I have a thing for self-honesty. It's too easy to lie to yourself for extended periods, like, your whole lifetime, unless you really try not to. If you think about it, I bet you'll agree with me. If not, you're probably lying to yourself about it (isn't circular reasoning fun?).
I have a propensity to seek meaning and self-understanding around stuff like my birthday, Christmas and new years. It's a time for honesty and confession. You need to be in a place safe enough for you to be humble and trusting. Sounds like my column.
So here I go.
We recently had the cast screening party of my new music video for Philly 5 (which came out on New Year's Eve at the infamously huge clean-teen party, Voltage. Search "Philly 5 Swagger" on YouTube or go thecreechleague.com to see it, over 2,000 views in a week, ahem, plug, ahem plug).
The screening was a glorious house overlooking Wakamow, with a brilliant-looking 1080p HD big-Screen.
I love getting to see everyone's faces so excited with how good it turned out (stellar), but I tend to wander at parties. I happened to find myself staring away from the screens and faces and out at the view of Wakamow.
I thought "wow, what a killer view" and then "man, I love trees and nature!"
All this from behind a pane of glass. That's when I noticed, and got honest with myself. This is the part where I become less fun at a party and get found boring someone in a corner with a weird monologue.
I find technology comforting. Not the spacey, grey-everything kind of tech, of course, but the wholistic snuggie kind. I'd bet we all do (lots of bets this article, I know).
I love the woods. In a sense that sees me in some 3,000 sq. ft. cabin with monstrous windows with the entire sky over my head, safely behind glass. The wood, windows and heating keep the bugs out and me cuddly and sound.
Technology is the comfort of not having mosquitoes munch your face off, with the same view.
I love backpacking, but in the REI, Northface, MEC kind of way. I love a whistle that is secretly a knife and can start fires and lend night-time navigation. I love a sleeping bag rated 80 below zero in waterproof backpack designed to make the climb up Everest.
I've thought of myself as outdoorsy. I was in "Backpacking Club" in sixth to eighth grade and hiked into miles of wilderness eating only what I carried in or caught. Let's be honest. I ate what I carried, and snacked on a fish a teacher caught.
I love watching Man vs Wild and foam at the mouth as Bear Grylls eats a raw fish he pulls out of the ice, kills a rattlesnake barehanded and drinks his own urine.
How can I become a man like that? More importantly, what kind of boots is he wearing? What knife does he own? What kind of shirt and pullover does he rely on to cross the Alps?
I cruise the show's website to try to find a list of his gear. Gear is cool.
I don't want to learn to read the stars, I want to use my Starwalk iPad app, and hold it up to the sky and have it overlay all the names and constellations. At the least, I want a sleek, if indestructible, compass that can double as a handgun.
This isn't to lie to myself in any way and conflate all my love of nature and hiking to the simple gear involved, that'd be a stretch. I do love hiking. But I'm not sure if I would do it barefoot.
I guess I'm just admitting that I kind of exclude technology from the equation and pretend that I would still like the camping without stuff I use to make it posh.
I know, pansies like me are always good at admitting how much we like technology, where is the interest in that?
It's that I'd be willing to bet (yet again) some insignificant cash that behind virtually every explorer and outdoorsman was some piece of gear they'd prefer to not live without.
Not you? You like to rough it? Leave the knife and the boots. Those are critical moments of technology. Leave the flint too. Enjoy pure nature.
The 99 per cent of us will be over here, using technology to make us a bit more (or a lot more) comfortable this new year. We'll look out through glass panes at the snow when it comes, and warm up our cars with remote-start. We'll wear our snow pants and all manner of scarf and glove.
We'll read on paperless books and send electronic Christmas cards.
We might even get a game of Angry Birds in, or catch an episode of Man Vs. Wild.
The others? They are the one per cent. I thought we weren't supposed to like or identify with them! They can't be human. We should occupy them.
Hope you all enjoyed the Christmas season, made many resolutions, and aren't afraid to return that Kindle Fire or discount Playbook you got for the iPad 2 you really wanted. It's about being honest with yourself.
Anthony Thomas Creech, MFA, is a filmmaker and lecturer on media, faith and filmmaking. He's the program co-ordinator for the Media Arts Minor at Briercrest College & Seminary. You can find him at thecreechleague.com.