giant teapots around Venus
Monday, June 27 2005
I made another copper pipe menorah today, this one as a wedding present for a person whose July 4th high-production-values wedding I won't be attending (but of course Gretchen will be there). Every time I make these menorahs they end up being different. In this case the base turned out more elaborate than I'd initially planned, something that just sort of happened organically while my right brain was steering the good ship 37 Year Old White Guy.
Today's menorah in front of Gretchen's Hedwig and the Angry Inch film poster.
The teevee room these days with its sage wall, bookshelf, and faux brick chimney. The laboratory is behind that door.
What it feels like to be 37 in the summer of 2005.
Another song called "In Metal" from Low's Things We Lost in the Fire finally arrived via the Gnutella network and I've been listening to it repeatedly throughout the day. It's an incredibly beautiful song, even though it's an ode to a newborn Mormon baby. What makes it greatly transcend usual songs of this type is its sad futility. The mother has the baby and wants it to stay a baby forever, perhaps by encasing it in metal like a spray-painted baby shoe. It reminds me that the maternal instinct is just another fraud perpetrated by our human operating system, one that strings us along emotionally to make us find a mate, reproduce, and raise the next generation through a long series of clever bait and switch deceptions. That's the great thing about Low - every song seems to showcase another instance of the tragedy of the human condition, something that boils down to being cruel and ephemeral yet aware enough to know it. It's an existential blackness when you really think about it, and that's why most people have a coping mechanism to deal with it, one that tells them that the evidence is a lie: they are immortal and one day the cruelty will end.
Today I found myself being particularly fascinated by the gullibility of obviously intelligent people when it comes to absurd stories of salvation and eternity. People who would never believe that giant teapots had been discovered orbiting the planet Venus happily subscribe, for example, to the idea that an evil intergalactic warlord came to Earth 75 million years ago with billions of surplus souls and blew them up with hydrogen bombs placed inside of volcanos. That's what you learn about Scientology after paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to advance through its levels, but absurd as it is, it's no less believable than the weird intergalactic beliefs of Mormons or, for that matter, the contradictory details of Genesis. It's little surprising that the creations of people walking around with heads full of such beliefs (Beck is a Scientologist, two-thirds of Low are Mormon) can connect so well with me and the cold scientific framework that I use to model the world.
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