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May, 26 05: I Want My MTV!

Category: General
Posted by: greg
Well, I want it back, anyway. As part of Going Back To The World (as John Galt would have it) I have finally gone to the Dark Side and not only purchased a television but installed a satellite receiver.

Holy crap, Batman!

Now, I haven't had a TV since Jimmy Carter was president so I feel like the Highlander, traveling through time to arrive where he began and not recognizing the place from the photos. The whole SatTV thing is more than a little strange for a guy who hangs out on 40 meters conversing with people in Morse Code. XM rocks, I'll give you that, but music is music. TV is another universe, and it's changed a whole lot since my last data point.

Check this out:

Didn't MTV used to play music videos? And VH1 was like MTV Lite, right? I found VH1 and was confronted by a Maxim photo shoot with some stunningly attractive blonde in it, but no music. Not that I'm against blondes, or stunningly attractive (hot, hot hot!) but, dude, wheres the tunes? Ross in my office said I'm the Poster Child for the song "1985" by Bowling for Soup. I think Ross watches too much TV, and quietly made a note to find out WTF he was talking about.

My buds have been telling me to slow down for years, but is it possible that I've somehow approached C and the Fitzgerald Contraction made a decade or so slip by without any noticeable effect? It's kinda unnerving.

When did HBO turn into just another network? They make their own movies now? Damn. Sex and The City is old news, apparently, but man what a killer show. I'm thinking there's more to this than I suspected.

Then again --

The Food Network? How long can you talk about food? Eating is kinda like walking, which brings me to OLN. They have a show on walking. And cycling. And probably Breathing too, I just haven't seen it yet. How can anyone watch someone else having fun outside while sitting in a chair covered with Cheeto crumbs? My Fubar Meter pegs just thinking about it.

Going from off-grid to on-sat is like the jump to hyperspace in all the bad SciFi flicks: lights, colors, and a whooshing noise that's probably my credit card melting down. There's 200 channels of this crap. No wonder the level of discourse has dropped in our culture. I won't talk about Reality shows. Nope. Won't do it. Oh My God ...

I finally found South Park on comedy central, which I think may make up for it all, of course. Cartman rules. If there's a saving grace to TV wonderland it's gotta be Matt and Trey. What sick, sick puppies. Home at last ...
Category: Most Requested
Posted by: greg
Well, it takes some getting used to. Being single again, that is. I've been meaning to write about this whole experience for a while, but it always comes out either too bitter, too sweet or just too much. It's like making bad apple cider -- you either end up with vinegar or something too sticky to drink; neither of which is useful if its cider you want. A few things worth noting:

1. You never divorce the same person you marry.
Well, why would you? It's much the same reason that you can never cross the same river twice: both of you have changed. The river has moved on, and you aren't the same person you were. Buddhists will recognize one of the 5 Remembrances: "I am of the nature to change" although it's an ice cold comfort to realize that the person you once loved has changed also, and into a person you don't really know.

2. It's better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all
Yeah. Try it sometime. See how it feels and get back to me. I have no idea why people think this is comforting. Aside from the gunshot, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

3. Love is changeable, but can be neither created nor destroyed
Which means it's still out there, looking to be found. This is Good News. There's probably a law of conservation of emotion someplace that says that the deeper you love, the deeper you hurt. There's no good way out of it. Overall, I'll risk the damage to experience the magic. I don't recommend the practice, but scientists are better at ignoring facts than anyone.

4. Remember the good times
Memory is a strange thing, and popular music and culture enshrine the fact that time heals all wounds. Well, not so. Time blurs things that are painful, leaving all the love, laughter and happiness for you to replay in your mind. I'm convinced that this is one of the great kindnessess of our construction: the slow, continuous distillation of memory that ablates painful thoughts leaving only the good times to be remembered.

5. If it's broken: fix it, scrap it or replace it
This goes for cars, computers and relationships. If there's a problem, talk through it. Guys: say you're sorry, mean it, make up for it, and be compassionate for the pain you've caused. Girls: please remember that we are (in general) emotionally less evolved than you and sometimes mistake your silence for acceptance instead of grief. Work with us on this one.

No need is belaboring it, but if things have broken down to the point there's no love left to refire, time to scrap the thing. Easy to say it, hard to do it. See #2.

6. Love again
Another person, your cat, someone else's cat. It really doesn't matter. It's physical therapy for the soul. You've got to work out or your heart will harden and you will become yet another bitter divorced person, which the world could frankly do without. Ever gone out with a recent divorcee? It's like Dating the Dead -- either clingy as Velcro or cold as metallic hydrogen. Love again. It's easy once you get started. You know how to do it. Thank gods for my cats.

7. Go ahead, cry like a little kid and get it over with
We're not gonna discuss what happened when my intrepid crew chief decided to play "Tapestry" on the shop CD player. Couple big, strong, scary-looking pilots all reaching for the Kleenex. Bombs, bullets and burning wreckage I can handle. It's Carole King that kicks my ass. Trust me, you're nowhere near as tough as you pretend to be when this happens. Just yesterday I heard "Wasted Time" on XM. Lovely. The Eagles are poignant, timeless and (for the next little while) most assuredly Weapons Grade Music.

Overall, taking the long view, looking at things philosophically and rationally, this still completely sucks. I could get really worked up here if I thought too much about it ... Then I remember guys like Lance Armstrong who came back to beat everyone, Mike Melville who flew into space without a pressure suit or a backup plan, my Grandfather who was the strongest man I know. We're meant to love and be loved, and nothing makes your soul take wing like falling in love again. Even if it is a little scary out there -- nothing to do but spin 'em up and fly.