Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I took a flight home; it was yesterday, across the country East to West, brief stopover in Denver. They show this "The Amalgamated Air Freight and Passenger Network" on the little view screens in addition to, or in lieu of on shorter flights, the movie (for a definition of "Amalgamated Air Freight and Passenger" that's approximately equivalent to, "an airline I flew yesterday that I don't feel like naming"). Within this particular collection of programs, they were showing a small collection of truly bizarre 30-second commercials you'd never see on television. You've seen them on flights: The International Organization of Gemologists. Tourism Greece. Time Share Villas in Place You Have Never Been But Looks Kind Of Chic And Old World. And one for the C.I.A. I'm watching this particular ad, and I'm thinking, "Why, now that you mention it, yes...I am a patriotic American and I do want to serve my country in the clandestine a minute..."

Something happens to you when you fly. This American Life once did a show about how people cried at incredibly trite movies they saw on airplanes. A recent article in Slate examined the types of things that get sold in the Skymall and tied it in with some twinge in the ancient corners of the evolutionary brain:
[O]ne is aware of how absurd it is to be suspended eight miles high in a metal container, only some poorly understood laws of physics keeping you from plunging abruptly to certain death. In some still-not-entirely assimilated region of the limbic brain, one's time is about to run out every second, thus the attraction of all those devices that somehow contain time, tame time, break time down into tiny dials within dials....
This totally happens to me. I don't know if it's the lessons of the world learned by my ancient ancestors of pre-history that makes me suddenly inspired by a call to duty from the C.I.A. when, in fact, I loathe the C.I.A. and everything it stands for, I have been the least patriotic person in America ever since the word "patriotic" was redefined to mean, "agrees with the policies of George W. Bush," and the first two things I think are wrong with the world are 1) Capitalism, and, 2) The C.I.A. Clearly the spooks have done extensive market research to determine where best to place their ads, because if I am suggestible to the siren song of covert ops at 35,000 feet, then everyone is.

In addition to crying at stupid things, thinking while flying makes me believe insane things are possible, such as if I could just figure out how to make myself blog every day, that I could grow an audience that wanted to read my musings on music, technology, and philosophy. It makes me think how I started posting songs on MacIdol, and 500 people I've never even met listened to them, and some of them even seemed to like them, and how I quite enjoyed that. I thought, what if I could get 5000 people to listen? If that, what if I could get 50,000? Like I said, crazy shit.

Next: Crazy Shit!

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