“I read the news today, oh boy…”
one of those slimy wiggly eight-armed bots
which are “completely autonomous.”
you come home one night and discover that instead of cleaning the house and
it has changed the locks,
and is now sitting in your chair and laughing at “Seaworld”
or applauding the antics of the giant octopus
in “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”
Did I mention the bots run on hydrogen Peroxide and platinum?
They must be from Venice Beach.
Or work nights as disco dancers.
And then, of course, there is the project
“robots with rifles against Isis.”
As long as the robots aren’t too lifelike and have feelings.
And we keep a regular check on the mental health of the human operators.
Hey, here’s an idea.
Maybe we could build an offshore arena,
with pay for view tv for those who want this kind of thing,
like the “rumble in the jungle.”
Then we make it into a huge media-hyped event,
and with the money earned,
pay off the terrorists,
who now let the human types,
in danger in their home countries,
and get back to living real lives.
Dear geek news:
I give all rights to follow up on the idea to you.
Who brought the octobots to my attention in the first place.
Along with the drones-
delivering pizza from the sky.
Sorry geek buddies
who of course only have my welfare at heart,
It’s not enough that we have to watch out for fly-by gangsta seagulls,
and their tamer countrified cousins,
ever ready to deposit on us from above?
Now we are going to have to don plastic raincoats,
and carry umbrellas
at ninety-five degrees,
and ninety-eight percent humidity,
to avoid getting hot greasy cheese dropped on us?
Not to mention the jalapenos.
Oh the agony.
And the humiliation.
I’ll bet Bitter Ben is behind this one.
Oh, and then there was the geek version of the end-is-coming news:
about the fact that
“the human species is dying out”
the millennials are having less sex.
At least with one another.
soft eight-armed robots in autonomic command of their environment,
and hot greasy flying cheese on command,
not to mention the resultant continuous all-day all-night barking,
of the neighborhood pets…
perhaps be a factor?
there was the story of a secret six hundred year old manuscript,
now residing in the Yale library,
with strange astrological and astronautical drawings
and secret hidden messages:
help, my boyfriend is robot slave –
and I am being chased by a flying pizza drone.
My guess is,
it’s actually a murder mystery-
Death in the pyramids
or did Agatha Christie or Elizabeth Peters already do that one?
guess who gets killed-
except this time,
it turns out someone up there
is playing multi-level chess,
and using the pyramids as pawns,
and to keep it spicy enough,
there is virtual reality sex
resulting in someone falling
or being pushed
out the secret hidden manuscript room window-
Is that Dan Brown enough?
Writers are supposed to observe, right?
I don’t think so.
Which is why,
for anyone who has ever had a real conversation,
or tried to help someone they only knew through a “friend” of a “friend”
and suddenly gotten the small voice in the back of their mind
We’re now 32 years past “1984”
(the year when a large group of theology, lit, and history students here in
Ah yes, I knew them well, Horatio,
spent New Years Eve getting mindlessly drunk
while reading aloud the entire text of Orwell’s 1984,
and building small balloons out of paper and candles
to send aloft wishes, dreams, and creative ideas)
Thank heavens most of them never made it aloft,
the balloons, I mean,
or crashed and burned-
in a land of half-timbered 1600’s houses.
I don’t really know what the group was thinking,
but at least they WERE thinking.
As opposed to the group they later became-
the investment bankers,
who used to read Kapital with K
and now read Capital with C.
But there are also,
in the small portion of our clique that were there that 1984 midnight,
a group of doctors without borders,
including one who quit after some border run-ins
(and prison time in a foreign country for trying to help)
and became a real live Quincy style mankind-threatening- disease detective,
a banker who whistle-blew on a major banking scam,
one who is a very good at investigative journalism,
a historian doing projects on what the murdered Jews,
non-Catholic or Lutheran religious,
Roma and Sinti,
anyone else just not liked very much for “being different”
were actually like as people,
and what really happened to them.
Our little town of Gutenberg now has small bronze plaques in front of the homes
where a Jew was arrested, “questioned” and sent off to a camp.
It is touchingly simple: name, age, where taken, and the word “murdered.”
This is the people side.
The class of 1984, so to speak.
And, although many of us at one time were fascinated by, and built, robots,
worked nights delivering pizza
and hating it,
and trying to decipher literature,
both in a rare books section of a library,
and in classes with profs who sold hand-written
the basis of the all-truth is still-
heart, blood, soul.
copyright Dunnasead.co 2016