Welcome To The Machine

A few days ago I had a very strange experience, maybe not an overly unexpected one, but it was very strange just the same.

I had gone to the local shopping mall with my girlfriend to look for a new backpack and get something to eat. After a short while I found one particular bag which looked well built, and seemed to suit my needs . The bag was boasting quite an incredible guarantee, that they would fix the bag, forever, no matter what. Which I thought was fantastic because I had just worn through my second bag in the last couple of years, and having one I could really depend on, or get fixed for free would be a load off my mind.

I looked around for the sales rep and eventually found her, sitting behind the counter’s cash register, mostly out of sight, pressing virtual buttons on some sort of large tablet phone. Although this girl who was quite obviously hiding, and didn’t look like the world’s greatest employee, I thought she might have the answers I needed.

“Um, Excuse me” I said to her. “Could I ask you a few questions about this bag?”

She acknowledged me by raising her all powerful tablet tapping finger to let me know she would just be a minute, and then went back to tapping, what I assume was a message to her friend how I was rudely demanding some sort of service from her.

Tablets Everywhere

I looked to my girlfriend to give her my “WTF look” but she was also busy on her tablet phone a few steps away from me, and seemed to have no comprehension of what was going on here in the store.

The sales rep came over to me, and I walked her over to the bag I was interested in, then asked her if they would really replace the bag and repair for free. She said “Yes”, then went immediately back to the discussion on her tablet, slowly walking away from me. I wanted to ask her if I would bring it there for the repair, if it covered abuse, and whether or not I would need my receipt for the repair, with the knowledge that the thermal receipts in this store would be unreadable in a year, but she was already on her way back to sitting out of sight behind the cash register.

I decided to look around for someone else to help me, and I found much of the same nearby around the bag area, employees sitting down, hiding behind shelves, and various other things, all typing away on their tablets. Weird I thought, looking around from where I was standing I could see about twenty people or so, mostly clerks hiding, what seemed to be a manager, but also five or six other customers, and every single one of them, all of them including a couple of people walking, and my girlfriend, were pressing on the screen of their tablets. It was weird, like I was some sort of ghost or something, like we all were ghosts to one another, there was no vocal talking, eye contact or traditional socializing going on between anyone at all. Some people even had headphones on, satisfying not just their sight, and touch, but hearing as well.

I called to my girlfriend “Babe… Babe…” but she kept tapping away “Honey!” she looked up a second. “Put your phone away a minute, please.”

“Sec” she said and typed a bit more before lowering the phone a few inches. “What” she said

“Look around” I instructed her

She looked around a bit and said “What?”

“Look at everyone, every single person here is tapping away on their phone.”

She acknowledged it, then started to go back to her phone. I started to feel a bit worried about this, like it was a serious addiction for most people, including my girlfriend, I was worried about her, and humanity, and also feeling a bit alone.

I demanded she put the phone away or I would not buy her dinner, she did so, and I again pointed out the one hundred percent smart phone users around us.

We began to walk out of the store, which though filled with people, was completely silent except for the sound of our feet as they hit the ground, and the store music.

We left the store and proceeded to make our way to the restaurant for dinner, both of us were busy looking around to see if there was anyone NOT on their smartphones. There were some, but it was a small minority. Most people were sitting around pressing on their phones on the benches in the mall, but there were also many people walking down the halls, at a slow uneven pace, pressing on the phone as they went, blocking the progress of the two of us, who lacking a phone in our faces, were fully aware of our surroundings and traveling faster than the tablet users around us.

“Look at those two” I said, pointing out a couple, “walking all over the place slowly, and halve mindedly as they press on the phones, they have no more brainpower being used on their surroundings, or any more coordination than zombies.”

Mall Zombies

“Zombies” my girlfriend giggled.

There were many tablet zombie near collisions in the halls of the mall as we walked, and we even saw one couple of zombies collide head on, though at zombie speed I don’t think anyone can really get hurt.

“It’s scary” I said. “It’s a zombie apocalypse.”

As we went to the restaurant the people working at the restaurant were not on their smartphones, as well as most of the people eating, I felt like I was in a sort of reality bubble, but outside the windows more than sixty percent of all the people we saw were zombies. Scary stuff.

Have you looked up from your smartphone in public recently to see how many zombies are around you?

Although this song is not quite about becoming a smart phone zombie, it is the song I was thinking of while I looked at the zombie apocalypse around me.

Crank it up and enjoy.

Pink Floyd “Welcome To The Machine”(1975)

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.

You’ve been in the pipeline, filling in time,

provided with toys and Scouting for Boys.

You bought a guitar to punish your ma,

And you didn’t like school, and you know you’re nobody’s fool,

So welcome to the machine.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.

You dreamed of a big star, he played a mean guitar,

He always ate in the Steak Bar. He loved to drive in his Jaguar.

So welcome to the machine.

The Things We Do

Often throughout life, as I am happily enjoying myself, doing the exact thing that I chose to do at that moment, for some reason, some people will come up to me and ask me why I am doing that thing I am doing. Whether it is playing a video game, going for a walk, reading a book, working on a website, watching TV or anything else I do, for some reason, some people feel that I should have something better to do at that particular moment.

Often once somebody decides that I should not be doing the thing I actually want to do, they will offer recommendations of the things they feel I should be doing, using language such as, “You should do this” or “You should do that”.

I have a hard time understanding this mentality that causes them to guide me away from the thing that I wanted to do, and into a direction that I chose not to go.

Where do they get such vast knowledge of what I like? How can they feel that their idea of what I should be doing is actually superior to my own opinion on the subject?

Am I actually supposed to take advice on what I should be doing with my time, from someone who can find nothing better to do with their time then tell others what to do?

People do the things they do, because after all the weighing of all the choices they can think of, they chose that as the best possible course for them.

We are all different, we all have different goals, and we all want to do different things. Whatever a person chooses to do themselves, is decided with the unparalleled knowledge of self, and only they can choose the very true best thing that they should be doing.

We do what we do, because that’s what we chose to do.




I heard the below song a few months after writing this post, and thought I would share it here.

The Raconteurs – You Don’t Understand Me

You don’t understand me
But if the feeling was right
You might comprehend me
And why do you feel the need to tease me
Why don’t you turn it around
It might be easier to please me

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you.
If nothing is true

Why do you think that you are doing
But who is the fool, the fool or the fool
that you are fooling.
And maybe I just don’t see the reason
But in the corner of my heart your ignorance is treason.

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you.
If nothing is true

You think you know how I feel
Its not that big of a deal
There’s no such thing its not real
Oh-Oh

You don’t understand me
But if the feeling was right
You might comprehend me
And I don’t claim to understand you
But I’ve been looking around
And I haven’t found, anybody like you

And there’s always another point of view
A better way to do the things we do
And how can you know me
And I know you
If nothing is true

Ween – Did You See Me – Video and Lyrics

Ween is one of my favorite bands, some of their songs are defiantly played an awful lot around here.

This is a fan made video of Ween’s “Did you see me?”. To me this song reminds me of quite a bit of Dark Side Of The Moon, by Pink Floyd, a band who Ween both resembles, and is fond of, the tune is unique,interesting, and possibly enhanced by the video.

I feel both the creator of this video and Ween (who is already massively popular, with massive amounts of fans) deserve more recognition. The speaker at the beginning, Alan Watts, was addend in by the video creator, and not part of the original recording.

Sit back, hide the children, turn on the lava lamp, and enjoy.

Has some mature scenes. PG 15 ??

Did you see me?
Come down on the sand and sea
Believe me

Did you see me?
Waving it free in the tree
Believe me

Did you see me?
Flying through the galaxy
Believe me

Did you see me?
Waving it free in the tree
Believe me

The Need To Lead

A few years ago now on a summer weekend afternoon, I had a conversation with my girlfriend at the time, Charlene, that has stuck in my head quite a bit over recent years. We had made plans to spend the day together, and she had just arrived outside my condo for the two of us to go off on our adventure.

She asked me “So, where do you want to go ?”

Having only lived in my current city for about a year I replied “I don’t know this area very well, why don’t you take me somewhere ?”

She was stunned a bit for a second then said “You know, I don’t think I have ever been asked that before, everyone always takes me everywhere.”

Batman Must Always Lead

After a bit of thinking, Charlene took me on an amazing tour of the area, including two wonderful lakes, one of which had a huge sand building competition on it that day, which Charlene had already been aware of, and the other had a great cliff side view of the surrounding forest and lake which we first ate lunch at, and then hiked down for a private swim. After we hiked back up to the car she then took me to a great restaurant for dinner where we stayed for several hours afterwords to drink beer and listen to the live blues band.

I found it quite amazing that no one had ever asked Charlene in all her thirty years of living in the same area, where she wanted to go. This though of course was of great benefit to me, because by her sitting in the passenger seat all these years, she had collected a huge knowledge of good things to do, and the best of it all this knowledge had been delivered to me on this day. Needless to say I wanted to see more the next time she came over, and she had more than a few days of things for us to do that were of great interest, all of which I added to my own list of things to do in the area when people visited me from out of town.

I wondered a bit more to myself why no one had ever asked her before what she wanted to do, she was often quiet, but quite obviously bright. I am guessing it was mostly because in groups there is usually that one person that really feels the need to lead everyone all the time, and that was just not the way she was. Usually those that force themselves on us as the leader are a type “A” personality, and Charlene was defiantly not one of these.

Funny Leadership

Now don’t get me wrong, leadership is a wonderful thing, and necessary if you want to get things done efficiently, you need a leader. I lead my household around most of the time, but not always, and I also lead my employees, but feeling the need to be leading everyone around all of the time, is a massive weakness of personality in my books.

In my opinion, constant leaders usually have the least knowledge of anyone in the group, as all of their less than vast knowledge is quickly shared to the masses who usually, due to their ability to sometimes follow, both individually and collectively know more. So if you yourself feel the need to lead constantly, you might want to consider taking a back seat sometimes to let a more knowledgeable person show you around, that way when you do take control, people won’t always be quietly wishing they were somewhere else.

DJ Alien Shirt – Alien With Equalizer Sunglasses Tee

DJ Alien Shirt

Equalizers For Eyes! Click Image $19.99 USD

Where I come from, rain is the treble, thunder is bass, lightning excites the air, and all creatures move to the rhythm of the land.

In the evening as the moon comes out, I stir from my dwelling, and go to the club. Music is playing, the lights are flashing, but the thousands inside are sitting, bored.

I move to the front of the room and take over the DJ Booth.

As I mix through the system, and my beat overtakes their souls, everyone rises, and begins to dance.

 

 

I have equalizers for eyes.

- DJ Alien -

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