‘These days’ was the first expression which ever came to turn my stomach. Never before the moment
when I first came into the full realization of its implications can I recall feeling disgusted by a linguistic
concept. Since then a few others have crept in, but that one has always stood above all as a foreboding
bastion of ignorance, arrogance, and conceit.
You see, these days and other expressions like it are used, almost exclusively, to draw a spurious
distinction between past and present, usually to the great deteriment of the latter. It is a phrase which
is characterized by the cherry-picking of half-baked facts, the use of unapologetically fallacious logic
to support conclusions drawn in advance, and above all else by an emotional approach to reality not
grounded in the concrete.
In short, these days requires something which is not true: It requires that human experience, being a
function of human nature, must change fundamentally over time. I have, in some ways, made it my
life’s work to combat these days, having written a string of stories demonstrating the universality of
human experience across not just time but also space and culture, and yet when one writes something
like a “Romance for the Digital Age” the question one is expected to answer is, “what’s going on these