thegrowlingwolf's Searching for Short-cuts to Insanity
After my brain was cooked for three straight days in a 110-degree oven, it's still tasty, but confused; it's like it now sees things as though through a veil. For instance, I bought a DVD recorder, a Panasonic, and it came yesterday and I unpacked it and it was a beautifully designed machine in a nice silvery metallic finish, and it tickled my fancy to a tee and I couldn't wait to set it up and start using it. But then, a weird whisper started attacking my deepest narrative: "It's not going to work. It's not going to work." Edgar A. Poe-ish, you see, and in a most irritating macabre voice, too. [Didn't I read somewhere that E.A. had a high-pitched voice? I have a nice ceramic bust of E.A. here before me on my desk. It's really not E.A. This apple-cheeked dude is too beastly handsome and spic and span on this bust and we know he actually should be portrayed with dark black-sagging eyes, filthy thick black hair, a blood-drained complexion whose true deformities were covered in rice powder and a look on his puss that horrified rather than allured, an odiferous look that matched his fiery bird-dung-tinged breath, quoth thegrowlingwolf, never more. Imagine being insanely in love with a child-girl-woman and then she up and gives up the ghost while E.A.'s writing horror stories in the other room--that lovely maiden whom the gods named Lenore--egads, that would be enough to drive a wolf loco.]
"It's not going to work...." My brain was overriding my control. My brain was pulling a HAL on me (is that too obscure a reference now that 2001 has come and gone and we know it wasn't a far enough date into the future to fit the science fiction it was predicting. In fact, we may be more backward here in 2006 than we were in 2001). My brain is predicting. "It's not going to work." It wasn't that normal doubt either. You know, you normally think, "I hope this works," and not a flat-out "This is not going to work, goddammit."
The damn thing sits dormant on my floor. Now I can't risk plugging it in and seeing, so I leave it in a "so-far, so-good" state.
The power in my apartment just went off then clicked right back on. My new brain immediately told me it was a glitch and not to worry. You see, my normal cynical brain has been predicting another power outage experience for us here in Gotham City to teach us a lesson, which is that the huge power corporations rule us and control us and we like it or we die.
We so depend on electricity. It's scary what it will be like should our whole system crash. It will put us back into the Dark Ages, literally. With no electricity we will be solidly alone and in the dark until we figure out how to cope with it. How do you prepare for no electricity?
Back when I was a darling little wolf cub, the electricity went off all the time. My parents had a drawer full of candles and candleholders for the occasion. My dad kept tons of batteries for his fleet of flashlights he kept all over the house. It didn't matter about the heat in the summertime since we didn't have air-conditioning. Modern inventions in terms of like kitchen appliances weren't that far along either. My family didn't buy their first electric refrigerator until after WWII, an Admiral, I remember it well. Before that? We had an ice box, a big wooden tin-lined contraption that you put a 25-lb block of ice in the top whenever the iceman came, a couple'a times a week, I'd guess. I remember ice wagons pulled by horses. I'm not that old either, you young punks. I remember how great it was when the iceman would chip you off a piece of that good, clean, fresh ice and you sucked on it and you cracked it with your teeth and that was quite a treat. Now "iceman" means somebody cold enough to just up and kill some poor son of bitch outright without any forethought or reason--"The man's got ice, man." So when the electricity went out, we still had a cold storage facility. I've heard the ancients--my great-grandmother on my mother's side was born in 1859 and was still alive when I was organizing my first impressions into real characters in my life and I heard her talk of in the winter when all the rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds froze over, you'd go down and hack out your own ice blocks, drag them back to the house and store them in dugout (underground) wood/lead-lined rooms and you'd have ice until the next winter. Those ancients learned how to smoke and salt meats to preserve them. Every woman could "can," sealed up fresh vegetables and fruits in glass jars--sealed under extreme pressure with petroleum wax. That's where jellies, jams, and preserves come from; those were the different ways to preserve your fruit. Jellies were squeezed juice without the skins; jams had pieces of fruit left in them; preserves had rinds and skins in them. All done without electricity.
One "first source" of electricity after the automobile was invented were the automobile's headlights, or you could take their generators out and have your own hand-cranked source of electricity.
Even playing music was done on hand-cranked machines, which needed no electricity.
Cars were hand-cranked, too, as were the machines in which we made homemade ice cream.
Progress has made us weak and utterly dependent on our own inventions, the big demon of which is electricity. It takes a lot of oil and coal and water (We the People's natural resources--a part of our commonwealth) to produce all the electricity we need.
Wolves don't need no electricity, though this wolf can't imagine how unbearable Manhattan would be today we're ConEd to decide to shut the power down, like they did unexpectly that black-out summer a few years back. [Plus, I have a ConEd power substation only 3 buildings down the back alleyway from me. In this heat, that sorry piece of crap built by the former Nazi company Siemans could blow sky high or at least catch on fire, which would shut me down, too, this overdeveloping neighborhood depending on this substation for all the power it needs to keep the pandered to privileged tenants cool in their sixty-story towers.]
But none of this shocks me. My brain is still whispering, "It's not going to work...It's not going to work."*
for The Daily Growler
*[another Daily Growler footnote--Wouldn't someone like to sponsor our footnotes?] This afternoon I finally took my new Panasonic DVD recorders out of its plastic wrap (its shroud) and plugged it in. It went totally off the wall. The LEDs lit up and started reading "Hello," "Please Wait," "Bye," then a message flashes on the teevee screen, ERROR DETECTED, HIT X, the X being "Enter" on the remote. I hit "Enter," it flipped a "Tray Open" box open in the right hand corner of the teevee screen. I'm a patient man--just like Professor 'Iggins, eh?, so I called Panasonic help--the phone number was pasted on top of the machine and told me to call it if I was having trouble setting it up. The Panasonic help dude toyed around with it for 20 minutes, giving me things to do--then he says, "You're going to have to take it to one of our service reps and get it repaired." He gave me the number of a place here in Manhattan, but I have to call them and see if they respect the warranty Panasonic gave me with it. They're supposed to, but I've lived in Manhattan long enough to know how the repair places can be. Incompetence runs rampant in the repair business. I'm pissed, but I was warned about it. The repair is supposed to be free parts and labor, so we'll see. Let's see what my brain thinks of that.