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Wednesday, July 19, 2000

I'm a Retro Telebaby

Deja vu.

I'm sitting here in the San Jose United terminal, waiting for my delayed flight to depart. This time I was smart: I booked an earlier flight and I didn't check any baggage. The only way they can screw me now is if I miss my connection and the later flight out of LA is full. Neah!

Of course, they took one look at my long hair and pulled me aside for a drug test -- they swabbed my bags around the zippers and threw the swabs in a chemical analyzer! (I'm not kidding!) She looked really disappointed when it came up negative and pouted that I could go. (Oh, gee, thank you.) I asked her why she picked me and she gruffed "Random!" and went back to snooping. Yeah, right.

(Jeeeesus their PA is loud! They've got the volume cranked to 10 and they're yelling into the mics. The speaker near the podiums must be dead.)

Ok, calm... I just need to will (!*@##$ PASSENGER WAYLAND TO THE PODIUM PLEASE!!#@*) my ears to brace themselves, and to ignore prior associations with this terminal... I will make it home... I will make it home... (Damn! Where are my ruby slippers!) (!@#* LAST CALL FOR PASSENGER WAYLAND! PASSENGER WAYLAND TO THE PODIUM PLEASE!@#*&)

Ok, that's it -- as soon as I finish this entry I'm folding up the computer and killing the... no.. I mean... I'm going to tell them to turn down the volume.

Eh hem.

Anyway... so... the real thought that made me open this electric clamshell was this: The baby sitting across from me screaming his head off reminded me of South Park, which made me ponder the shows that I watched as a child, with which I just now noticed a striking similarity to my own internal ethical ambience.... (Why never before now? Perhaps I just needed enough contrasting examples?) Are my emotionally integrated senses of goodness, fairness and value derived from Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeanie, and Buck Rogers? I mean, it fits--it's a pretty good match (I know, I know--scary). I have this sort of idealistic expectation that all people (or at least those I hang out with) should be pure benevolence at heart, and I wonder now how much that is derived from the conservative innocence of the broadcast media of the 1970's and early 80's.

And I wonder what that would mean for today's kids growing up on South Park, The Simpsons, and Beavis and Butthead...

Could I just as well have ended up a malevolent bastard? Nature vs. nurture vs. rational choice... A pie chart of chaos.

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Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com