|Daily Journal For Wednesday November 25, 2015
||[Nov. 26th, 2015|05:46 am]
Symphonic Rock Productions
Up 8 AM. Laid in bed for most of an hour listening to tracks on random play on the computer before I could urge myself into motion.
Had a big bingy breakfast with the latest My Little Pony episode – the one about Rarity and the magic book.
Guess every pony has to go psycho once in a while. But I think the show is based on a false object lesson, which it attempts to acknowledge is false at the end. Telling the truth to someone usually will not produce a favorable result. Nobody wants to hear that something they're doing only looks good to them, or that their religion has them believing something stupid, or that they shouldn't trust their favorite politicians.
Society, even pony society apparently, is based almost entirely on time honored lies, mythologies or just things people have become accustomed to turning a blind eye to. There is never a good reaction to exposing somebody's favorite self deception to the truth. So it's really dumb for cartoons to be teaching kids to be honest in a world of such prevalent dishonesty. So this episode is saying, “Yeah, if somebody you care about belongs to the Westboro Baptist Church, you need to shove the truth down their throats, for better or worse. But otherwise, don't expect a lot of brownie points for being honest.”
Don't go telling that Brony over there how stupid he is for trying to design a gun a pony can shoot with hooves, because ponies have magic that enables them to do pretty much anything as if they had hands. They don't want to hear that their brilliant inventions were never necessary in the first place. They'll like you a lot better if you just pat them on the back and say, “My, there goes a clever Brony.”
That is, assuming you want them to like you. If you don't care if they hate your guts you can go around spewing all the honesty you want to. But my experience in every fandom I've ever been in is that you check your sense of honesty at the door if you want to get along with people. And that goes double for significant others.
After the MLP episode I went on to watch a couple more YouTube videos I had saved to watch later. And I noticed right away that this had me wanting seconds for breakfast.
Apparently I don't get much out of YouTube fare. It's usually somebody showing what records they bought or some top 10 list of the dumbest whatevers . . . or talking cats. So obviously this stuff only exists to accompany chewing, and I would not be doing so much chewing if I gave it up.
Didn't have any specific plans to do today, except to maybe catch up on some of the things I failed to do yesterday, but ended up still not getting to any of that.
Put on Volume 3 of TV's Greatest Hits. (I'm missing Volume 2.) This is the 70's and 80's volume, though I noted quite a bit of 60's included, particularly in the cartoon section. Apparently whoever put this collection together had watched those shows in the 70's as reruns.
I thought I'd put this on in the background while I did some internet business, but I found the album quite attention demanding – not about to let me divide my attention. And, as I am prone to do, I started thinking this was a really good record and speculating as to its value. Not monetary value of course, since I think I only paid a buck for it. But just because something doesn't command a big asking price doesn't mean it isn't a treasure of some other sort.
In this case I determined that the value of the record was historical. It preserved something from a bygone era and put a pleasant perspective on it – the kind of thing I was very much fascinated by in my youth, hearing about things that had their time before I came along. Though it's kind of odd realizing that this is stuff I was actually there for. Therefore, it's not as much a history lesson for me as much as it is nostalgia. And it surprises me to realize how little difference there is between the two experiences.
You know, they never put these collections together in mind of young people who weren't there. They are always produced for the nostalgia market. If it happens that kids find them later and get an educational value out of them, that's just a peripheral benefit that no one's making any money off of. People looking to make money off of kids would much prefer to sell them something new.
Listening to it as nostalgia I was put in mind of just how integral TV and radio were to life throughout the 20th century. It's not like I don't have plenty of news related documentaries on vinyl, but those don't really take me back the way show openings do. The news puts a perspective on the times which is more often than not negative and disturbing, punctuated by wars, disasters and social unrest. While the shows and the music take you back to the things folks in those times found joy in. And that's what a historically minded kid is really interested in. Why was it good to live back then, and how does it compare to the good stuff of today?
But when listening as nostalgia, as I am now old enough to do, these themes and openings remind me of people and places I spent a lot of time with, even though I only saw those people and places through a TV screen. But that's an interesting aspect of TV and radio. They transport you out of your comfy chair in your safe living room, projecting your mind to different places and times to see people who will never know you or realize how much better you came to know them than you did you're actual real world friends.
But as I listened further I was reminded of how I eventually came to take all of these people and characters for granted. They went into syndication and have never really been unavailable if I should ever have missed them. But in most cases I actively avoided them. Even now with all the free nostalgia channels we have, I don't make it a point to revisit these shows. It's odd, being such a nostalgia nut or history buff, but I really don't get off on the idea of moving backwards.
Yes, I do think the shows were better back then. The comedies were funnier, the dramatic shows were more intriguing. But they're better suited who I was then, and I don't really remember myself that well. So I'm not really seeing them with the same eyes or feeling them with the same heart, and I'm often left wondering why I thought this was so great back then.
Are the new shows any better or worse? I couldn't tell you, because I don't watch them. I'm just not interested. They're not a part of what constitutes modern times for me. They're made for other people that I don't know, understand or even care about. I have no desire to be transported to their world, because I don't find their world or their values at all attractive. Half the time I don't even know what the audience is supposed to be laughing at.
So, for me, and possibly others like me, TV and radio ceased to exist sometime around the turn of the century, which not coincidentally was when I got my first computer, and entertainment abruptly changed from the voyeurism of pre-recorded shows to one continuous unscripted show in which I'm a character, and my entertainment is seeing what silly things the other characters I interact with will do.
I'm like a live TV star in a sit-com that might be titled “My Favorite Bunny.” Or sometimes it's more like a soap opera, “All My Furry Children.” But, though the cast sometimes turns over rapidly, there is not a great marking of the seasons. So the show I'm in has run longer than most of the shows that have their themes on this album. And I sometimes get the feeling like this show should be ending soon and I should be looking for a job in another soap. But I know I'm type cast and no one will accept me in any other role.
Does Second Life have nostalgia? Actually it does, but it doesn't lend itself well to anything that could be preserved on vinyl. Sometimes you might put your old screen captures on random play and see clubs or even whole sims that you used to frequent that are long gone, and you'll miss them, being sad that you can never revisit them.
But, actually, you can never revisit anything in SL, because even the sims that last a long time are constantly changing and never look the same from year to year, and it's only been on the rarest of occasions that I've managed to attach a song to a specific time, place or person in SL. And, there are no reruns, because the whole thing is live. So you never get to review your performance, let alone preserve it for future generations.
This leaves me wondering if the children of the future, indoctrinated directly into being live TV stars, will have any use for traditional radio and TV shows. Will they even find the idea of observing without the ability to interact repulsively frustrating? I know it happens to me some times that I'll be watching a video and will grab my mouse, looking for the controls to change the camera angle. And then I have to remind myself, “This is not Second Life. I can't look wherever the hell I want to.”
It is strange to reflect that, though we theoretically have so much more now because of all this technology, it has cost us everything that made life in the previous century memorable. The 20th century was the journey, and the journey was marked by many a road sign. But in the 21st century, this is it. We've reached our destination, and we'll just hang out here until we die.
Oh, maybe we'll get better grids. Maybe we'll get neuro implants that will bypass the video screen entirely and make us feel like we're actually living in-world. Yes, we still have new technologies to look forward to, but I think the basic mode of virtual life is set and won't change very much. It will just be a matter of improving our ability to enjoy it.
And entertainment will become our lives. We will entertain and be entertained by each other. And it will be extremely difficult to pull ourselves away from our virtual entertainment. Perhaps we might for food, work or other life necessities, but certainly not to watch old TV shows. If we have any use for those at all it will be watching them in-world with friends.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't necessarily have a great time in the 20th century living in a body I never liked, being too shy to interact with people as was expected of me and so forth. I'm not going to sit here and make out like living in the real world was a great thing. It wasn't. Virtual life promises many desirable advantages that I plan to shamelessly enjoy. It just leaves me in doubt about the value of everything I've collected and preserved from the past.
Will there never be anymore kids like I was who are fascinated by all this old stuff, simply because it is so obviously old, or because they view the people of bygone times with an air of mystery and romance? Will there be no more children who enjoy putting the pieces of the past together like some gigantic jigsaw puzzle? If not, then it was a waste of time collecting and preserving all this stuff.
Without someone to leave it to who'll appreciate it, everything has been just for my own indulgence. And when I'm gone it will either be dispersed or shoveled into some dumpster.
Doesn't anyone know a kid who likes vinyl records so much he dreams of an entire library of records coming into his possession - some kid who constantly bugs an aunt or uncle to play records for them and answer their endless questions about the past the records relate to? I feel so sad not to have someone like that in my life.
After the TV's Greatest Hits album had played and I had written that previous bit of melancholy, I put on a record of some acoustic guitar jazz and had a brief conversation with Niko on Facebook about how his posting of Spectral Shadows on Fiction Press was getting a somewhat favorable response. But all I could think was what a shame it would be that eventually he'll get to the end of what I've written and everything will just stop again, because I don't seem to be able to write anymore, let alone finish anything.
It seems deceptive to get more people excited about stuff I wrote when I was much younger, less cynical and more inspired. In this also I'd give anything to meet someone who liked my concepts so much they'd just buy the whole franchise from me and finish it themselves, so that I could have that incredible weight off my shoulders and enjoy the rest of my life.
Not that I'm ungrateful for what Niko's doing. The work needs promoted, and I've no energy to do that. At best I can write an episode now and then, if I'm lucky enough to have a particularly good day without a lot of other stuff I need to do. Maybe promoting the work on other sites will land me some collaborators who can pick up some slack for me, or keep me motivated through brain storming sessions. Otherwise things will just fizzle out.
Thinking depressive thoughts like this I leaned back and closed my eyes, succumbing to a suddenly overwhelming feeling of fatigue. It was like being drugged. It was all I could do to wake up enough to shut the turntable off when the record finished. Not that I was ever really asleep, it was more like passing in and out of consciousness, all the while thinking I must open my eyes and get on with my internet business, which I never did.
This went on through most of the afternoon, until around 6 PM when I forced myself to get up, with great difficulty, and go see if the mom was fixing dinner. She wasn't. I had to do it again. Fortunately I had plenty of time. So I could do it at a slow pace.
Dinner was nothing special. Meals On Wheels for the folks and a TV dinner for me, plus coconut cake and butter pecan ice cream for dessert. But the folks made a point to fuss over it like it was every bit the 67th anniversary dinner they could have wished for.
I ate downstairs with the folks, which I only do on special occasions, and the dog paced around me like a sentry – my brother and sister in law having apparently raised her to be a little beggar. Or is it that she equates the fact that I share my food with her as a gesture of love? Either way, our little Lady dog seems determined to see that she saves me from as many calories as she can get me to surrender.
Somehow the mom got on the topic of how we had not been out to see the aunt's grave since the marker was put on it, which is remiss of us, because I wouldn't trust the folks at that cemetery to do anything. And the mom would be quite distraught if it turns out her sister has been laying out there all this time without a marker, let alone visitors. So I said I would talk to Jeff or perhaps Phil about a trip out to the cemetery. (Phil has a regular car that can take 3 passengers. Jeff has a van with only one passenger seat.)
Seems horrible to neglect the aunt as we have, her being in a strange cemetery with no one she knows and all. Not that I believe, on a rational level, that she has any cognizance of where she is. I imagine one grave is pretty much like another to the dead. I just wasn't raised in a society that encouraged one to think rationally about such things.
Brother Steve had the good sense not to be buried at all. So I never have to think about visiting him. Brother Terry was doubly courteous by not letting us know how, when or if he died, sparing us a number of perpetual irrationalities. My good sense is to hang around until nobody is left who'll care. Of all the things I expected to need help with in life, getting comfy with my hole in the ground has never been one of them.
Graves and the related rituals I assume are mainly for the comfort of the living, but they don't do anything positive for me. Brother Steve felt similarly. He did not like funerals, and even in death managed to schedule his own on a day when the whether was so bad most couldn't attend. “Poof” he went. No muss no fuss. Existent one day, non-existent the next, and no monuments or markers to confuse people about that. That's the way to go if you can manage it.
I seriously wish I hadn't been raised in a culture that made such a big deal out of death, as if anyone really knows anything about what is experienced beyond it. In all likelihood folks just go to sleep, and maybe they dream for about 10 minutes or so after being legally dead, as brain activity monitors suggest. Then it's a dreamless sleep from there, completely peaceful with nothing further to fear. All that is tragic being left for the living to conjure in their imaginations.
No big deal really. One's life has to have a start and a stop, as denoted by the grave marker. All that life is is lived between those two dates, and nothing before or after matters to the remains lying under the marker. Any immortality we achieve depends entirely on the things we do during that time, and how well we're remembered for it.
Someone like Beethoven will always be remembered. But someone like Jesus, who in all likelihood never existed as anything more than a fictional character, is afforded the same immortality. Indeed, the immortality of some fictional characters seems far more substantial than most people who actually lived.
As the person I am in the real world, I don't expect I'll be remembered very long, particularly if I'm the last of my clan to go. I'll be just a neglected marker in a field with a duck pond next to the site of a long demolished amusement park where the Big Bands used to play.
If I get any significant remembrance it will be as a bunny on the internet. Maybe someone will make a marker for Perri on Second Life. Folks do that on there occasionally.
Strange that in my reincarnation as a bunny I became someone I'd think worthy of remembrance. I made more friends and was more of a participant. I should respect that and save more energy for Perri to enjoy her time with her friends, leave them more happy memories of her.
After all, even in this age of virtual living, it's not everyone who's gifted to live as what they are truly happiest being. I'm missing out on too much joy that's being sucked out of Perri's life because of my constantly trying to do things in real life that I ought to know by now can't be done, and have no real reason to be done. If just because she is wanted and loved, I have reason to bring Perri back to full life. Maybe I'll focus on that as a priority for a while and see how things go.
As I went to start typing this up I discovered that my Microsoft Word Starter on the big computer has ceased to function. I need that mainly for searching for italics, which the Open Office program won't do. But I don't need that for anything but formatting Spectral Shadows episodes for Live Journal. Hopefully I'll get to the bottom of this problem before I get another episode in the can.
Note to self: Try not to tackle so many deep subjects in a day. These long entries take way too long to type up.
To bed 6 AM. Stress peak for day: 0. But fatigue peaked at a 10. Melancholy was also up, but leveled out into optimism. So I guess you could say it was the best and worst of days.