no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

i... live by the river

i watch things, on tv, that sometimes i don't really understand. either i come in halfway, or they use the conventions of some foreign place.
it is the same with music. sometimes i know exactly what they are saying. toni collette and the finish - i get it. paul kelly has always made sense to me. even silly things like old american love ballads are completely understandable. i don't think it is because they have fewer layers than something like augie march or mumford and sons. its just that sometimes, because of the person you are, the things you think about, and those experiences that you have had (and shared with others), some people make sense. and others don't.

take ashes to ashes. everyone gets the action scenes, they get that it is sad that skelton betrayed everything for a wedding ring, on a surface level they can handle the fact that alex is in a coma and might be dreaming the 1980's. it might even be okay, in a chuang-tzu way, that she is unsure whether she is a mother dreaming she is an out-of-place DI, or a bolly dreaming of the future and a girl named molly.
but you need to know more than that to experience the chills when supermac whispered 'rose' with his dying breath. you need to know that another rose had the last name tyler. and that the gene genie never believed the other man who had that same last name. as an aside, it makes even more sense when you find out that sam was given the name tyler by the billie-piper fan of a daughter of a writer on the show. you need to know that across the way, various punters had taken photos of a blonde-haired john simm in a grey hoodie accompanied by those four fateful knocks. it is necessary to realise that the hunt is going to have to deal with a comatose alex just when he had begun to believe her. and you need to remember that the first season was called 'life on mars'. and that the tenth doctor is nearly done.

or that doomed-to-one-season sitcom about superheroes on abc2. that the fishman that made a move on she-force was the clown that ended up with a pregnant clare keelan on a show that was graced-with-one-season about a wedding on a perfect day.

its all very meta- and intertextual, but i think there is more enjoyment to be had in the connections. it is the reason why things like imdb and six-degrees of kevin bacon exist. it fuels the crossovers of jpop stars into the world of film. it is the reason why traditional artists decide to paint a filmic palette instead of staying behind a static easel. why official tv websites now offer lists of 'music played in this episode'. these hyperlinked shows are the reason for the success of a show like glee, and the booksales of one richard castle, who in another (related) life was really the space cowboy he pretends to be for halloween.

there is a research tool called crowdsourcing. humans become computers again and pick out dust trails in interstellar jelly and craters on the red planet. im certain not too many of the sci-fi writers of the 1950's realised how capitalistic inequalities would re-create human slavery in a high-tech world. when we go to mars (of course it will be mars), the people living there will experience a kind of utopia based on the slavery of countless human masses sifting through data. we don't need the oud - we have the poor. i begin to lose hope in the dream of mechanical AI - on some poetic level i think it is right that we are doomed to be alone in this universe. alone to torture each other and end each other. alone so that we cannot blame anything else for the way that we trash our universe. i doubt we will ever make it out of the solar system. hawkeye said that the average existence of a single species on earth is 2 million years. we're in the tens of thousands i believe. do you think we can make it out of this mess we're in?

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