we're overrun by information these days. From remote e-mail and wireless online access to Blackberries, text messages and giant television screens at Dundas and Yonge, an avalanche of information is coming at us every day, from every possible angle.
From my little office, I can listen to radio from around the world, read any newspaper on the planet, chat with people instantaneously and be sent hilarious, time-draining Flash animations. I can even peer into the personal lives of other people by becoming a blog addict. (There are millions of us out there.)
On the whole, this is a glorious thing. Even the pain of sorting through hundreds of junk e-mails, pop-up windows and faulty links is outweighed by the sheer convenience and connectivity we've developed over the past few years.
The hard part is trying to stay in the dark. Sooner or later, no matter how desperate people are to keep it quiet, information - as the music industry will gladly tell you - makes its way out. Even the most furiously suppressed record is eventually leaked out online.
Last week, something as simple as a sports score became a hassle to avoid. A big soccer game was played Tuesday afternoon. I couldn't blow off the afternoon to see it live, so thanks to a shockingly 20th-century piece of technology known as the VCR I planned to watch it that night, blissfully ignorant of the score. Good luck.
Twenty minutes after the game started, my cellphone started ringing, presumably calls from fellow fans offering breathless updates. I didn't answer. Got home unscathed, and when those fine folks at BBC World dutifully reported the score I hid in the bathroom until the all clear was sounded. Checked my e-mail and there were no fewer than 10 messages about the game. Started up Internet Explorer and my home page, http://news. google. ca/, had the score at the top of the page. I managed to turn it off before I saw it.
Even my favourite reality TV becomes a military operation. For reasons I can't explain, I've become fascinated by Jamie Oliver's reality chef show, Jamie's Kitchen (annoying Naked Chef dude tries to do good with a bunch of unemployed kids).
The series already aired in the UK, and the giant glossy cookbook is out on store shelves.
It would take less than a minute to click onto the Web and find out the result of the show: who made the cut, what happens next, does the potty-mouthed Oliver finally lose his rag and throw something? Not doing that goes against everything we've become accustomed to over the past few years - having all the information at our fingertips all the time.
The ghastly new Matrix film was supposed to be the cinematic event of the season, but a week before it was out I'd already been sent a dozen different plot summaries and a link to a bootleg copy of the film itself.
The identity of the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape should have been a secret, but within hours of her accusation, her name, address, sexual history and, now, photos were part of the unofficial (read online) public record.
I could care less about Prince Charles and his latest scandal. Newspapers here and in the UK might have been prevented from printing the story, but that didn't keep a news service I subscribe to from sending headlines to my in-box from newspapers in Australia, Finland and France, or the snarky Popbitch e-mail gossip newsletter from spilling the secret.
It takes a Herculean effort to stay uninformed now. No question, that's something to be thankful for, but occasionally ignorance is bliss.