Thursday, July 27, 2006


A thunderstorm last Friday seems to have knocked out my internet connection at home. Through process of elimination I am slowly figuring out the source of the problem and hopefully how to fix it. (The ethernet connection on either my computer or my cable modem is fried - I just have to determine which one). I mentioned this to my friend Karl, bemoaning the fact that I can't get online at home.

"Well, let's see," he said. "You only update your blog once a month or so..."

Alright, alright. What can I say? I'm someone who's quite content keeping his thoughts in his head rather than on display for the whole world to see. Right now I'm reading 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl by Daniel Pinchbeck, which uses the fact that all Mayan calendars end with the year 2012 (which means that, you know, the world might end then) as a starting point (as opposed to end point) to consider crop circles, ufo culture, quantum physics, shamans, evolving human consciousness, etc etc. I'm enjoying the book a great deal, but who can I talk to about it? All my friends are committed rational materialist existentialist non-believing skeptics. I, however, don't need to believe in something in order to enjoy playing with it in my head.

I definitely have a Stoner's Consciousness: an interest in ideas for their own sake, particularly the "oh, wow!" effect of contemplating something new. This is as opposed to a Teacher's Consciousness (value ideas because you can share them with others and help them) or that of a Politician (use ideas so you can tell others what to do) or Businessman (use ideas to make money!).

Those who can only see ideas as a resource to exploit annoy me. To wit: the skits on Kanye West's College Dropout album mock those who pursue knowledge for its own sake rather than as a way to get rich. Granted, skits on hip hop records always suck (OutKast and Dr. Octogon being the exceptions) and Kanye is trying to prove (and prove and prove and prove) that his dropping out was the right decision. But his skits are so obnoxious, and just plain wrong, that I had to copy the disc, edit it and burn a copy sans skits if I ever wanted to listen to it again.

Something else that annoys me is boredom, which probably explains my interest in ideas, not matter how outlandish or far-fetched they may seem. So long as I am not bored. Which also explains why I miss have internet access at home.


Carol said...

Have you discovered YouTube yet? Hoo boy, that's a time vampire.

Hope your access is soon restored. Since I spend so much time at home with my kids, I find it unbelievably isolating when my internet connection is down.

the hanged man said...

Oh yes...I loves the Youtube. It's so convenient - I was telling my friend Stacey about the great tumbling routine that Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello did on "The Colbert Report" recently. Rather than just imagine it based on my admittedly evocative description, she was able to see it for herself on Youtube.

I find the internet in general to be a time vampire, but I am its enthusiastic Renfield.

Let me just add how shallow I feel posting about losing internet access when I have one friend recovering from cancer (go, Ben!) and another struggling with Lyme disease (go, Carol!).

Julie said...

One of the things I always loved about hanging out with Bill Moses is just that quality you described. The more far out or seemingly obtuse an idea was, the more fascinated he was by it. I can remember him explaning everything from music theory to astronomy to me and exclaiming"That's so Cool!"
I'm sure Carol and Ben will forgive you. People with health issues get frustrated over small things, too.

Number2sister said...

Actually, this teacher values sharing ideas in the hopes that she will teach her students to develop their own ideas. The thing I share with them in the hopes of helping them is my quirky sense of humor.

Number 2 Sister said...

Carol and John -- One of Lowery's favorite YouTube bits is of two teenage boys lipsyncing and acting out the Mortal Combat theme song. Pretty hysterical, definitely worth a search.

the hanged man said...

Number 2 - I'll be checking out the Mortal Combat lip synch on YouTube, just as soon as I can restore internet access at home. My desk at work is a little too exposed for such things.

Iva said...

What the heck is YouTube?