03/18/2015 09:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Can You Be Disinevited?


Someone has to outlaw evites and all the other newfound internet spawned invitations to social gatherings. Weddings, bar mitzvah's, christenings are all gris for the mill. Are e-condolence cards with animated tears on deck? These electronic salutations are spinoffs of a culture which uses expressions like "sounds like a plan," and "being on the same page." evites are for people who "can't complain" when they're asked how they are. What could be wrong with the evite? They're practical and paperless and allow instantaneous replies and even comments. What's wrong is the ubiquity. The mediocrity of the evite with its little dog holding an invitation in its mouth foreshadows an event that is the plan someone sounded out when the whole subject of congregating first came up. All the eviters will be together in a room now where they are all on the same page (which means experiencing self-righteous anger at the latest atrocity) consoling themselves by refusing to complain about their lots in life. The real problem is that all of existence is becoming homogenized by the facility with which new technologies and bywords take the pauses and awkwardness out of communication. It used to be that if you were holding a social function you would have to design an invite. Many of these took the form of cards in which read, Where: The Smiths, 129 Grover Street, When: Friday February 13 at 7:30. At the bottom the inviter might scribble something like "hope you can come." For all the perfunctoriness, there was at least some human intervention. You weren't simply hitting an invite app. You had to think. You had to do something and there was the opportunity for you to say something to one person that you hadn't to the other, however internecine or predatory the motives. So you get to the party and the hors d'oeuvres are exactly the same ones you had the night before courtesy of the prepared foods section of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or Citarella. But it's not only the food that's the same. It's the conversation--a mixture of moral superiority and self improvement (usually through Yoga) marked by the arrival with its obligatory praise of the premises and finally the good-byes, punctuated with fervent promises of future monotony, sooner than later.

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}