As much as I loved my sister Mary, there was one thing about her that always annoyed me: she was something of a movie snob. If it didn't have subtitles or play at one of those out-of-the-way, artsy-fartsy movie houses, it couldn't have been a very good flick. Yes, Mary was bored by Lord of the Rings, and if she were with us today, I'm sure she would pooh-pooh Avatar as nothing but a teched-up, mindless fantasy without any meaningful characters. But, whether Mary is now lapping it up at that small, trendy Cinéstudio in the sky or has been consigned to the big multiplex down below, one thing is for sure: a bigger movie snob there never was.
The truth is, however, we are all snobs of one kind or another. Some of us are radio snobs, listening only to NPR of course. (Guilty!) Some are food snobs who wouldn't be caught dead consuming anything from a can or box let alone through the car window. And let's not forget the clothing snobs who think anything off the rack at Wal-Mart or Target is for the little people, don't you know.
Which brings me to the sordid image being returned from the mirror these days. Yes, judging by the disdain I have cultivated for those who mindlessly tend to their virtual farms on one of Facebook's most popular gaming apps, it is clear I am much too sophisticated a person to entertain myself with such drivel and have slowly turned into a total Farmville snob!
Could it be I am simply jealous of all the attention my wife gives to Farmville and not to me? Jami dotes on her virtual farm in a way she never dotes on me, meticulously cultivating crops, feeding animals and swapping chores with other Farmville devotees, all the while garnering enough points and prizes to keep her toiling away with no end in sight.
On the surface, Farmville appears to be little more than the codependency relationship from hell; the more friends you have sharing chores and gifts with, the more productive the output of your farm, which entices even more people to become friends, which makes you even more productive, which—well, you get the idea. Jami now has over 200 Farmville "friends" and is now competing with a gamer—who calls herself Monsanto Mindy—to become the most productive virtual landscaper in the farmosphere! I have a recurring nightmare in which these 200 virtual friends turn into real people and start coming over for cookout dinners and farming tips. I usually wake up right about the time the guests start marching toward me with their rakes and shovels a la Night of the Living Dead demanding I join them in tending to their farms.
Why am I above all this? Well for one thing it's much too juvenile in appearance for my taste, the cartoonish imagery seductively luring the child within to enter a world of make-believe and go for the gusto. Aside from the occasional Rocky and Bullwinkle rerun, I have sworn off cartoons, having graduated to more substantive and intelligent matters like trying to decipher Tea Party politics and the intricacies of the latest national disaster. Then there's the constant need to acquire new friends in order to successfully grow your farm. Excuse me but I have enough trouble with the two friends I already have in the real world. I don't need hundreds of strangers begging me to send them some of my virtual corn just so they can feed their virtual cows.
It's plain these people have little else to amuse themselves with. My life, on the other hand, is much too interesting and challenging to have any need for something as tedious as Farmville. I guess I just have to accept the fact that I am too good for Farmville and that—just like commercial radio—it is beneath me.
It's not easy being a snob.
2 years ago