Silly Grins

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Deviousness & Debauchery

Deviousness & Debauchery: Taking Control


Over the past few days, I'd actually been thinking of both of the bands. Not that I was old enough to listen to and appreciate what their music meant when it first came out. 

First, Debbie Harry. 

 Another Geiger Giger masterpiece

Once upon a time, she was in a movie called Videodrome. You don't have to know who Debbie is. You don't even have to know what a video is. You don't have to know anything in this day and age of a digitized reality that is maybe 50/50. 

Half-in and half-out.

The battle for the mind of North America was fought and won with the assistance of the video. Now, the Net and YouTube seem to be doing such an adequate job with the world. An adequate job catching what the boxes don't.

Humor me. 

And dare to watch as he puts his head into her heart of glass.

No... it doesn't bother me. Not at all. 

You see, last time I was in North America in the flesh, I went to visit a doctor as I was quite willing to pay for a second opinion in a language I am comfortable with. While waiting in the lobby, a man, maybe geek-30 came in. You can never tell. He had the well-practiced insomniac's pallid complexion of someone who only lived off of pizza and C0ke. And probably anything else that would keep him awake and connected to his console for the longest periods of time.

He might have been tweaking in more ways than one. Cause he never stopped talking. Never stopped talking about getting kicked off public transportation and being quite angry about what had happened to him on the ride over, half of which he had to walk. He also noticed the woman sitting across from him was wearing a nice looking necklace. The woman he'd just sort of started the one-way conversation with cause the chair across from her was open.

The room had already gone uncomfortably silent by the time he asked her what her nice necklace was made of. Not really sounding ready for the question or the entire situation, she naively told him platinum. When he got up, I noticed he was wearing gloves, the ones he explained he always wears because his pale skin is sensitive to the light and everything else it touches. He'd also mentioned his gaming habits. 

So, as he crossed the waiting room, I though I might pretend to be more than just an overlooked fixture. So, I stepped into his reality in slow motion to ask him which game he spends the most time on. Maybe asked, what he'd recommend... since the magazine I was holding in my and happened to have an article or two about games in it. On this page...

Somewhere in his answer, he mentioned that he has a hard time telling the difference between what is real and what isn't, "fifty-fifty" he said. When our 'conversation' finished, the icy stillness in the room was starting to thaw... a little. 

No one in the waiting area was comfortable, but they didn't have to let it paralyze them. One way or another, it was simply an attempt to engage and perhaps keep him in the collective reality 'cause who knew what was going on in his mind. He was kind of used to having trouble with it all. But he knew what kind of medication he needed, and so did everyone on the second floor of the building. Even if they hadn't wanted to listen. He needed some kind of medication he would probably end up getting with the doctor's merciful blessing. For his sensitive and covered skin. All that seemed to keep his mind focused was that he knew what kind of medication he needed.

No, I don't know what he was thinking. But I do know that crows like shiny things and that he was dressed in all black. 

Now, the post devolves a little. Maybe just enough. Maybe just enough to address the debauchery. And loosely tie everything together.

Freedom of Choice

 In ancient Rome there was a poem
About a dog who found two bones
He picked at one
He licked the other
He went in circles
He dropped dead

Living in such a controlled culture... the one D & D are slated to tour through... living in such a controlled culture, the lyrics to the song and the camp-style and kitsch-ness the video delivers is somehow appropriate. 

Freedom of choice is what you got...
(only the last minute is 'necessary' to get this place)

freedom from choice is what you want.


  1. You mighta saved that woman with the shiny necklace...wonder if she realized how close she came to being a terrible accident?

    We tend to evaluate things on our own terms and forget it's OUR terms. He coulda tried to remove her head just to get at the shiny thing and it woulda made perfect sense to him.

    The Atari joysticks in the first vid gave me happy did Blondie :)

    1. As soon as the guy entered the waiting room, the air started to buzz with cold-electric static. The woman may have been overwhelmed and not really expected the situation... I sure hadn't. If the local bus driver has kicked him off for fidgeting with stuff, that's a sign. He could have even been an ex-service member... who knows. He was definitely seeing things on his own terms and was pretty sure he was going to get a specific prescription from the doctor for the painkillers he was jonesing for. I did not want anyone following me or anyone else back to their car. Anyway...

      Atari, joysticks, and Blondie... even if it was ages ago, there's still something to seeing people in their prime. No idea how well she's aged, not like it matters considering her legacy. (Just spent 13 minutes 'educating' myself via Y-Tube through a 2010 60 Minutes interview... she's done well considering that she rode with T. Bundy and managed to escape... dayum)

  2. Talk about feeling outside of reality... I saw Videodrome with my uncle when I was a kid at the cinema. Halfway through and all he could do was look at me and say, "Jeez, I'm sorry about this..."
    It wasn't that the movie was bad, just bad for a kid. Even though I'd already seen Scanners and liked Cronenberg...

    Everybody plugs in because they want to. It's the same with religion. Reality sucks, underachievements and failures... too painful, so people look for something more when they don't realize their own realities could be so much more.

    1. You've got a cool uncle if he even thought twice about what you were being exposed to.

      Freedom of choice...

      Reality can always be so much more. That's so easy to forget in so many social environments, particularly Japan. That's kind of why I have to mentally break this place apart into geographic regions with local histories. Otherwise, I would feel like I was on one of those 'variety' shows that offers no substance, sucking away precious time instead of being so much more. Or simply alive.

      Freedom from choice.

  3. There is a fine line to be drawn when it comes to leaving the safety of home and your entertainment devices. Things in moderation can be a good thing, but then I am reminded of my brother. The kids is a nice looking young man but at his age (23 in a week) he still has failed at growing up because he is stuck on Street Fighter. He works a dead end part time job at Walmart, still has no license and is moving back home to moms. I can't wrap my head around how he can derive so many wasted hours of enjoyment from a game. I like games too, hell I have tons but after a little while my hands get tired, my eyes water and I get stir crazy sitting inside the house.

    Also any time I see an Atari controller I have old thoughts of playing the Atari and chewing the joystick because the rubber squish against the hard plastic inside felt and sounded cool.

    Also Devo's Peek-A-Boo was one of the first songs I taught my above mentioned brother how to sing when I used to babysit him way back when I was 11. I continually thank my uncle for giving me free reign of his extensive music collection when I was a kid; which included Blondie AND Devo.

    1. So many wasted hours on a game... I wasn't surprised to learn that those things are designed to get people hooked on 'empty stimulation'. I'm just kind of surprised people are actually talking about it:

      Even though moderation may be good thing, it isn't always so fun. Can't claim to have had the pleasure of destroying any joysticks, but I definitely lost my share of quarters in the machines.

      Blondie wasn't in anyone's music collection that I was exposed to as radio seemed to do enough of that, but DEVO definitely was. And a lot of other stuff.