The Data Effect

It’s not what you think.

I’m not writing a blog about my favorite character from Star Trek: The Next Generation and no, I’m not unintentionally putting incrimination evidence into cyber-space about my nerdy hard-on for Star Trek. I’ve got a confession to make: I experience Data Effects. What are Data Effects? Have you seen the episode where Data gets his emotion chip put in for the first time and his world is turn into a bright array of mortal messiness?

THAT is a Data Effect; when you can’t stop indulging in something that you hate. A strange emotion first appears: You tighten you hands; your ribs seem to press into your lungs; your eye twitches as your neck bends sideways as your brain searches through its known vocabulary to try to string a descriptive sentence together. But you only manage a single-word outburst.


And then more words start to leak through the brain-probe you’ve just endured, such as: “What the fuck?”; “People actually listen to this shit?”; “I feel like my butt hole was just violently fucked without the courtesy of lube or a reach-a-round.” You become more creative with your similes and metaphors the longer you subject yourself to said torture AND THEN, without logic and beyond reason, you torture other people so they can share in your inexplicable, yet justified, hate -“Hey bro, check out this video of this dude getting his nut sack ripped open” or “Have you heard Ke$ha’s new single? Doesn’t she sound like a hooker, who has rotted away her nasal cavity from cocaine induced binges, having sex with a walrus?”

Actually, when I listen to a KeSha song, my thoughts become segmented with the lyrics like this:

“Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack ‘Cause when I leave for the night, I ain’t coming back.”

Shouldn’t you, like, brush your teeth with toothpaste instead? I mean, your breath is going to get all funky from all the beer and sugary cocktails, you might as well star the night off with clean teeth and fresh breath. However, if you want your breath to smell like desperation, I guess that’s cool too. We all can’t have class.

“And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger, but we kick ’em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger.”

Um…have you seen Mick Jagger?

That’s how drugs will age you, kids.

“Boys tryin’ to touch my junk, junk, gonna smack him if he getting too drunk, drunk”

Wait, you have junk? What junk are we talking here? Like, twigs and berries junk or “whacha gonna do with all that junk inside that trunk” junk? And, you’re totally cool with random men touching you inappropriately unless they have had too much to drink? Women’s liberation has come a long way…

I do the same thing with Niki Minaj lyrics:

“You a stupid hoe, you a, you a stupid hoe.”

Woah there, Niki. You shouldn’t talk about yourself in the third person like that. I’m sure you have some nice qualities.

Or not.

Case and point, there’s a lot of literature-based things that I am afraid will give me a fatal aneurysm. I could just ignore them, but one major component of a Data Effect is the inability to be unaffected by that thing that causes your pop-culture psychosis. It’s like crack. You KNOW it’s bad for you, but indulging in it makes you feel better about yourself, until the realization that those people became rich and popular off their mediocrity brings you crashing down into a depression – such a vicious cycle. Maybe I need help. Maybe YOU need help.

What causes you to have a Data Effect?


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