument of the Internet to daily summon the attention of the ear of God, where do these accomplishments fall? How does one find their elusive destiny then in a world where direct human contact is shunned in favor of those more comfortably abstract means of indirect communication? Does such a place not simply demean human existence to an ignominious status of serving as just another unknown synapse within the tendrils of a much larger mindless jellyfish. A creature who can only float upon the restless waves of the ocean puffing itself in and out until something collectively useful comes swimming by?