Friday, June 27, 2008

Who Does the Projections for ill Uminotty? And Why are They So Confident This Can Go On Much Longer? Or Forever?

A recent swing by the MSN game section left me very dissatisfied, like you care. Granted, it was the free stuff, the free game downloads, but all I wanted was chess. And I couldn't get it. And how long have we had this insignificant little time-killer of a game around? They could get chess in the 7th century, boy. But now? Forget it.

But do you care?

I recall a time when people did kind of care, when that kind of conversation, or this sort of insignificant conversation, was done in person, you know, neighbor to neighbor? Like da Fifties, daddy-o ... when people interacted like people. You'd see your neighbor and moan and gripe about some commercial snafu, getting "robbed blind" by some supermarket that went back up on their artichokes, and maybe my mother would invite the lady over for coffee, and they'd talk for hours about being dissatisfied with things, or not being dissatisfied, but having it better than their parents who lived during the Great Depression, about not getting the quality and the value for their dollar to which they were entitled for the investment of their hard-earned money, doggone it.

But you don't care whether I get to play chess against this love/hate relationship with a screen and speakers I have going on, do you? No. Maybe if you knew me, you would care. Well, if you don't know me ... why are you reading this? It's because you're a spaced-out, Cyber clod like I am with nothing better to do.

We won't survive the next recession, my fellow Americans. We're not strong enough to pull out of it. So, what does that mean? America is finished? A Great Depression that we'll never be able to slow down let alone have a chance of stopping is on its way? The prophets Jeremiah and John Mark describe in the prophetic books they wrote the falling of the Great Babylon -- the Hebrew scriptures agreeing with the New Testament. (Lagniapppe: Jeremiah might have been an Ethiopian, too, as was the man who pulled him out of the pit. Just as John Mark was African.) Do the big dogs know we're going to get clobbered? Have they told us what they know, all they know? Well, what do they know? They know enough to have jumped ship and gone to manufacture and sell overseas.

And how would they know? Projections? Sure ... but how else? How would ill Uminotty know things about the future more so, more in depth that we could, better than the best numbers cruncher in the world can determine and project? Well, Uminotty is illumined, right? And who would be the angel of light who would have sold these big dogs on the idea that this can go on forever around the world, if we'll just run and not feel any guilt about letting countrymen get clobbered with no warning?

Anyway, so here I am moaning and griping to you, a complete stranger, most likely, somewhere over in Timbuktu, or, you know, Australia, which is the same thing. And even if you read all of this "post toasty" also known as blog blather, you really could not care any less, could you ... you swine? I have feelings, too. I bleed. I'm not just another pair of hands, two thumbs and eight fingers here, I have a face, and I drink when I'm dry. But, so, anyway, you don't care, the person to whom I am communicating. And you know what, that bothers me, man! I mean totally! Because, like, dude, we used to sit around and talk for hours with our friends, our neighbors who weren't strangers ... so that some people begin to get a little paranoid about the people whom might be living right next door.

In other words, some bloke in Sydney, Australia knows about my beef, but the next-door neighbor might actually try to shoot me if I came onto that property to discuss freaking MSN games and how they suck.

And the ill Uminotty or the Wizard of Oz or the knights of the roundtable, take your pick, are so impressed with life today as we're living it that we just want to keep going forward ... because, damn, we're getting good at this communicating business.

No we aren't.

However, I have never learned so much, so fast in such a short amount of time. We, I do, take old Netty Belle for granted sometimes, but I'm able to access information instantaneously which I only used to wonder about as a kid. When I was growing up with the Beatles and the British Invasion, if you saw The Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles first performed on that program ... wham, bam that was it. And it would have been unthinkable to get your hands on a copy of that telecast. So, you remembered how different and unlike Elvis that they were; they looked like they were from another planet. It was really a cultural phenomenon to see everything change so dramatically commercially, musically, in terms of fashion and what you talked about at the water cooler. Whether you liked them or or like them or never did and don't, you have to note with some amazement how their music threw pop culture in a totally new direction overnight.

And whatever they wore or said they liked to eat ... girls would go out and buy something as close to that thing as possible. If it was a pair of Beatle boots, she might even consider sleeping with them. It was the craziest thing you ever saw. And scream like banshees, as if to say what, I want some nookie so bad that I'm going to scream until I get some?

It is actually still quite baffling, mindboggling to communicate as we do over such long distances with such apparent ease. It is indeed amazing to see the advances in communications which have occurred since the days of black and white TV and the transistor radio ... with an earplug, and earwax in it. Now with blogs and email we can hook up with someone, a total stranger, and say, hey, you know what, I'm really dissatisfied with the little trip I took recently to the MSN Game Symporium, where I tried to download a simple game of Chess, which an hour later still hadn't downloaded, but an ad for Spraychel for President, Spraychel being a teeny-bopper anime ... cartoon character, of whom I have never heard in my life. There was a time when all of the cartoon characters you knew or had ever heard of you could count on two hands. Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Huckleberry Hound. Cartoons on TV were a big dea.

So Chess is apparently out, which is discouraging, and Spraychel, a Betty and Veronica sort of person with a bigger head, who is running for president, but not really, dominates the page where my chess board was supposed to be showing up any second. So, what did I do? I went out and got loaded ... and came back and grooved on Spraychel. When it began to seem like she was talking to me, I clicked outta there. So, I'm tooling around, jumping from page to page, now that I have a registry cleaner, and I come to the XBox site. And I am blown away. XBox is Microsoft's version of Playstation, which you wouldn't known unless you'd just gotten out of a cave after 10 years. So, the site is spectacular: the opening screen shows a green army man parachuting to a white surface ... and it happens over and over, and finally you to say to yourself ... once, twice maybe, but enough already. And you're supposed to guide the army man to his drop off point by clicking the mouse. A ha. I'm in superficial hell. I'm not really having fun, but I'm interacting with something, and it's better than getting hit in the face with a shovel. Or standing outside to collect all the dirty looks from the neighbors as they come out of their shells, see you, sneer, and go back inside.

And then there was this Mass Effect game, which involved codebreaking. So, having been a cryptologist at one time in the Navy, I thought, hey I'll download that and play around with it. It downloaded like a charm, and it is the first time I've seen a gadget or widget directly on the desktop, with a shadow no less. But I do everything to this thing, and there are no codes to solve, nothing spitting out at you, just a logo with a button that allows you to type as you would on a Sticky Note. And then you press buttons, and nothing happens. You don't get a code, you don't see a code, nobody's interested in decrypting any of your codes ... this box that says Mass Effect just sits there and looks at you.

At least I got somebody to look at me today ... and not sneer.

-- rcg

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