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The Future Of Entertainment

September 13, 2017 Leave a comment

All of the deliberately contrived adventures that serve as our entertainment will be even more contrived in the future. By contrived, I mean scripted, performed, and recorded for public entertainment. Similarly, documentaries and sporting events which are less contrived will nevertheless be altered in the future. We can only hope that the thrill of the chase, the euphoria of victory, and the heartbreak of defeat will continue to stimulate society in more contrived forms.

Movie theaters will be replaced by Holo theaters. Those will be hologram theaters, in the round. Full dimensional events will perform before the 360 degree audience. The holograms will rotate slowly, so the entire audience will see the entire chain of events from every angle.

Automobile racing of every kind will die off as popular sports. Cars will not need cockpits, as in single-seater Formula One and Indy Cars. Stock cars will be flat sleds. All will be driverless, as artificial intelligence will guide the vehicles. There will be no flaws, no differences, no competition because the spirit of humans will be excluded. The public will quickly tire of the flawless predictability of most anything.

Everything from basketball to football and baseball will be afflicted with the same predictable perfection. Horse racing, stage shows, and carnivals will lose their luster because the imperfect senses of participants will be removed. The populace will live virtual lives with their eyes covered by virtual reality goggles, and all will be bland.

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THE SZENTENDRE TRAIN – part 5 of 30

August 23, 2017 Leave a comment

He was not there.  I walked home on the dusty road, unlocked the front gate and carefully locked it behind me before I went up the stairs to the door and let myself into the house.  I felt like a real idiot, going on like this about nothing.  I was obviously emotionally screwed up, or I wouldn’t feel weak as a kitten just thinking about…who?  Thinking about this stranger who is young enough to be my child.  I had to do something to keep busy or I’d go crazy, so I got a bunch of vegetables out of the refrigerator and cut a slab of beef into cubes and made a pot of goulash.

I left it to simmer.  Meanwhile, I ran a bath and undressed while the tub filled.  I poured in a good deal of vanilla scented bath foam and prepared to soak my silly stress away.  I paused in front of the full-length mirror and turned this way and that, looking at my naked body with a critical eye.  I had not really looked at myself in a long time.  I had not looked at myself with the intent to see what someone else might see.  I wanted to see what that gorgeous young man would see if I was naked before him

I was encouraged.  I was not that bad, for almost forty.  My tits were still quite high, because I’d never been pregnant.  I was a bit meaty, but still, my waist was small and my hips smoothly rounded.  My skin was not too bad, except that it was two colours.  Working in my garden, I got tanned from my shoulders up and from my thighs down.  From my tits to my thighs, I was ghostly white and smooth except for the triangle of curly, black, thick pubic hair.  I wondered if the young man liked dark, thick pubic hair.

I lit a few candles around the bathroom and switched off the light before I stepped into the warm tub and sank down into the hissing foam.  The warm water enveloped me in vanilla fragrance and I lay back and gazed up at the shadows dancing on the ceiling.  They swirled and shivered as the candle flames trembled in the moving air.  While I watched, the swaying shadows became two figures, dancing a dance of passion and desire, of mating and parting.  I couldn’t keep my imagination from the young man – I hesitated to call him a boy, because he is at least twenty.  In a way, a boy, I suppose.  But something in the way he looked at me, something in his gentle, hazel eyes told me that there was an exciting man inside that young body.

THE SZENTENDRE TRAIN – part 4 of 30

August 22, 2017 Leave a comment

The week dragged so slowly, I was insane with impatience for the Friday evening train to Szentendre, so I could see the young man again.  By Wednesday afternoon I was beside myself.  One of my students even asked if I was feeling well.  I hadn’t realised that it showed.  I was building up a volcano of curiosity, a lava flow of desire, a fantasy of romance that was ridiculous and I knew it.  My mind was filled with visions of myself in my studio, the young man naked on a platform while I drew him and sculpted him and painted him.  I saw myself walking around and around him, casually viewing his legs, his ass his arms and chest and finally, his manhood.

Suddenly, in the middle of my final Wednesday class, I had a thought: maybe he didn’t take the train back and forth only on Fridays and Mondays.  Maybe he took the train back and forth every day.  It’s only a half-hour each way.  I spent my weeknights in the city because the University provided a living allowance that almost covered it, and the house was just too lonely to live in alone all the time.  At least I could occasionally enjoy a good restaurant meal, or a concert, or just walk anonymously among the strangers in the square.

The final class ended, and I impulsively rushed to the train station and got there just in time to see the train boarding.  I looked everywhere for the red jacket, but could not find it.  I decided to board the train anyway, and go home for the evening.  Maybe the young man had taken an earlier train on Wednesday.  Maybe he would be on the Szentendre platform in the morning – with me also there… on the platform.  I went up and down through every car on the ride home.  I tried to pretend I wasn’t looking for anyone, in case I saw him.  It was ridiculous of course, because what other reason could there be for a foolish old woman to be wandering up and down a whole train, if not looking for someone?

The Human Need for Stupid Stunts

June 10, 2017 1 comment

Bernie and I were both 17 years old. He was a couple of months older than I was, and we were close pals. In fact, our steady girlfriends were identical twins, one with him and one with me. We eventually married the twins, but that’s another story.

One night, Bernie and I went out to the quiet, wide highway 400 to do a stupid stunt. It was in the 1950s, when cars were huge. I was driving my father’s massive, cream coloured ’57 Buick Roadmaster. Bernie was driving his Aunt Lillian’s dark blue ‘53 Cadillac Coup de Ville. We roared up the empty highway at 3:30 one morning. We went side by side, Bernie on my left, me on his right. I powered down my window as did Bernie’s then girlfriend, and I reached to her and she took my hand. We roared up the road at about 100 miles an hour (160 km/h), two feet apart, holding hands, for no reason except the big V8 engines could do it.

The drive for stupid stunts must be quite strong in some people’s DNA.

In Toronto and Montreal, and perhaps other cities with subways, young people leap onto the exterior of the subway car and cling to the side as the train roars through the dark tunnels. I haven’t heard if anyone’s been killed or injured yet, but it is inevitable. Why do they do it? Perhaps they believe they’re showing courage and skill, although it’s actually reckless and foolish.

We scuba dive amid predators; we race cars; we ride motorcycles across deserts; we sail boats across oceans, for sport. Some of us need the challenge, the risk, the adrenaline dose that comes with pressure or anxiety.

I’ve done a good deal of auto racing, and ridden some motorcycles, and even did a fair amount of hang gliding. I enjoyed all of it, although I don’t really know why, except for the ‘stone’ one enjoys when the adrenaline sharpens all the senses. We see better, we hear more acutely, and our bodies feel fit and strong. I now get a good feeling from reading, writing, drawing and commenting on others’ works.

If one lives past the age of reckless foolishness, one learns the value of deeper activities.

Locked Eyes with a Stranger

June 3, 2017 Leave a comment

I’m sure every mature person has experienced it. You’re walking up a busy downtown street after work. You’re satisfied with how your day went, you’re in no hurry to get home, so you’re enjoying a summer day in the city, as the sun gravitates to the west. A black person (male or female, depending on your preference) comes around the corner in front of you.

Your eyes lock, and in less than a second, the minds of both people scan through a list of familiar analyses. “That’s interesting; good looking; kind of sexy; nice body; moves well; I would have sex with that person.” You pass shoulder to shoulder in silence. The moment has passed.

A man walks into a large store. He seeks some parts for plumbing repairs, but can’t find the plumbing department. He sees a woman, and on her back she’s wearing the store’s logo, so she might help. He touches her shoulder.

“Excuse me,” he says. She turns and their eyes lock. In that instant, flames seemed to fill both chests. It’s amazing, immediate passion for both parties. The woman tries to turn her eyes away from his eyes, but they spring back for a second look. At the same time, the man is trying to ignore the sexual impulse and speak. At last the woman looks away, and the man asks her for directions to plumbing supplies.

The woman is tongue tied, and can barely say “Come.” She moves past him and leaves her department to escort him to plumbing supplies. Following her, he sees that her shape and movements are as enticing as her face and eyes.

She is wondering, “what am I feeling? I could get into trouble with this man”. He is wondering, “this is incredible. Should I make a move on her? I think she feels the same. What if it’s only me, and she just sees me as another schmuck customer”.

She arrives at the plumbing department, waves her hand in the direction of the aisle and takes off back to her department. He gets his plumbing parts and leaves the store without seeing that woman again. He never forgets her, and wonders if she also remembers the moment. She does, and both individuals regret that they let the magic moment pass.

A woman is standing at the vegetable display in a large supermarket. She is opening the small plastic bag that the store makes available in fruit and vegetable departments. From behind her, a man’s voice says, “how does one open these things?” The woman turns, holding her own bag, to demonstrate. She sees his face, their eyes lock, and in an instant, each is aware that they would accept the other as a lover. But not in a vegetable department of a supermarket.

She licks her fingertips and deftly slides the thin plastic bag open. The man copies her actions and opens his bag. He wants to carry on with her, but fears rejection. He goes to the fruit department, and doesn’t see the woman again.

If I Had Power

June 2, 2017 Leave a comment

There are some things I would do with power. Some rules would be made about television commercials. Some rules about society in general would be made, too.

Television commercials for automobiles, directed at adults, must stop showing the vehicles in dangerous, high performance attitudes. Four-wheel-drifting on the salt flats is not how you should sell your van. It is not a performance vehicle, and there should not be scenes that make it appear macho to dangerously abuse the family car.

Television commercials for children’s toys and treats must stop making the crappy little plastic palaces and whatever, appear to be magical. Mnemonic devises, like clowns, dragons, and superheroes must not advocate for a toy or a treat. It is abuse of the little person’s mind, and when Mom gets the crappy toy, and it comes out of the box and does whatever it does, it is very little like the example in the commercial.

Television commercials for household products must stop making  everything look impossibly perfect. Sellers of cutters, choppers, and dicers must admit that the blades do not last forever. Perhaps they don’t last very long at all. And when a product is offered for $29.99…  “But wait! We’ll include a second gimmick at no extra charge! What’s more, at no extra charge we’ll include attachments to spin, curl, and cook with your gimmick.”

Go to hell, you TV hustlers. Nobody needs two tub scrubbers or two waffle irons. Just offer the damn things for $15.00 each, and see how it works out for you.

If only we had the television opportunity that they have in England. They can buy an annual license that gets them entertainment, news, and sports, commercial free.

Don’t Apologize for Wealth

May 24, 2017 Leave a comment

No matter if you inherit it, earn it, or win wealth, you should not have anything for which you should apologize. In some cases, oligarchs acquire wealth at the expense of others. Those people should be required to apologize, and to reward and repay where possible. All too often, amends cannot be made. Greed on the part of one person often requires that they acquire other peoples’ fair share.

It is not always financial security that is stolen from deserving people. Factories pollute in low income neighbourhoods. Innocent, working class people and their children carry illness and damage from living in the cloud of poison. The poison could be stopped, or at least diminished, but that would cut into profits. The profits are paid out to wealthy investors in dividends. The investors never see the factories, never breath the fouled air; never give a thought to the burdens they place upon others.

Some people just earn wealth. A real estate broker could spend 30 years, putting together families and homes. She might also invest in commercial properties about which she learns through her profession. At sixty years of age, she is wealthy, and has nothing for which she should apologize.

A young man growing up in a poor family that becomes wealthy need not apologize. The wealth grows while the boy grows. It is the normal flow of his life, and he doesn’t see it as any different from the lives of his high school friends. He was not aware that his friends were often pressed for money. They had to save up to take a girl out on a date. They had to hope they could borrow their father’s car, and that there was gas in the tank.

In our teens, we are largely dependent upon our parents to supplement our lives. If one person’s parent is lucky, or gifted with the ability to earn a greater amount of money, then the offspring might also be lucky. That does not mean he feels superior. He lives by the standards established by his parents. Those whose parents are not as ambitious or capable might live an average life.

Don’t hate him because he’s wealthy. He took nothing from you or from anyone else. He was given wealth, and that merely meant he lived in a larger house and drove a nicer car. But when a group of friends are playing ball, or drinking coffee in a Tim Horton’s, it’s just a group of friends. The individual, personal burdens of each friend is private, and the rich kid has his share, too. There is a price to pay for enjoying wealth.

Later in life, the boy would be in the same position as any of his friends: he had to get a job, earn a living, make car and mortgage payments, keep ahead of the utilities bills, and try to keep some aside for pleasure and hobbies. It all evens out in the end.