Past Pretense

Flipping through the pictures of our trip to the beach:

"Did they come out good?" She asks.

"Yeah, pretty good." I say "I think this is my favorite." I leaned over and showed her the picture from my phone. It was a picture of me gently running away from the tide and Calvin, with his back to the camera readying himself for the next wave. The background is perfectly trisected by the beach, the ocean and the deep blue sky. It's a GAP ad if ever I saw one.

"Of course that's your favorite." She says as she rolls her eyes, "Cause YOU look hot in it."

And she's right.

Cause I totally look hot in it.

And she's also right.

Cause that's why it's my favorite.

My usual self centered narcissism aside, how can one not like the picture the picture that makes them look good?

Who takes a shitty picture and then says "umm, yeah, totally, that one, that's my favorite."?

Nobody does that. And if they do its because it was a group photo and it was the only shot where the four year old wasn't making faces at the camera. But even then they'll tell the other person how pretty they looked before changing the subject. Never again will they stand idly by and allow their three chins and bat wing arms to be permanently etched anywhere. Then they'll remind themselves to be too busy to attend next year's Christmas party.

Cause diet and exercise are effing ridiculous.

Best never to hang out with anyone ever again.

Except me. You're always welcome at my house.

Just bring wine.

And a DVD.

Something funny with Vince Vaughn in it.

And while you're here we can sift through all the pictures we like of ourselves and set fire to the rest.

And we will do this for two reasons.

Reason number one: I just spent the weekend down in LA visiting my grand parents for their 90th birthdays.

My grandfather was an amateur photographer before it became the profession it is today, so he's more pioneer than amateur, but with all the other things my grandfather was a master at, he did it for the shear love of being a badass.

On a parallel note, my grandmother could have easily been a model for post WWII sophistication and sass. Think part "Rosie the Riveter"and Audrey Hepburn with a little Tennessee depression era "aww shucks" thrown in to make her easily one of the most delightful people I'll ever have the chance to share time with.

So it's no surprise that it took my cousin two days to sift, scan and copy all the photos she could find.

For these are fabulous people. Fabulous people who live wonderful lives. Fabulous people, living fabulous lives, with access to a camera.

Yet had they been in their twenties during the digital age, there would have been hundreds, nay thousands, possibly millions of photographs to sift through.

So, in my opinion, setting fire to 99% of every picture I've ever taken would not only NOT diminish my legacy, but will be a great service to my grandchildren when I turn 90.

Assuming I make it that far past the zombies and the global warming.

The second reason, which Beyonce and Senator Weiner know full well, a picture unless burned, will last forever

The pasty binge drinking awkward haircut depressing taste in clothing baby in the bath tub post swimming pool shrinkage double chin ex girlfriend photos are now one "Share" button away from being immortal.

Once you've gone ones and zeros, there's no going back.

Or something like that.

If we hit send, we become PRISM's Official bitch. There's no real way around it. What happens on the net stays on the net.

So yeah, I might post things, in hindsight, I don't want my great grandchildren sifting through, but its a share all society I'm an elder statesman of and I'm okay with photos of me with my kilt pulled up to my belly as long as its been passed through an Instagram filter first.

The reason 99% should feel the burn is because most of that crap is boring. If my binary bits are going to last forever, I don't care if they're offensive as long as they're fantastic.

So if I'm singling out photos for infinity, I'm gonna like the ones that make me look good, or cool, or disgusting, or obscene, or running down the beach hot.

Cause when I'm sitting on my SoCal veranda 53 three years from now I wanna feel proud of the life I've lead.

And I want these pictures to tell a story.

And I want that story to be a bit of a lie.

A slightly unnerving, fabulous lie.

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