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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What's the Time?

Time is passing strange. Sometimes it whizzes and wheechs faster than you can hold on to; elsetimes it crawls and plods, slower than you can stand. Other times again - like now - it whirls fast and slow at once. It seems a moment ago that I last wrote here; but that same spell an age of waiting and anticipating a fall out of work that seems no closer yet. Rumor has it we'll survive the coming purge. Damn their eyes.

Complex time; vector time: always pointing forward, true, but that's not the same as straight ahead.

My ninth year here, and all that time I've never watched Don Imus on television nor listened to his show on radio. I knew who he was - or rather what he was - because I'd had to search the name of Imus on the google. I'd read the name, alone without its Don, upon a blog somewhere. Did not know if it was station, show, or person. Never seen him, never heard him, never cared to. A clean sheet, until lastweek Monday morning; trapped in a lounge at Burbank airport, where ABC-furnished televisions blast ABC News and ABC commercials at unloved saps in uncomfortable seats. Trapped behind lines of security, nowhere to go for another hour at least. Listening unavoidably to smarmtongued slithes announce their phoney judgements, I guessed his show was not on ABC.

My ninth year here, and all that time I can count on the dainties of one plumped hand the number of times I've sat through ABC News - or Fox, or NBC, or CBS, or CNN, or MSNBC - through any of that stinking snotwit singsong smeg. Count 'em off: two elections, 911, shock-n-awe. I think that's it? And always changing channel after thirty seconds to avoid commercials, or when the smug begins to burn, whichever first. Or that one time in New York, when I sat through a whole segment on camel jockeys - three year-olds from Bangladesh sold to slaver Sheiks - but turned away in fury at the lying-crying "reporter" whose babyleague manipulations spoilt the story.

Then again last night. ABC again it happens, but it could have been any other. Covering Virginia, a tragedy that could tell itself, if only it were allowed. Another TV tosser spilling drivel and artifice out every orifice. Crescendo-cut the Great Reunion Scene, teased for thirty minutes; a mother, her daughter, stumbling together. But Lord help me, all I could think of was Rivera and that old lady of New Orleans he supposedly rescued, and two takes. One more time, lady, but this time with feeling.

Tragedies that speak for themselves are never tragic enough for television news. Pulling faces and mock tears; simpering in sympathy; tugging the heart-strings delicately as twelve-year old boys tooled with Hustler. They rob the injured of their pain.

So it goes.

Quantized time; discrete time. I'm sure I read somewhere that time is not continuous, but discrete: it does not flow so much as it is shot, bulletwise, in tiny bursts, packets of time, quanta. From which rattling gun I know not. Neither can I be sure that I read it at all - more likely misread, or even dreamt it. Is there not a smallest interval of time in physics? Ergo.

Wouldn't that be funny - the multiverse is clocked! Each successive moment a sample, like an MP3, or made full-form out of nothing: another frame in a movie; or another step in a Great Simulation.

That is how we simulate airplanes after all - or ships or tanks or the worlds of computer games: you chop time into pieces - maybe 100 pieces every second, maybe thirty - and for each instant you calculate where everything is, at that moment, given where it was before and what it was doing and where it was headed. Sometimes the calculations are too many, take too long. You can't create the new world on-time, so it stutters and lags and jumps around. But only to you: not to your creations. To them, I imagine, and odd sense of time whirling and whorling, now quick, now slow, but sometimes both.

4 Comments:

Blogger DarkoV said...

For a country so hep on privacy, we allow so much intrusion as if making events all public confirms their personal privacy.
What's happened to our dignity? The over-riding self-involvement of individual pain seems now to necessitate everyone's involvement.

How was it that an educational institute's hands were tied in dealing with the progressive buildup to this tragedy while our totally screwed up gun laws minimized the delay between thought, purchase, and shooting?

To top it all off, what are the media thinking when they televise (over and over again) / publish the pkg contents sent to NBC? Isn't that exactly what the maniac wanted to be done? Hate from the Grave say the headlines! But who made this so? Seems all of the networks have gone Geraldo.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Cowtown Pattie said...

"Gone Geraldo"

It is nauseatingly so, DV, man.

We use these words so carelessly: "morbid fascination".

Maybe it's just human nature...

8:20 PM  
Blogger F.C. Bearded said...

Heh heh - or "Jerry Rivers", as his ex father-in-law used to call him.

I had know he was once related to Vonnegut. My wife did, but she knows everything.

10:29 PM  
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12:34 AM  

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