Friday, June 08, 2007

TIVO: "Only through time is time conquered."

Obviously "The Whole Thing" did not play well to my invisible audience. Not that I play for an audience. But if I did, I would suspect the great Zen-ness of my Boethian concept of the giant dough ball was above them. Or below them. Or beyond them. Or all around them.

There is no way to grasp the whole thing. I mean, multitask all you want. Your brain can't even wrap itself around the average species extinction quotient, as that has never been determined. Thus when climate prophets proclaim the rate of species extinction, you have nothing to compare it to. What if the average was nature's average? Hmmmm....

I recommend Michael Crichton's book, "State of Fear," as a contrarian riposte to Al Gore. Quite fascinating, Crichton's argument. The book is not a novel but a shill for delivering scientific/social rhetoric, much like B. F. Skinners "Walden Two" or Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"--both books I thoroughly enjoyed. I guess that means I like my philosophy light, the way Plato did that there cave thing. Makes the whole thing more palatable. Pure philosophers, like Kant, can be boring in the extreme, since unlike current trends in poetry, they are loathe to give concrete examples. They like to build their philosophical castles from etymology and logic. Hell, I prefer a parable at least. Give me Jesus over Kant. I prefer the crucifixion of pure reason to its critique. But I cop to being lazy-brained and shiftless unless I'm cross-dressing.

Back to my topic. I'm house-sitting for my sister and she has TIVO. So after watching the first game of the NBA finals, which I had tivoed while attending a gallery opening, through which I fast-forwarded past commercials and the inevitable grind of the final outcome, I turned on Conan O'Brien. Live television! Suddenly the frustration set in: Why couldn't I fast-forward through his commercials? Why did I have to put up with all the boring bullshit?

Now I see why I must get digital recording of TV programs. If I have it all I have to do is wait for one or two hours before watching a show, and I can watch it commercial-free and pause it whenever I want.

So what?, all you TIVO experts out there say. Yet to me it feels like the Twilight Zone, where some guy has a stop watch that can stop time, and he can wander through a jewelry store of frozen mannequins and steal all the diamonds with nary a witness.

With TIVO (or its equivalent) I can master time. I am the master of time.

And if I master time, mass and energy can't be far behind!

Sorry, my brain is moving near the speed of light. Which makes its mass infinite.

I'm free, I'm free, thank heaven I'm free! (even if extremely fat-headed under the circumstances).

Still I have to figure out what Direct TV, my server, charges for this recording feature, and whether the time is worth the money. Time may be money, but only for those who are actually working and not on a fixed income like I am. ("Fixed?" Sounds like I'm a pet or an illicit gambling scam.)

I had "twice-cooked quail" tonight at an Oakland restaurant; it was so dry and stringy I didn't know whether to send it back for a third cook or ask them to go back and only cook it once. With TIVO I could have re-wound the whole process and tasted the little bird raw, once cooked, twice cooked, or thrice cooked. And no one would have noticed as I ruled them with my remote!

Ah, technology I love you! I have conquered time! And if all time is relative, whether live or recorded, whether in time past or time future, the time I conquer through TIVO is just as valid as any other time conquered or deferred, as in reading The New Yorker in your doctor's office.

It's late I'm done. Beware the blue-ringed octopus of Australia. Very venomous. Then you have to read the book.

--Ex-poet CE


  1. "Time present and time past
    Are both perhaps present in time future,
    And time future contained in time past.
    If all time is eternally present
    All time is unredeemable.
    What might have been is an abstraction
    Remaining a perpetual possibility
    Only in a world of speculation.
    What might have been and what has been
    Point to one end, which is always present."

    Insert here a New Yorker-style cartoon of T.S. Eliot taking his new Tivo out of the box and looking up in despair. The thought bubble over his head reads "Oh crap!"

  2. Lurk on! My invisible audience helps sustain me.


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