The seeing-is-believing factor is so completely null and void and out-the-window in the CG behemoth Transformers realm that when flying stunts are performed for real it means absolutely nothing to Joe Popcorn. As far as most of us are concerned everyone and everything is digitally reconstituted. The guys who did the actual wing-flying are probably dismayed to hear this, but this is the world we’ve created.

Even my own physical-biological self, the entity known as Jeffrey Wells that I’ve been inhabiting all these decades, primarily exists as a digital reconstitution. In the eyes of most of those who know me, I mean. I obviously exist as a physical being, but who cares or notices outside of my two sons and friends and professional acquaintances and the publicists I deal with? And my two cats?

It’s a fact that I’ve been gradually ceasing to “exist” in a biological form over the last decade or so, and have increasingly manifested as a digital presence or smart-mouth energy field or what-have-you on a drop-by-drop, month-by-month basis. It’s a little bit like Jeff Goldblum‘s transformation in David Cronenberg‘s The Fly — i.e., “Brundlefly.”

I’ve been an online columnist for 13 years now, and I’ve been punching out a continuous stream of items and stories in a bloggy-blog format since April ’06. And I swear to God I myself don’t even feel as if I’m completely in touch with whatever my essence is (or might actually amount to) unless I’m online. I can’t quite feel it (whatever “it” is) when I’m just walking down a street or standing on the beach or talking to Stu Van Airsdale at a bar or whatever. Not like I used to feel it when I was ten years old, or when I was in my early 20s and high half the time.

Every waking moment I’m not online, I’m thinking to myself, “Well, it won’t be long.”