Saturday, December 6, 2014

Drago vs. Stephen Hawking

I have a few moments, so I might ramble.  I spend an excessive amount of time watching my computer think.  The spinning circle of death.  Used to be an hour glass or something stupid.  I hate it.  I prefer the days when I completed my attendance and calculated my grades on paper. 

Did you know that I worked in a single screen movie theatre while in college?  (There's a point to this.  Maybe.)  I ran the box office.  This was back in the days of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Our theatre manager was an old Italian woman with wavy blue hair and spotted hands.  She favored me.  Made the rest of the staff jealous because she was as mean as hell but let me hang out in her office and eat candy (not movie candy - she kept a bowl of peppermints).  I went to visit her a few years after I graduated, but she had died.  I felt a twinge of sorrow despite the joy of the employees who'd worked at the movie house long enough to remember her.  She talked of her desire to return to Italy.  Too bad she never made it back.  The rolling green hills and cool evening breezes.  I see myself ending up there.  My wife and I holding hands as we walk along the beach or sit outside a café eating cannoli and sipping espresso.  My wife has pretty hands.  I like holding them.  She has soft feet.  Makes me happy.  People who don't take care of their feet kind of disgust me.

I said there was a point to this.  When I worked at the movie theatre, I computed all the transactions in my head.  No calculators.  No computers.  I spent two years in that fucking box office window and never made a mistake.  Never short.  Never over.  I don't know that I can do that anymore.  Or if anyone can.  We're all too dependent on machines.  Drives me crazy.  I'm even at the point where I hate watching television.  I don't want to get addicted to any programming.  The Walking Dead was my last guilty pleasure, but I find myself nodding off this season while that plays.

The other night, while out walking with my little girl (yes, our family takes walks together and eats meals together), she said that robots will take over the world someday because people are getting too fat and lazy.  Reminded me of the movie Wall-e.  The next day I read a news article (online, of course) about Stephen Hawking's prediction that artificial intelligence will bring an end to humanity.  The same thing my twelve-year-old said, only his was in a creepy automated voice, no doubt.  The point remains.  It doesn't take the smartest man in the world to know that something's wrong.  Only the smartest little girl.

If you're looking for a good book to read (as opposed to collect dust on a shelf), pick up a (print) copy of Men, Women, & Children by Chad Kultgen.  He could be my favorite author right now.  Just a warning - his books are pornographic (and I don't mean the sanitized 50 Shades-bullshit), so if you're a prude, don't get it.  I have no idea how they adapted it into a movie rated anything less than NC-17.  Kind of disappointed if they did.  The child-like adults and children in the book lead meaningless lives, go through the motions, and have no control.  Think Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot.  The point, I believe, is that we need to find meaning in our lives.  We can't just go through the motions.  We need to take control.  This is all we'll ever have.  All there'll ever be.  (And don't spout any religious hocus pocus at me right now - you know what the fuck I'm talking about.)

Did you know that I'm wearing an old Dracula tee-shirt today that says "Bite Me" on the front?  Funny how some people pronounce it in the traditional way as "Drac-yoo-luh" but some change the middle syllable to "Drac-uh-luh."  I'm OK with either.  Did you know that I can pull my knees up higher than my chest while standing?  I can.  One at a time, of course.  I still run, ride my bike, jump rope, do cartwheels across the stage, and hunt and peck on a keyboard with two fingers.  I laugh, cry, sweat, pick my nose (we all do - only the honest among us admits it), sing, dance, yearn, doubt, wonder.  I watch Chad Kultgen's squirrel videos on Instagram.  I wouldn't miss them.  I have priorities.  Passion.  I love.  I take the time.