Welcome To The Machine

A few days ago I had a very strange experience, maybe not an overly unexpected one, but it was very strange just the same.

I had gone to the local shopping mall with my girlfriend to look for a new backpack and get something to eat. After a short while I found one particular bag which looked well built, and seemed to suit my needs . The bag was boasting quite an incredible guarantee, that they would fix the bag, forever, no matter what. Which I thought was fantastic because I had just worn through my second bag in the last couple of years, and having one I could really depend on, or get fixed for free would be a load off my mind.

I looked around for the sales rep and eventually found her, sitting behind the counter’s cash register, mostly out of sight, pressing virtual buttons on some sort of large tablet phone. Although this girl who was quite obviously hiding, and didn’t look like the world’s greatest employee, I thought she might have the answers I needed.

“Um, Excuse me” I said to her. “Could I ask you a few questions about this bag?”

She acknowledged me by raising her all powerful tablet tapping finger to let me know she would just be a minute, and then went back to tapping, what I assume was a message to her friend how I was rudely demanding some sort of service from her.

Tablets Everywhere

I looked to my girlfriend to give her my “WTF look” but she was also busy on her tablet phone a few steps away from me, and seemed to have no comprehension of what was going on here in the store.

The sales rep came over to me, and I walked her over to the bag I was interested in, then asked her if they would really replace the bag and repair for free. She said “Yes”, then went immediately back to the discussion on her tablet, slowly walking away from me. I wanted to ask her if I would bring it there for the repair, if it covered abuse, and whether or not I would need my receipt for the repair, with the knowledge that the thermal receipts in this store would be unreadable in a year, but she was already on her way back to sitting out of sight behind the cash register.

I decided to look around for someone else to help me, and I found much of the same nearby around the bag area, employees sitting down, hiding behind shelves, and various other things, all typing away on their tablets. Weird I thought, looking around from where I was standing I could see about twenty people or so, mostly clerks hiding, what seemed to be a manager, but also five or six other customers, and every single one of them, all of them including a couple of people walking, and my girlfriend, were pressing on the screen of their tablets. It was weird, like I was some sort of ghost or something, like we all were ghosts to one another, there was no vocal talking, eye contact or traditional socializing going on between anyone at all. Some people even had headphones on, satisfying not just their sight, and touch, but hearing as well.

I called to my girlfriend “Babe… Babe…” but she kept tapping away “Honey!” she looked up a second. “Put your phone away a minute, please.”

“Sec” she said and typed a bit more before lowering the phone a few inches. “What” she said

“Look around” I instructed her

She looked around a bit and said “What?”

“Look at everyone, every single person here is tapping away on their phone.”

She acknowledged it, then started to go back to her phone. I started to feel a bit worried about this, like it was a serious addiction for most people, including my girlfriend, I was worried about her, and humanity, and also feeling a bit alone.

I demanded she put the phone away or I would not buy her dinner, she did so, and I again pointed out the one hundred percent smart phone users around us.

We began to walk out of the store, which though filled with people, was completely silent except for the sound of our feet as they hit the ground, and the store music.

We left the store and proceeded to make our way to the restaurant for dinner, both of us were busy looking around to see if there was anyone NOT on their smartphones. There were some, but it was a small minority. Most people were sitting around pressing on their phones on the benches in the mall, but there were also many people walking down the halls, at a slow uneven pace, pressing on the phone as they went, blocking the progress of the two of us, who lacking a phone in our faces, were fully aware of our surroundings and traveling faster than the tablet users around us.

“Look at those two” I said, pointing out a couple, “walking all over the place slowly, and halve mindedly as they press on the phones, they have no more brainpower being used on their surroundings, or any more coordination than zombies.”

Mall Zombies

“Zombies” my girlfriend giggled.

There were many tablet zombie near collisions in the halls of the mall as we walked, and we even saw one couple of zombies collide head on, though at zombie speed I don’t think anyone can really get hurt.

“It’s scary” I said. “It’s a zombie apocalypse.”

As we went to the restaurant the people working at the restaurant were not on their smartphones, as well as most of the people eating, I felt like I was in a sort of reality bubble, but outside the windows more than sixty percent of all the people we saw were zombies. Scary stuff.

Have you looked up from your smartphone in public recently to see how many zombies are around you?

Although this song is not quite about becoming a smart phone zombie, it is the song I was thinking of while I looked at the zombie apocalypse around me.

Crank it up and enjoy.

Pink Floyd “Welcome To The Machine”(1975)

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.

You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time,

provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.

You bought a guitar to punish your ma,

And you didn’t like school, and you know you’re nobody’s fool,

So welcome to the machine.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.

You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,

He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.

So welcome to the machine.

Smartphone Zombie Apocalypse

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The Things We Do

Often throughout life, as I am happily enjoying myself, doing the exact thing that I chose to do at that moment, for some reason, some people will come up to me and ask me why I am doing that thing I am doing. Whether it is playing a video game, going for a walk, reading a book, working on a website, watching TV or anything else I do, for some reason, some people feel that I should have something better to do at that particular moment.

Often once somebody decides that I should not be doing the thing I actually want to do, they will offer recommendations of the things they feel I should be doing, using language such as, “You should do this” or “You should do that”.

I have a hard time understanding this mentality that causes them to guide me away from the thing that I wanted to do, and into a direction that I chose not to go.

Where do they get such vast knowledge of what I like? How can they feel that their idea of what I should be doing is actually superior to my own opinion on the subject?

Am I actually supposed to take advice on what I should be doing with my time, from someone who can find nothing better to do with their time then tell others what to do?

People do the things they do, because after all the weighing of all the choices they can think of, they chose that as the best possible course for them.

We are all different, we all have different goals, and we all want to do different things. Whatever a person chooses to do themselves, is decided with the unparalleled knowledge of self, and only they can choose the very true best thing that they should be doing.

We do what we do, because that’s what we chose to do.

I heard the below song a few months after writing this post, and thought I would share it here.

The Raconteurs – You Don’t Understand Me

You don’t understand me
But if the feeling was right
You might comprehend me
And why do you feel the need to tease me
Why don’t you turn it around
It might be easier to please me

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you.
If nothing is true

Why do you think that you are doing
But who is the fool, the fool or the fool
that you are fooling.
And maybe I just don’t see the reason
But in the corner of my heart your ignorance is treason.

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you.
If nothing is true

You think you know how I feel
Its not that big of a deal
There’s no such thing its not real
Oh-Oh

You don’t understand me
But if the feeling was right
You might comprehend me
And I don’t claim to understand you
But I’ve been looking around
And I haven’t found, anybody like you

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you
If nothing is true

Ween – Did You See Me – Video and Lyrics

Ween is one of my favorite bands, some of their songs are defiantly played an awful lot around here.

This is a fan made video of Ween’s “Did you see me?”. To me this song reminds me of quite a bit of Dark Side Of The Moon, by Pink Floyd, a band who Ween both resembles, and is fond of, the tune is unique,interesting, and possibly enhanced by the video.

I feel both the creator of this video and Ween (who is already massively popular, with massive amounts of fans) deserve more recognition. The speaker at the beginning, Alan Watts, was addend in by the video creator, and not part of the original recording.

Sit back, hide the children, turn on the lava lamp, and enjoy.

Has some mature scenes. PG 15 ??

Did you see me?
Come down on the sand and sea
Believe me

Did you see me?
Waving it free in the tree
Believe me

Did you see me?
Flying through the galaxy
Believe me

Did you see me?
Waving it free in the tree
Believe me

AWOLNATION – Sail – Video and Lyrics

It’s been a while since I posted some music here, although most people have probably heard this song before, I know for me at least¬† it is one tune that I enjoy listening to again and again

Crank it up and enjoy!

AWOLNATION – Sail

This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D. baby

This is how an angel cries
I blame it on my own sick pride
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!

Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Maybe I’m a different breed
Maybe I’m not listening
So blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!

La la la la la la oh!

La la la la la la oh!

Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!
Sail!

Sail with me into the dark
Sail!
Sail with me into the dark
Sail!
Sail with me into the dark
Sail!
Sail with me, sail with me
Sail!

Making A Difference In The Word – Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized Video and Lyrics

Sometimes due to something someone says, or something I read somewhere, a distant memory of me sitting in a government office applying for an educational grant pops into my head. Part of the necessary criteria to receive the grant money was for me to pass a psychological evaluation, which I did end up passing, thankfully, though one of my responses to the scripted verbal questioning did give my interviewer pause. He asked me “Do you think you can change the world ?”

I replied “No”

I could tell this was bothersome to him, and a moment later he said “Hmmm”

“What ?” I asked

He said “That is not the correct answer, you are supposed to feel that You can change the world.”

I thought about it a bit, and had a look at what I could see of him as I did it, sitting in this non-nondescript white walled concrete office on the second floor on the ten story building, with a standard government desk, surrounded by thousands of other similar offices, each with their own desk and similarly dressed people with similar haircuts sitting behind them, all arriving at the same time each day, and going home at the same time as well. We were surrounded by many similar buildings, in a little town, that is not even listed on a map of the country, let alone the world, and I felt that he also could not change the world.

“Really ?” I asked.

He replied “Yes, you are supposed to feel you can change the world.”

Ostrich With Its Head In The Sand

Ignoring Reality

I didn’t know exactly what to say to him, my thoughts were all over the place, and I felt it was ludicrous to think you could “change the world”, obviously his paper said I was a lunatic for thinking I couldn’t. I guess one would also have to define what you mean by changing it, with every breath I was changing the atmosphere just a little bit from oxygen with carbon dioxide, but real lasting change was pretty much impossible, even if you somehow managed to change the entire world for a day, it would not last for a millennium, and if somehow it could last that long, would it last a few googolplex?

So I replied simply with a non questioning, and hopefully dismissive, “Huh.”

He asked me why I thought I couldn’t change the world, and I explained to him that I used to think I could make a difference, but a few years before when I visited India, I had tried to help some of the poor, hungry people around me by quietly giving my own money and food to them. People saw this, and a crowd formed around me in seconds, it was like a swarm, their hands were all around me, the people that I had given a handout to already, would not leave the crowd. Some people started pushing and they were all asking for money. With no path for me to walk out, I was forced to push my way out, and then had to run to get away from them all.¬† I think I came to the conclusion as I ran down the road, past a seemingly never ending ocean of poor people, in a country that exports enormous amounts of food, even though it’s own people starve, that I could not make any real difference to India, let alone the world.

“Huh.” He said.

For some reason now, whenever I think of anyone being psychologically evaluated by others, I think of the following song. If you really listen to the lyrics, way down deep, there is some wisdom in there. If you aren’t into old school punk, you can just read the lyrics, but it just isn’t the same without the shouting in my opinion.

All he wanted was a Pepsi.

Enjoy !

Suicidal Tendencies – “Institutionalized” Lyrics

 

Sometimes I try to do things, and it just don’t turn out the way I wanted to
and I get real frustrated, it’s like, I take my time and I try real hard, but
no matter what I do and no matter what I try it never works out, it’s like I
concentrate on it real hard, but it never works out, it’s like I need some
time to figure these things out, but there’s always someone there going:
– Hey Mike, you know, we been noticing you’ve been having alot of problems
lately, you know, and like maybe you should talk about it, you’d feel alot
better.
And I go:
– No, it’s ok, I now have some problems, I’ll figure it out myself, just
leave me alone I’ll figure it out.
And they go:
– Why don’t you talk about it, you’ll feel alot better?
And I go:
– No, I don’t want to, just leave me alone, I’ll figure it out myself!
And they keep on bugging me and it builds up inside, it builds up inside…

So you’re gonna be institutionalized
You’ll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
You won’t have any say
They’ll brainwash you until you see their way

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

I was sitting in my room, and I was like staring at the walls thinking about
everything but then again I was thinking about nothing, and then my mom came
in and I didn’t notice she was there and she calls my name and I didn’t hear
her and then she started screaming:
– Mike, Mike!
And I go:
– What, what’s the matter?
She goes:
– What’s the matter with you?
I say:
– Nothing mom.
She goes:
– Don’t tell me nothing, you’re on drugs!
I go:
– No mom, I’m not on drugs, I’m ok, I’m just thinking, you know, why don’t
you get me a Pepsi?
She goes:
– No, you’re on drugs, you’re crazy, normal people won’t be acting that way!
I go:
– Mom, I’m all right, I’m just thinking, you know, so why don’t you, like
give me a Pepsi?
And she goes:
– No, you’re crazy!
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn’t give it to me,
just one Pepsi.

They give you a white shirt with long sleeves
Tied around you’re back, you’re treated like thieves
Drug you up because they’re lazy
It’s too much work to help a crazy

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came in and they pulled up a
chair and they sat down, they go:
– Mike, we need to talk to you.
And I said:
– Okay, what’s the matter?
They go:
– Well me and your mom, we been noticing lately you’ve been having alot of
problems, and you haven’t been acting like yourself, and we’re afraid that
you’re going to hurt somebody, and we’re afraid that you’re gonna hurt
yourself, so we decided that it would be in your best interest if we put
you somewhere where you could get the help that you need…
And I said:
– Wait, what are we talking about?! We decided?! My best interest?! How can
you know, how can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to
say? I’m crazy? When I went to your schools, I went to your churches, I
went to your institutional learning facilities. So how can you say that I’m
crazy?

They say they’re gonna fix my brain
Alleviate my suffering and my pain
But by the time they fix my head
Mentally I’ll be dead

I’m not crazy – institutionalized
You’re the one who’s crazy – institutionalized
You’re driving me crazy – institutionalized

They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy, myself

It doesn’t matter, i’m trying to get hit by a car anyway.

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