I am not upset about Jackson himself but our reaction to him.
This insatiable thirst for something new. Trinkets from the great digital tyranny. Glittering baubles dangled before babes.
"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer." -- Stevie Wonder
"That's what the people want. Something new and different." - Ralph Kramden explaining to Norton why the appetizer he discovered (which is actually dogfood) will be a big hit.
And so, the march of technology goes on. The bombs get smarter. We get dumber. I suppose I take some insane pleasure in watching it happen.
We have met the future and it is us. We are wired. Puppets. Jerked around. Inputs and outputs. Demographics. Phones stuck to our ears. Pagers on our belts. Camera eyes on our wrists.
"They're selling postcards of the hanging
They're painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They've got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad they're restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row" - Dylan, Desolation Row
I know you'll find this hard to fathom, but eventually -- all the words in Dylan's songs will make sense. I don't know why they're "painting the passports brown" but one day I will.
And they were selling postcards. And one hand was in his pants or someone's pants. And the circus in in town.
I remember sitting at breakfast one morning, maybe ten years ago. Dirk was from Belgium. Smart guy. Too smart. One day he turns to me and says, "Dave, I don't know what's wrong with me. I find all the conversation around me annoying."
I ask him what he's talking about. We're sitting in a booth in a typical Greek Coffee Shop. Listen, he says.
I stop talking. Don't hear anything at first. Then I hear a middle-aged married couple behind him. Someone is saying that saurkraut is better in the bottle than in the can.
"You hear that," he whines. "That's about all I can take of this type of American conversation. I'm going back to Belgium."
I thought he was a little eccentric. But he did leave a very high paying computer job and go back to Belgium where he now plays Jazz Piano in little cafes.
The problem, the reason I bring this up at all -- the same thing is starting to happen to me...