Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Sky Blues

Break Up Music -

“In My Dreams” – The Sky Blues (now known as Bird Mancini)

This hidden gem is smack in the middle of a great blues CD, Blues from the Hub (Boston Blues Society, 2001). It’s a blatantly sexy song, and if you let it, it’ll evoke the dark smoky jazz club with the sultry and sage torch singer performing for one bartender and one lone patron. Yeah, that one bar-fly who keeps putting bills in the smudged glass bowl sitting at the edge of the stage. That one sad man, who has dulled the ice cold stabs of a broken heart with the heat of bourbon and the voice of Ruby Bird.

Or maybe it’s a couple – finding relief and release with each other, their inhibitions sent packing by this powerhouse of a song.

Either way, it’s fantastic.

Smoke 'em if You Got 'em (But Seriously, You Should Quit)

In the news a while back was a story how Massachusetts might join other states in legislating a ban against smoking in private vehicles – specifically vehicles that have car seat age children riding in them. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Those little lungs need cleaner air, and I’m all for that.

So, why did this information give me a strange creepy feeling?

I’m not a smoker. I did smoke when I was in my late teens and early twenties, luckily I stopped. I don’t like being around smoke, it gives me more than a strange creepy feeling, it makes me sick. And I know children fare much worse when exposed to second hand smoke.

But this idea of government coming that much closer to controlling our actions – is extremely unsettling to me. Strange, I didn’t mind the seatbelt law, it made sense. And obviously cutting down kids’ exposure to nasty smoke makes lots and lots of sense – yet I wonder if we’re that much closer to the fictional world inhabited by the likes of Wesley Snipes, Sandra Bullock, and Sylvester Stallone, (1993’s Demolition Man) where we’ll start getting demerits for cursing.

I’m not a Libertarian, I’m not much of anything – I tend to vote candidate rather than party. But I feel queasy at the idea of closer and closer surveillance into what we think is our personal lives
Go ahead and laugh right now, for here comes my naiveté – Why can’t cigarettes themselves be outlawed?

I am serious.

They serve no good purpose, none. Other vices have either some merit, or are less harmful. Alcohol, gambling, pot, even prostitution could be argued to allowable or legalized in certain circumstances. Firearms too, well – they can be used for target practice – right?

But why are smokes still legal? Why does our federal legislature continue to cave to the unholy tobacco lobbyists?

Anyway, questions to ponder, yes?


My computer taunts me. You think I’m paranoid? Come watch while I play Spider Solitaire. I realize I’m not winning and am ready to bag it all and start fresh. Computer though, has another idea. “Are you sure you want to start a new game?” it queries. “Hell yeah”, I answer. Yes, I’m aggravated at the computer. Admittedly, perhaps I’m just a wee bit defensive, I’m thinking the computer is calling me a lazy wimp. Anyway, I’m sure I’m not alone in my paranoia.

Somewhere along the way, we let our machines get too big a piece of the pie. Now we find ourselves paying homage to the Hard Drive, bowing to the Bandwidth, and placating our PDA’s. We sweat (no pun intended) over climate control for our CPU’s. We insure our mobiles are charged up religiously. Our refrigerators are so smart; they are one step away from making the perfect martini. And television can pause live programming? Crikey!

Ah, television. I do so love my nice large screen High Definition set, but it is really still a reminder of our dependence on advanced technology. I think it was the five remotes that sent me over the edge. Five remote controls all lined up at the ready, like soldiers in a high tech war. Now, my husband will argue that we really need just one. As soon as he programs the Onkyo remote to control all the other soldiers, ah - I mean remotes, and then it will be a beautiful thing. Will that make Onkyo like George Patton?

I will not, absolutely not, deny the pleasure that technology has wrought for me, and the world. I am kind of jazzed that my cell phone has a GPS function, and my new dishwasher is ever so quiet. Online shopping, remote vehicle starting, optic fiber and the Segway are innovations that are bringing more good than bad into our lives.

What about the Bad? The stuff of which movies are made and jail terms served? Ever see Enemy of the State? Talk about paranoia! How about I Robot? Yes - I know - Will Smith was in both. You know what they say though, truth is stranger than fiction. There are some very real things going on in the world of science and technology that are both fascinating and chilling. I plan on making my way into the Brave New World, but will I VeriChip? More importantly, will I have a choice?