Barry Smith: Irrelativity
July 6, 2009
The Aspen Ideas Festival is a gathering of the top minds of the world. They come to our cute little town and exchange insights, epiphanies, theories and facts on every possible subject.Surprisingly, yet another Ideas Festival has come and gone and I was not invited to participate. And I can’t figure out why. I live in Aspen. And I’ve got ideas. Big ideas. I have a whole file of them. It’s called … THE BIG IDEA FILE (excerpts.)• You know how they have Starbucks inside of grocery stores and restaurants? Well, why not have a Starbucks inside of a Starbucks? That would be so convenient. And popular.• Why not make an electric car that runs on gasoline? That way its driver could have both a sense of eco-superiority AND a car with some get-up-and-go. I see this as win-win.• And speaking of eco – why not an Eco S&M Dungeon featuring composting toilet training, pleather whips and restraints, and being forced to grovel for funding for your little eco business. You’ll come out black and blue … and green.• Just for one day, everyone should stop being a dick. I know, I know – you’re not going to stop until THAT guy stops, right? Fair enough – on the count of three, everybody stops being a dick. Even me. ESPECIALLY me.C’mon … it’s just for a day. Ready?1-2-3-GO!Ahhhhhh…• The Ideas Festival badges that visitors get issued should come with a little paragraph on the back: “WARNING: This badge is merely laminated paper and does NOT protect you from cars. Please continue to obey basic survival skills and refrain from strolling blindly into traffic while reading your handout on the Survival of the Fittest lecture. The Irony Festival is next month.”OK, so I didn’t quite make it for a full day. Or even a full minute. Let’s start again.1-2-3-GO! • An iPhone that’s also a bicycle. And a skateboard. And a pillow.• To the people who are leading the field in corrective eye surgery: Why don’t you offer heat/x-ray vision yet? I think most of us would be willing to pay the extra cost to have red laser beams shoot out of our eyes, even if they didn’t actually make things blow up. At the very least you should offer some increased Stink Eye capabilities.• Shouldn’t the word “enunciation” be a little bit easier to say?• You know when you just cannot stop eating chips, or ice cream, or whatever? You just keep shoveling it in despite the fact that you haven’t been hungry for hours? It’s even starting to hurt? There should be a service you can call and have someone come to your house, kick in our door and take the snacks away from you. Like a Snack SWAT Team.• OK, here’s an idea: There should be a computer button that says “FOCUS” on it. When you push it, it closes all the windows except the one you’re supposed to be working on, and won’t allow them to open for 15 minutes. And it should be bigger than the space bar.• So, you’re in a cafe, Facebooking away, and you have to go to the bathroom. You turn to the total stranger next to you and ask, “Will you watch my stuff?” Then you skip trustingly to the loo. My question is: When did this first happen? I’m guessing that at one point some Neanderthals were sitting around a campfire playing with their individual piles of rocks and twigs when one of them grunted out the equivalent of “going to bushes, will you watch stuff?” And it must have worked, because we still do it today. I really hope that someone publishes a book on this subject so I can try really hard to getting around to reading it some day.• Flavored e-mails.• As a writer, can I do covers? I mean, bands do it all they time, right? They record the same song, with the same words, only in a different (and sometimes a not-very-different) style. So, could I “write” “Slaughterhouse Five” using a different font and maybe an extra ellipses or two? I can, can’t I? Yes, I can! And you know what? I’m going to! This is totally my best idea yet.
Barry Smith’s column appears Mondays. Read more at http://www.barrysmith.com.
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