First Click: the only living boy in New York

April 6th, 2016


Look at this kid. He’s not embarrassed or worried. He’s on a bus, maybe in New York, maybe not, out in public in full nerd regalia and he’s enjoying himself. He doesn’t give one single shit what you think. He can’t — every sense is under bombardment by stimuli both virtual and organic, from inside and out. At one point he suffers a jump scare to which he simply adjusts his Galaxy Gear VR headset and smiles.

I couldn’t do this. I’m not as brave as this kid. I’d be too embarrassed, for one, but also afraid that someone would snatch the headset and make off with my new phone. I’d just sit there stupefied as a newborn calf ejected from the virtual womb, trying to cope. Enough time for the perp to get away with my device and my data.

No, this boy, like the boy in that Simon and Garfunkel song, is The Only Living Boy in New York:

"Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.

Da-n-do-da-n-do-da-n-do here I am,

The only living boy in New York.

Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where,

And we don’t know where."

"Here I am," pleads the chorus in somber desperation as the song plays out. "Here I am." He's both here and there simultaneously. Inhabiting worlds both real and imagined as his vehicle, and VR in general, forge ahead with perfect poetry into places unseen.

Don’t let the internet bullies win, boy. Don’t let their cynicism get you down. You’re alive — you’ve already won.

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Dietrich, The Newborn Calf of the day