The end of the year – nay, The end of the decade – has arrived again. And once again we get ready for that annual ritual: the placing of the foot on the ass-end of the ano and giving it a good shove off the cliff into the ever-deepening abyss of time. Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch, and to quell any guilt or remorse we have in the afterglow of this kicking, we apply all manner of novacaines to our brains until the ball drops: from vodka to vicodin to Maui Wowie, we poor it down until only hair of the dog and four hits of Advil will rescue us. (Personally, I haven’t been to a New Year’s Eve party in decades).
Now is the place in the blog where you expect the usual laundry list of best of or worst of the year/decade/millenium/. Doesn’t that seem a bit predictable for your humble Papa? The fact is if you want to read someone else’s Top 10 list, you can simply click HERE and enter your favorite series of words in the search box at Google. But if you must, HERE is an actual link to a curious list that has that one key ingredient going for it that I find lacking in LARGE sectors of today’s society (and I don’t mean Sector A where hamburger is all over the highway near Mystic, Connecticut): a sense of humor. More on humor later.
Every day I wake up and the radio says death death die die kill kill Jon and Kate suck suck suck, America sucks, you suck, the UK sucks, Democrats suck, republicans suck, Obama… health care for everyone sucks, money for drugs, money for banks, suck suck suck. C’mon ladies and gentlemen of the media, lighten up. LIfe is pretty stressful, being subjected to the ‘news’ like this… it’s enough to want to blow up my TV or radio! So maybe I will! One side-effect of all this is: I’m listening to vinyl records again. Plus, we are doing lots of crossword puzzles, reading books, and eating tons of food. Eating is quite the thing and I’d recommend it for everyone. Perhaps Google will put books on vinyl (I’m sure they will be in the wholesale food business by the end of the next decade). Vinyl books might hasten the end of our supply of oil (perhaps a good thing? Tune up your bicycles, folks). I’m not really sure where I’m going with this one… but if you feel like going for a walk to talk about it, I’d be happy to meet you at the Google Café for a low-fat skim Chai Latte with skinny whip.
Speaking of Google, perhaps one of the most overlooked stories of the year (or the past few years) is the Google Books project. This is an undertaking where Google, in its attempt to become the third largest planet in the universe, is digitizing some 65 trillion books. This careful process, shrouded in mystery and guarded by muscular, nerdy guys from Winnetka, Westchester, and Yorba Linda, digitally copies books, allowing them to be readable on line or downloadable as PDF files. Google claims to have extracted permission from the authors – even using its own ‘Wayback’ machine to get okays from the likes of Melville, William Blake, and that Roman cat with the cool hair doo.
Now instead of 20 Gigabytes of illegally downloaded music on my hard-drive that I never listen to (I don’t own an iPod), I can have 200 gigabytes of college text books, Lincoln biographies and Easy Origami guides that I’ll never read.
I say why not. If you have the where-with-all, then go for it. Rumor has it that Google is buying NASA and starting its own space program. As long as a scientist has a say in their decisions, I say it’s probably fine (pictures of my house from outer space is getting a little old… how bout a little variety? How about some pictures of some fricking aliens already??). The last I heard, Google had a probe launched, heading for the Black Donut Hole. I realize that it takes money to undertake such an undertaking, but I was all over the black hole as a donut concept 40 years ago. I can say with all certainty that at least 2 of my friends and I had a dozen or more conversations on the theory that black holes were not holes but doughnut shaped celestial phenomena. On at least one occasion, myself and those two unnamed tripping buddies and Timothy O’Learny sketched out the concept while prostrate on the grass at Gilson Park. If it hadn’t been for the 10 thousand trails behind those migrating geese, we might have gotten this thing pinned down, but, damn! Whoa! Holy crap! Watch out! That is so fucking far out!
So Here’s how it works:
The universe is imagined as doughnut shaped (dough-nuts are so named because they are shaped like nuts). Matter is rapidly migrating around the donut (notice: multiple spellings!), being drawn into the hole (which was once part of the doughnut until it was deep-fried and sold off at the Safeway super market in the rain).
The matter, represented here as colorful ‘sprinkles’ that are often seen on doughnuts marketed for kids or stoned teenagers, are drawn to the hole. The gravity at the hole is the equivalent to that felt by a 1500 pound person living on Venus. Eventually the slope is too steep and the matter flies into the hole, being ground into smaller and smaller sprinkles called sprinklettes. Since we are on this side of the donut we can’t really tell what is happening on the other side (think Pink Floyd and The Dark Side of the Moon). A likely scenario is that you get hungry and just eat the donut. But if you could see the other side, you’d find a whole new world where the matter is pulsing out like Disneyland. Eventually this matter is reformed – like in the big bank theory – into new corporations, tadpoles, ferns, troglodytes, roller skates, skateboards, and porcelain vanities. Reference: Evidence of Black Holes On Earth by clicking here. This factual recollection – factual because it was posted on the internet – backs up the suppository of the Black Donut Hole. (People worry about that dog, the one heard barking ominously by the trees… Clarence says that dog died in that frozen pond, But that’s a lie! that dog went to war – he got the Congressional Medal of Honor, he saved the lives of every man on that transport.. As long as Google busies itself with this kind of endeavor, I don’t see any reason why it can’t subvert the history of written texts. Our eyes are going to hell in a hand cart anyway.
I hope the coming year is good for you, and if NPR is listening, lighten up. Twenty-four hours of This American Life would be perfect!