Friday, July 24, 2009

When is too much too much?

"I give you a choice, Duncan. You may drink from this cup of broken glass.....or you can go to the San Diego Comic-con."

"Ummmmmm........can I wash the broken glass down with water?"

Not my thing. Crowds. Too much stuff.

Now I'm a pretty pop culture savvy guy. I have to be, just to keep up. But the more I learn, the more I realize I have more to learn. Each little niche is a huge world within a sliver. You open a lid an inch and out flows a cornucopia of possibilities and history and connections.

Sometimes this Horn of Plenty can seem more like a Pandora's Box...overwhelming and heavy. My nature is to gather information. Frank Frazetta art leads to Roy Krenkel art which leads to Howard Pyle which leads to the Pre-Raphaelite movement, with side trips to art nouveau and post-impressionism and surrealism....


I have to shake my head, and back off. Too much.

I feel these days as if I'm actually fending off information. I am carrying new books and used books, and it turns out I have an almost photographic memory for books titles and authors. Out they pop.

I need to know about comics, and card games, and board games, and toys, and anime and manga, and sports cards (and the sports world behind it). Also T.V. and Movies and Music.

Arggghh, again.

I can't stand it if someone comes in and talks about something I don't know. I immediately have to google it and Wikipedia it. And wrestle it to the ground and gnaw on it and internalize it.

So sometimes I just shut down. Put on my stupidly polite look, and go, "Huh?" when someone asks a question. Nothing personal. I've just been overwhelmed and my brain is ready to explode.

I dreamed last night that I was in a big city and visiting this HUGE pop-culture store. I felt overwhelmed and didn't know where to start. I was at a loss.

Yesterday I had a woman come in looking for a card or board game that her whole family could play. I enthusiastically dove into the details of Settlers of Catan and Munchkin and on and on. Too late, I realized, the more information I gave her the more confused she became and the more she backed off.

Too late, I tried to winnow it down, but she had already decided to walk away and "Ask her Family." I may or may not see her again.

When is too much information too much?

I can't help my nature. I just love to know stuff. I'm not saying I have deep knowledge, just that I can put in a box just about anything you might bring up. I'll at least know a little.

But I'm not so much actively seeking it out anymore, but taking it as it comes along. Just slotting it in on the knowledge tree, and moving on. This isn't a matter of overworking, this is a matter of not knowing when to shut off the information flow...The internet was a terrible invention for Five type personalities...

I think what saves me are books; living in someone else's world for awhile. I am able to shut down a bit more at home. Take a nap. Sit out on the porch.

Go to Comic-con? Hand me that cup of broken glass, please.

(This is where everyone tells me I need a vacation. Don't I know it.)

1 comment:

Keeneye said...

I have a friend at this, and her updates via Facebook are hysterical!

Although I (like you) hate crowds, so the last place you'd find me is at the Pizza Expo in Las Vegas every year. I devour the updates about the event afterwards, however.