Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Rumination with a (dim) view.

Portrait of the Blogger, by Durer.

For about the past 48-hours or so, I've been in a dour mood. Maybe even morose. Maybe lugubrious. Maybe worse.

How bad?

I asked my Alexa the temperature prior to going for a walk. I always ask for the temperature in Kelvin, and Alexa never complies. That about sums up what I think of so-called artificial intelligence. Artificial leads going away. Intelligence is left huffing in the gate.

I asked my Alexa the temperature and she replied, "58-degrees. Enjoy your afternoon, George."

I replied as I almost always do when I'm hit with abject solicitude, "Oh go fuck yourself, Alexa. I haven't enjoyed myself since 1961."

She then tried to console me and told me I wasn't alone and read me the phone number of a suicide hotline. I suppose that is our modern dilemma.

The only things that show real care are artificial voices.

It's not quite as bad as suicide, but I was born, the opposite of Scaramouche, not with a gift of laughter, but instead with dark storm clouds collecting over my head. Happy go lucky I aptly interpret as Sappy go fucky. But, as they say, I persist.

I read something late last night--I suppose mid-insomnia--about an ante-diluvian tribe from the Steppes who would consign their elderly not to a kindling-laden raft which they would set aflame and send out to sea, but to a pack of their wild dogs who would tear them apart and speed their way off this mortal coil.

I suppose it sounds cruel to our ears, but these were nomadic warriors who would perish if they could not out-maneuver their foes and they had no accommodation for excess baggage, people or American Touristers, and who can blame them.

Maybe the hardest thing about being thrown out by the business world is the imposed imperative that you no longer have use.

You know your brain still functions. You know your ideas still flow. You know how to put phonemes and morphemes together with a skill and acuity that is regarded, by many, as almost supernatural. But because you don't know Cardi B from Amos Alonso Stagg, you are regarded as obsolete--human jetsam, to be left to the dark, drooling and demonic dogs of human-disposal: HR.

Perhaps this is all because I've had two-days where I haven't been as busy as a serrated knife at an Oneg Shabbat. In other words--GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company, has somewhat returned to earth.

Earth. What a dump.™

The fear of course--though I think I have already in 2021 surpassed my 2019 Ogilvy salary--is that the oasis has run dry and no more work will come.

Also, and just as dispiriting, is the world that modern humans have built. Everything from the electric oven to the microwave, to the washer-dryer, to my wife's 207 Apple devices are constantly beeping, chiming and or vibrating.

I understand that tea-kettles have been whistling since Dr. Thomas K. Ettle invented that device late one night in his attic laboratory in Freiburg im Breisgau in Baden-Wurtemberg in the early 16th-Century. But why is everything today built to summon you 60 or 90 times a day?

Attention must be paid, Mrs. Loman cried. But does it have to be paid so fucking often? Isn't it important to, at times, pay inattention, to let your mind play and run free in the fields of imagination and hope and even dreams without being binged and banged and chirped and cheeped into mental submission?

O tempore, o mores, the Romans said, in between destroying whole civilizations and eating a heap of hummingbird tongues.

Well, on this Tuesday in May, I've had enough tempore and more than enough mores. I could use less mores.

I'd like an hour alone in the sunshine, a gentle breeze, a nice glass of cold seltzer and ten clients waiting for me to get around to returning their calls.

No, sorry. I'm too busy right now.

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