It’s all about the hopeful hymn-humming tension between the Two Things, life is, so often. Suspension, floating as long as possible, in that sweet gravitationally anomalous spot between bum and wage slave, between drunkard and saint, between drop-out and rebel, between breather-of-mountain-air and dead-eyed technophile. ‘Course, it may just seem that way after a couple of beers. f–ked if I know.
See, I’ve been a geek, biting the heads off digital chickens, from way back when. I’d spend endless hours at the age of 14 or so, back in 1980, tweaking the math and the BASIC code to make prettier shimmering patterns on the 147×47 pixel black and white monitor of my TRS-80 Model III. Only 16K RAM and 16K ROM on that sucker, with a tape drive for saving my handiwork, a tape deck that I played audio on – Life of Brian taped by leaning it up against the speaker on my little B&W TV and pressing the Play and Record buttons at the same time and being very very quiet – while trying to figure out by trial and error how subroutines were supposed to work. Hours, days, weeks alone upstairs in my lair, hunched over, in the dark.
I hated that machine and loved it in equal measure. It captivated me, hypnotised me. Red-eyed monomania, as the hours died overhead and dropped their dust in my hair. It almost ate my life, that f–king machine, before I discovered booze and women and dancing on the beach with a bottle in my hand and a song in my throat. Before the world opened its legs to me.
The monster is back, and it’s trying to eat my soul this time. I don’t quite know what to do about that.

Thoughts That, If Not Deep, Are At Least Wide, Uncrappy

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Dr. Phil would probably know what to do in this situation. Have you ever considered watching his new TV show?

  2. No, but I have considered shaving a quadriplegic German Shepherd, greasing it up, strapping on an aqualung, and ramming it up Phil’s ass.
    Does that count?

  3. Actually, I don’t know who the hell Dr Phil is, and I can’t be bothered Googling it, but I suspect it doesn’t matter much either way….

  4. I forgot “between ’tis and ‘t’aint”, in quest of the Comedy Redneck Vote.
    Also, I’ve gone and looked up Dr Phil now, and think it’s appropriate to reiterate the Canine Buttplug proposal. Still not sure how he relates to my little soliloquy, though.
    [Edit : sorry, fishrush – I’m feeling testy this evening. Didn’t mean to jump all over you…]

  5. [in response to the post, not to the comments above:] You too,eh? My sympathies, stav. What is it about these blinking blobs of plastic that gets their hooks in us so deeply?

  6. That should be ‘ineluctable’, of course. Not ‘inelectuable’. Curse these typogrphaicla-errore-prone tendencieiws of mine; they’ve ruined a perfectly good in-joke.

  7. Dr. Phil is, without question, the Dale Carnegie of our times. It would seem that every reactionary U.S. president produces a celebrity doctor, snake-charmer or ancillary faith healer that preys upon the fears and anxieties of a people looking for a purpose. (And they do seem in want of then when a Republican is suiting up for a war dance, whether war on drugs or war on Iraq. Don’t ask me why.)
    Whereas prurience was celebrated under the Reagan era in the form of a little old lady named Dr. Ruth who was more arch about sexual behavior than anything else, whereas Dr. Joyce Brothers languished with a Georgetown degree that was never asked about, the 21st Century has produced Dr. Phil, a strange cross between Rudolph Guiliani and a cleaned-up, detoxed, charcoal-suited Hell’s Angel, daring to put this man on Newsweek, give him his own show and allowing all sorts of sensible people (including, fertheloveoffuckingchrist, my own sister!) to delude themselves into this post-New Age, postrational and utterly general approach to human behvior and “therapy.”
    Relationship rescue book? Did we not learn from Freud that, while scientific categorization of human behavior is a very helpful and valuable concept, it is not something that should be generalized, nor is it something that should be inflexible to the constant growth of the human psyche, nor is it something that should be taken to the masses by a blundering, balding fuckface of a brain, a man who would lead a manic depressive to the face of a volcano and tell him that it was his responsibility to jump in or not.

  8. I love the way you look at life, Stav: saved from the evil machine by booze & women and song.
    Can I get a witness!

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