In recent weeks we’ve been treated to the whimsical and slightly fascinating escapades of a purported millionaire leaving envelopes of money hidden around the bay area. The individual was anonymous, and took to a Twitter account to run the next set of clues—setting people looking. Looking because it’s fun to look for clues, and also because it’s fun to get money.
This resulted in all sorts of whimsy—people running around the San Francisco Bay area, finding the “loot” as it were. The mysterious philanthropist mostly implied he was doing it as some sort of recompense for the nature of the housing turnover business in which he was involved.
And so you have it: Masked man. Loot. Mystery. Enshroudment. Seeing through a glass, darkly.
But not now. He has now been outed by sheer technological advantage. Not content to simply leave the veil hang to prolong and allow for the acceleration of wonder, some type-A Gladys Kravitz had to come along and yank off Santa’s beard—all by using a complex, audiological comparative voice program that matched his voice to that of a housing agent.
Good job, Adrian Monk. You’ve yanked off Zorro’s mask. Now all we have is Antonio Banderas and ZERO purpose to stare at him now.
So, because of the exhaustive, voice-analysis results of this prattling, OCD wet blanket–at the behest of Inside Editon, the man has come out and admitted he is indeed–the mystery guy.
Mystery over. And the best part of the game–ruined.
This cumulonimbus cloud of stupid clearly isn’t the first— or the last ankle-high Toto with a fetish for invasive and caustic curtain pulling we’re going to see. Nor is he the most irritating. But there is—and I don’t know why—there is a side to me, and almost yin-to-yang sort of compulsion, creeping amongst the hallways of latency—that wants to walk up to these people and punch them right in the mouth.
And yes, it would feel good to hit them.
We. Need. Mystery.
Trying to decipher things like the Jeffersonian codes is different, albeit no less disappointing when they wind up cracked. But the code itself implies the game is about the revealment. The philanthropic money maven wasn’t daring people to out him—he was egging them to find the money.
Yet, Scooter Computer, not content to simply fish, has to drain the entire pond to find that trophy. Meanwhile, no one else gets to fish while this nefarious nether-troll rolls up a giant joint of self-congratulation, and smokes it beside the now vacant bank.
But really. I perhaps kick against the thorns of commonplace culture. If we can’t know it all—now, we want no part of it. People can barely stand to watch anything in piecemeal form. They’d just rather sit up for three days on a manic-depressive Red Bull marathon watching all 192 episodes of 24. Sure, you might find yourself on and aerial CNN feed with an automatic weapon, but at least you didn’t sit around and wait for some loose-lipped roustabout co-worker to tell you what happens to Jack Bauer.
Google hasn’t helped hobble our debilitating need to have the comprehensive rundown. Ditto for Wikipedia.
There’s a reason J.K. Rowling needed her upcoming releases of Harry Potter kept under armed guard prior to the release: because she understood that ONE wayward book in the hands of some itemizing, web-saavvy idiot savant with a secondary Tourette’s broadcast tick–would run right out and barf out the denouement in thirty minutes–probably because he also has some odd speed-reading synesthetic “Gift”on top of that.
Even more importantly, this is the same reason I put safeguards around my children. This is why I do not have a viable television signal in my house. The unfiltered and unmonitored world of television takes on the role of Great Mystery Destroyer. We were not designed to know the sophistications of the world in comprehensive form by the time we’re twelve. Trust me. I work with that demographic. It was bad enough when the last episode of Lost had people my age feeling hopeless and depressed on FaceBook with their dopey and unrealized suicidal ideations. Imagine what it’s like for the contemporary adolescent these days–when every single screen they see in their life is like a giant, inanimate street flasher–removing every single mask from every single mystery.
That’s a different episode of Lost. Entirely.