Land of the Brave
Despite Oso's previous traumatic encounters with delinquents around the world, he was brave enough to embark in the lengthy trek from Brooklyn to the hinterland of Upstate Manhattan to meet up for dinner last night.
He brought along someone for protection (or to distract the potential assailants): Dr. Cereal. I have followed the Dr.'s adventures in Monterrey and on Southwest Airlines online, but I had never had the opportunity to meet him.
Oso has become my official social network agent as he helps me meet online personae who are fun and fascinating (the previous example being Nathan and Rosario). I can't wait to meet up with him again because I am sure I will meet yet another interesting individual(s).
We decided (more like I dragged them) to take in some of the local cuisine (or rather the cuisine imported by the local Dominican community). The food was good and the conversation ranging from the mundane to the insightful. It is strange to me that I have only met up with Oso three times, yet it feels like I am meeting up with an old college buddy. It is interesting how this new dynamic medium is changing the nature of social interaction.
We did discuss the veracity of online personae and how it reflects and differs from the actual producer of the persona. Oso sheepishly insinuated that I am whiny online (which I am), but claimed that I wasn't in real life (yet I am - just ask Sara). During the conversation, I realized how much of an academic I have become. Theoretical questions bounced around through my mind: What would Weber have to say? Does this relate to Durkheim and his concept of organic solidarity? I bet Goffman would have a cool blog and he would probably use it to mess around with people's minds. I also questioned why did I have to immediately relate our conversation to the academic. Couldn't I just take it for what it was? Three guys enjoying some Caribbean food over beer and sangría?
Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable evening. I hope to meet up with Dr. Cereal again since he lives nearby (although a very long subway ride) and he has just started a job that I would like to hear more about.
And as far as I know, Oso got out of my 'hood without incident. I even walked him to the subway to ensure his safety. Although I was tempted to turn to the dark side after glimpsing his iPhone (which he demurely kept shielded even as he used it to look something up).