ON WINGING IT

It’s Wednesday and it took me until almost noon to realize it’s Wednesday, hence Blog Day.  And I don’t have anything prepared.

One reason for this weird mood is an experience we had with a disturbed individual last night.  Without getting into details, there was a very large guy at our local live-music establishment.  He was acting strangely, making everyone a bit uncomfortable.  He then went to his car, drove around the parking lot, and returned with a jacket on.  We watched him do it because we thought we needed to keep an eye on him.

We had a massacre at a country music bar up the road last summer, and let’s just say my Spidey-sense was tingling. Anyway, he didn’t kill anyone but he menacingly called me a dick.  Actually, he whispered to my beautiful Kiki “you’re okay, but he’s a dick.”  Well, that may be true, but he knew that I knew that he was unstable.  Unstable and like 280 pounds. And of course, your mind can do a lot of things.  Mine told me to get us out of there.  Note: Kiki was much calmer about the whole thing than I was.

If I were a brave writer, I would probably continue on about this and detail the minutiae of the event, including my feelings and thoughts.  The adrenaline. The fear. The looking around for something to use as a weapon. But I don’t want to. This is supposed to be fun.

HELLO DALI!

This is fun.  There was a post about an edition of Alice In Wonderland that was illustrated by the groundbreaking and seminal artist Salvador Dali.  Dali’s famous The Persistence of Memory, with the melting clocks, is one of my favorite paintings and one of the most recognizable works of art ever.  Did you know it’s only 9.5″ by 13″ in size?  Amazing when you consider the detail.  It looks so big!  It’s been in the New York Museum of Modern Art collection since 1934.

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The Persistence of Memory – Salvador Dali (1932).  MoMA permanent collection

Below are a few photos of the illustrations from Alice.  The photos are property of Amazon.

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Look familiar? Mad Tea Party, Dali-style

Dali was an interesting fellow, and it went beyond his stylishly eccentric appearance and his social life.  For example, before starting a painting, he used a “paranoiac-critical method” in which he would enter a meditative state of self-induced psychotic hallucinations and create “hand-painted dream photographs.” Whoa.  Note to self, gotta try this before working on new novel.

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The only turtle soup I would eat is mock.

At the time of its painting, there were theories that The Persistence of Memory was inspired by Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, hence the “warped” clocks, representing the relativity between time and space.

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Whoa, this guy’s good!

When asked, Dali said it was inspired by a wheel of Camembert he saw melting in the sun.  Note: no one ever knew whether to believe the things Dali would say about himself.

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Looks like a melting clock to me! Photo: Debby Lewis-Harrison (Pintarest)

ADVERTISING FOR MILLENIALS – ROBOT ABUSE

The Mercedes-Benz company is trying to get millennials to buy their cars.  They made a model that’s more hip and less expensive. But that wasn’t enough.  They also added this voice-activated control system so you can tell the car what to do, like change the temperature in the car, or put on a certain radio station, or turn on the wipers.

This is all good and fun and if you want to sell cars you need to sell to younger people.  But in the commercial, they show these people talking to the cars and frankly, they’re rude. We’re not supposed to bully people or treat them badly, but evidently, when it’s artificial intelligence, all social protocols and customs go out the sun roof.

These young men and women were ordering this AI thing around like it was an indentured servant or something. “Hey, turn the freakin’ temperature down, will you?”  You know, that kind of thing.  “You know I hate electronica, you numbskull.”  “Find me Taylor Swift, you moron.”

Okay so this is exaggerated for comic effect, but still. Evidently AI abuse is enjoyable and a selling point for younger consumers, but it just feeds their baser instincts.  We need to treat our robots with respect or they will, well, we all saw The Terminator, so we know what happens.

There’s another commercial with 3 young people eating at a diner that is staffed entirely by robots, and one of them is talking about whatever the product is (I don’t remember, which is a bad sign for an ad), and how great it is to have some real human contact instead of dealing with machines. Well, the robots were saddened and insulted by this comment and one would presume this is where the sleeper cell of robot revolution begins.  Armageddon can’t be very far away.

I will say that it’s less disturbing than the Chantix commercial with the lawn-mowing turkey.  But at least I remember it’s for Chantix.  I don’t smoke, but if I did, I’d use Chantix.

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You should have seen it mowing the lawn!

Funny, because in an earlier draft of my novel, there was a pretty important character who had an invisible friend, a large, talking turkey who liked to play backgammon, but I took it out because it seemed unrealistic.  I think it was a good edit.  Feel free to let me know if you agree, after you have a chance to read Smoking in Bed.

Okay, there was never a turkey in the book.  I think.

 

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