1. The ancient curmudgeon is grumping about the kids on the lawn, but happens to conflate their truly irrelevant nonsense (Twitter) with a unique, meaningful apparition (the monolith as it appeared in “2001”). Not a big joke, but worth a small smile.

  2. In the movie, the monkeys are scared to touch the monolith; nowadays, they would fight to touch it first.
    When I was a child, I was constantly told to touch things with my eyes, not my hands. Smart-things have changed this but I still have a hard time touching all these screens, while my young nephews tend to put their fingers on anything remotely screen-like (including the ad-screens in train stations that do look like giant smartphones).

  3. The joke here is that there are so many trends these days, and that young folk seem to embrace so many of them, despite the fact that they don’t have any appeal (or sense) to regular folk.

    Twitter? Yeah, it’s fun!

    Alien monolith? Yeah, it’s fun!

    Why? Who the heck knows why?!?

  4. The real CIDU is that no one is trying to take a selfie with it.

    For that matter, no cell phones are visible, either.

    I wonder if the alien monolith has a downloadable app. (I’m sure it’s free to use if you don’t mind watching ads.)

  5. J-L: David Brin’s Existence played on a variation of the theme you brought up — (Spoiler Alert!)

    The alien artifacts found in the book turn out to be basically galactic spam — the equivalent of old chain letters, trying to convince you to waste your planet’s entire resources on sending a copy of the artifact onwards.

  6. In the movie Dr. Floyd says of the monolith “its origin and purpose still a total mystery.” Probably what the old people also think of Twitter.

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