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Monday, April 04, 2011

Angry Birds

 The fractured fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs

Second night in a row, rather than read myself to sleep (The Queen's Fool) I stare at my Iphone, play a silly game, tell myself it's an adult thing, trying to master physics.

This cannot be me!  This is unbelievable, wasting time, repeatedly pulling the sling shot, lifting the bird to the sky, determining the precise arc, angry that it takes so long between turns.  But it is denial; it is me. And it's hard to admit it, although I'm looking for a 12-Step program.

I'm powerless when it comes to Angry Birds.              

The next morning I hold the phone in my hands and glare. "I have a headache," I kvetch to FD. "A hangover from Angry Birds. I'm going to delete it."

"Delete it!" he cries, "and don't even let me see it. You know how easy it is for me to succumb to this sort of thing."

But I don't.  I don't delete it. I think, I'll control this. I can control this. No more headaches. I'll get in bed and read, lose myself in Elizabethan England, and fall asleep unless something very worrisome comes to mind.

Oh, that worrisome part!  We're nearing the spring holiday season, and because I like to enjoy the time with my visitors, most of the cooking is prepared ahead of time, in an ersatz Passover kitchen in the basement. After a few hours of work at the stove, and sorting through dishes, straightening, organizing, doing what a woman does while watching what's in the oven, I am exhausted, but wired. It won't be easy, falling asleep, especially since I've heard some news about a sick family member.

The right thing to do, for someone like me, would be to pray awhile, then go to bed, read, fall asleep. But no. We have Angry Birds.

 I wake up angry at myself, remembering last night, beating the third level of the second tier on the free game, the subtle joy associated with that.  There is an endpoint to this insanity, for never would I shell out money for the ap, the enhanced electronic game, no matter how angry the birds.  And we will run out of free levels to the game.

What is the appeal?  I ask myself, because it's not my thing, not usually, electronic games.  Is it their anger? Does smashing walls to pop pigs unleash some sort of sublimated hostility lurking within me? That's what we say, right?  The game is on my phone because on my last visit, my five-year old granddaughter acted out and nobody had time for her and it was too late to take her outside. I had no idea how far she made it on the game, didn't supervise, but she made it all the way to the second tier. We're talking about a game for five-year olds.

Maybe it's subliminal anger.  Or maybe it's that fairy tale about the wolf and the three pigs. It has to be. Remember? The pigs. launched into the world by kindly Mama Pig, are living peaceably in three different houses, one made of straw, one of sticks, the last of bricks.  Along comes a wolf who cries,
"Let me in or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down."
I can't remember the rest of the story, but it seems the wolf does manage to eat up the pigs, except for the last, perhaps, because he has made more of an effort at architecture.
Do the best you can and you'll survive
is the lesson for the kiddies.

It's hard to hear a story like this when you're five, especially with pictures. Very violent, traumatic. Then you grow up, and some fifty years later, you have the chance, the opportunity.

And you identify with the aggressor on an electronic game.

therapydoc

20 comments:

Critically Observant Jew said...

TD: Maybe a cigar is just a cigar? Angry Birds is just great for stress!
(Just don't let it interfere with life and Pesach preparations)

btw, any interest in Green Pork Rinds?
-gt

therapydoc said...

Thanks CT! The video is hysterical.

therapydoc said...

Oops, I meant CJ!

lostinamaze said...

When you find that 12 step program let me know. I even went so far as to buying the app and now there is no limit to birds flying through the air! Yikes!

FamDoc said...

Remember that Star Trek Next Generation episode, where the crew obtains this video game (with 3D visor and neuro-stimulator) that is so addicting that they abandon their posts and almost allow an alien culture to take over the ship, were it not for some crewman (Data, I think) who exerts self-control and saves the day?

Is anyone else out there worried about this?

therapydoc said...

Nah. Have you tried Fruit Ninja?

sydney said...

You know, the birds are Angry because the pigs have stolen their eggs... I believe the pigs are the aggressor in this case.

Jasmine said...

Loved your post and the Angry Birds video clip:D

porcini66 said...

Hello, my name is porcini and I'm an angry bird addict...

Yes...it has happened here too...they say that when one has an addictive personality, if you take away the addictive substance, they will simply find another to replace it...sigh. There is no end.

Ah, well...


PS - so you know, I am on 8-11...it doesn't get LESS engaging, it just gets more, more, more....until one day, you wake up from your stupor to find a clove cigarette in one hand, coffee in the other, balancing the phone on your knees and sling shotting with your nose, sitting on your crumpled jacket on the sidewalk outside of Ben & Jerry's hoping someone will offer you money for a cone...

therapydoc said...

That is so funny, Porcini. Glad you made it to the meeting.

Rohan said...

Thank You.

Still Dreaming said...

I have, so far, managed to stay away from Angry Birds... we'll see how long I am able to resist...

Mark p.s.2 said...

I think you are reading too much meaning into playing the game.
I read something a while back where peoples visual brain cortex being stimulated surfing the internet, keeps them surfing.
Like you cant tickle yourself, but the visual feedback from the computer is a kind of nerve impulse tickle , like a reflex hammer blow to the kneecap.

Pip said...

Am not addicted to angry birds (this only being due to general imcompetence with all types of technology)but I do understand you queationing what the appeal is, especially for things we don't even need. I am currently doing lent and so have become vegetarian and am eating no processed sugars. everyone else in my flat is craving meat but I haven't even noticed as all I want to eat is biscuits and chocolate!!
ridiculous isn't it. have you any suggestions for therapy?

therapydoc said...

Wait. There's processed sugar in chocolate?

Pip said...

It is on the list (on the fridge) of forbidden foodstuffs damn it!

Title Loans said...

I just got an Android and have put off downloading Angry Birds for this exact reason! I think part of it is that comparison with something to do, addiction and reverting back to childhood, mindless games. But wouldn't that 12-stepper come in handy right about now for adult life?

Car Lease Los Angeles said...

Ha, you're not alone in your Angry Birds addiction. When I first got my Iphone all my friend could talk about was that stupid game, I finally succumbed and downloaded it...and promptly became hooked! Maybe it's the cute graphics or the funny way the birds scream when they're slingshotted through the air, or the destruction of the pigs- my how I love the taste of pork. Whatever it is, it was fun for a while, I finally pulled myself out of my Angry haze and started playing Words with Friends instead. :)

Air Purifier said...

I don't understand this game, everyone loves it and I just don't know why! I was at the store the other day and they had a whole section dedicated to Angry Birds! Who's buying Angry Birds boxer shorts??

Online Furniture Stores said...

Don't beat yourself up about the anger birds, they have some kind of spell over out society. I am really hoping that they come up with some kind life version of that game... I'm sure it will show up on a Japanese game show sometime where they launch people out of something to brake down some kind of a fort.... oh.. this sounds like a great themed party!