A couple of weeks ago, Brad came to see us and hang out. While we were messing around with Spotify, Brad mentioned this song he heard as a kid, something about riding with Private Malone. He said it was a good song but it kind of gave him the creeps. So we loaded it up, and although it certainly gave me goosebumps as intended, and there were some definite creepy elements in it, I have to say that my overarching thought was that the main character in this story came off as a giant asshole!
The story goes that the dude just happens to see an ad for an old Chevy of unknown condition so goes to check it out, and discovers that it is in fact a 66 Corvette. But rather than be honest with the old lady selling it and tell her that this is actually a very valuable car, and she should either relist it appropriately or he can leave this as a down payment and he will come back with the rest and she can hold it until then, he proceeds to rip her off, only paying the bargain price she asked for. He feels a little guilty about it, but not guilty enough to do the right thing. He still doesn’t change his mind when he opens the glove compartment and finds a note from the previous owner of the car saying his name is Private Andrew Malone, he died in the war and now this dude, let’s call him Captain Asshole, just bought his dream car. Nope, he just vroom vroom vrooms off into the night, like the thief that he is.
Captain Asshole proceeds to get the car driving well, except the radio has a bit of a mind of its own, always picking up the oldies station, but other than that, the car drives fine. He drives it all over town having lots of fun and making all the girls oo and aaa at his car. Sometimes, Captain Asshole gets the feeling that if he looks over, he’ll see the ghost of a soldier riding in the passenger’s seat. Maybe he’s looking for the rest of his money?
Then one rainy night, he is driving the car too fast, and he crashes and ruins the car in a fiery mess. He says he doesn’t remember much about that crash. This is probably because he got knocked loopy, but who knows? Considering this is Captain Asshole we’re dealing with, who has no problem ripping off dead soldiers’ families, maybe he was also riding with Captain Morgan.
But ghost Private Malone is a saint, and despite everything, still drags Captain Asshole’s pilfering husk free of the flames…of his all but stolen dream car! That just so happens to be the one thing that our “hero” remembers, as it should be. I hope it haunts him every day…along with Private Malone.
I don’t know why, but whenever I go anywhere I have a hell of a time shaking the feeling that I’ve forgotten to grab something before I left even though I rarely forget anything. I doubt I’ll ever figure out how to fix it, but at least now I’ll have a song to sing as I repeatedly check my pockets and my brain.
This is from a TV talent show called Your Face Sounds Familiar. The kids, the oldest of whom is thirteen, perform under the name the TNT Boys and are becoming pretty well known for doing things like this.
By the way, Too Much Heaven is the best Bee Gees song. Fight me.
One night, we were sitting out on the balcony enjoying a Spotify daily mix. It was a pretty good mix and we were having fun. Then, this song came along.
Boom! All conversation stopped cold and the music wasn’t just the background, it was the focus. I don’t think either of us said much through the next song while we thought about it.
Billy John was a simple man, worked in the fields most his life
He provided for his wife and kids and left his dreams on the side
One day when the kids left home billy picked up his guitar
It had been awhile but his fingers still knew how to reach the heart
Played a song about life and love, his hopes and regrets
Then with a little proddin’ from the Mrs. he put it on the internet
When the views started pouring in, tears of joy started to fall
Then they scrolled to the comment section and this is what they saw
Eat a bag of shit cuntface
Go blow your fucking dad
This shit just raped my ears never heard nothin so bad
I hope you fucking die
And I hope you get aids
You should just kill yourself
You’re a fag
Billy John’s wife watched her husband as he shrugged and tried to smile
He put his guitar away and stopped and stared at it for awhile
She knew he felt like a fool and he’d never play again
So she turned on her webcam and let her message begin
The man you’ve hurt tonight, I’ve watched for 35 years
He’s got a kind and gentle soul and thanks to you
That soul is in tears
And the people said
Shut the fuck up fatty
Show us your tits
One out of ten I wouldn’t bang
I bet she’d try to eat your dick
You should go get sterilized
So that you cant have kids
Then they photoshopped a bunch of pictures of her covered in jizz
Well the video went viral
Fifty-seven million hits
Billy John’s wife became a meme on the internet
They played the clip on cnn and read tweets about her weight
Cause I guess that’s the sorta thing that the news does nowadays
Billy John and his wife did nothing wrong, and they weren’t dumb
They just hadn’t paid attention to what we’d all become
But a couple weeks later, after avoiding it for some time
A broken down and changed Billy John finally went back online
He found a page of a blogger, still makin’ fun of his wife
He signed up, made an account and this is what he typed
Eat a bag of shit cuntface
Go blow your fucking dad
Your shit just raped my eyes, never read nothin’ so bad
I hope you fucking die
And I hope you get aids
And the world lost a Billy John and it gained more of the same.
Are you having the same experience we had?
I had to ask Steve if he thought he was being more funny than serious, and we decided he was being funny to make a point, and what a sad point it is.
I only have one question. Why haven’t I heard of Trevor Moore? We listened to his whole album “High in Church” and there is some serious gold on there. Come to think of it, I think I might have seen him doing “Drunk Texts To Myself” on the comedy network once, but it’s a very hazy memory. Give him a listen.
I had a really weird dream Tuesday night and felt it needed a place in the totally out there dream archive. I think my brain decided it was time to brew up a thought soup, and this was the result.
It started off with me watching a TV show about this girl who was graduating high school and was getting ready to go to university. She found out about this app that had some kind of implant that she had to put in her eye. Once it was in, she could interface more directly with her phone and do more multi-tasking. I think she could just place items in her calendar by thinking about them. Notes would appear in the air in front of her and she could read them out of the air. She could do wicked multitasking and she felt like a superhuman.
Then, suddenly I wasn’t watching the show anymore. I had become the main character in the show. Notes would appear in front of me in the air, but they were Braille. The implant had become a blind person helping app, transcribing images of restaurant menus before I got there, doing GPS maps in front of my face, that sort of thing.
Sometimes, unnerving things would happen, like I would think about someone and then my phone would pop up a dialog asking if I would like to call, text, Facebook message or WhatsApp the person I was thinking about. I would think about going somewhere and my phone would ask if I would like an Uber right now to get there. It felt a little bit out of control.
One morning, I was at home and my mom noticed that there appeared to be a giant wading pool outside and wondered where it came from. I said I must have wished for one and my crazy new app must have built it. My parents were blown away, and everybody decided to go check it out. The next day, my brother commented that there was a cool-looking drone fluttering around outside near the pool, and he suggested that we go play with it. Everybody headed out to play outside except me for some reason. It was then that the app decided to pop up unbidden with a dialog that freaked me out. It simply said “You have some defects.” Against my better judgment, I clicked the button to learn more. It said something like “A diagnostic test has been performed and several defects have been detected in your body. Would you like me to fix them?” There was a list of defects, most of which I knew about and a few I didn’t. There was also a question of how I wanted them changed. There was an option to make them worse. I stared at the dialog, and then got that prickly feeling and hit cancel.
After the rest of the family came in from the pool, I told mom about it and said I was uncomfortable with what the app had asked. I thought maybe the developers of the app would make me feel like I owed them something, and it was all a setup where somewhere down the road, all the users of the app who had been healed could be asked to do some job and would feel obliged to say yes because they would feel indebted to them. Mom thought maybe this was the case and said I was smart to refuse.
A few days later, I was walking somewhere. I might have been at work, I might have been in a school, but all at once I felt like I was being followed, and inside my head, clear as a bell, I heard the strains of “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford.
It got louder and louder as I ran up the stairs, tried to skip around corners and evade whoever this person was, but eventually, he caught up to me. For some reason, he would only speak in whispers.
“I am from the app,” he whispered. We have been watching you, and we are perplexed. You have been offered the chance to see, to no longer require your medications, to be free of any imperfections and you have turned it down. We would like to know why. We would like to encourage you to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. We do this out of love.”
I told him that the app was very handy, but sometimes it was doing a little too much guessing at what I wanted, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted it to fix me. I don’t remember the whispering fellow doing much reasoning with me. He just kept urging me to hit the “Fix all defects” button, and telling me that he would stay with me until the process was complete and I would love the result. I eventually got frustrated and asked if I could have the implant removed because I had decided I had had enough. He obliged, and the device was sucked out of my eye.
The dream fast-forwarded and I was sitting with some other friends and we were all talking about the year ahead. One of them said that she knew someone who was going to this super high tech university, and everybody who went was encouraged to get this new app that would help them take notes with their mind and multitask and be this ninja student, at which point I started screaming, sure that I was correct that the developers were trying to amass an army of willing participants for some job down the line…and the dream ended.
What in the actual hell was that?
Strangely enough, I think I know where most of that stuff came from, but boy, did I ever create a masterpiece.
The implant in the head that talks to smartphones comes from so many Black Mirror episodes. It really reminded me of “Nosedive” when he sucked the device out of my eye.
That splorching sound at the beginning of the clip is exactly what you think it is. If you want DVS, it’s probably not on YouTube.
The idea of the app proactively offering me things kind of reminds me of things Groupon or Spotify does at creepily opportune times. Sometimes Groupon will offer me a deal on hot air balloon rides after we have simply talked about getting a ride for someone as a present, for example. Or, I will worry about my weight or my teeth, and Groupon will offer me teeth-whitening or weight loss-related deals. Spotify has a tendancy to play a song we’re thinking about. Steve and I often joke that our house is bugged…and before someone says it, this came before the Google Mini came along.
I definitely think Aira wormed its way into my dream, especially at the part where the device was reading menus and stuff. But where it definitely influenced the dream was when the whispering man showed up and was offering to help me understand the opportunities the app could provide for me. It was a very twisted version of a program that Aira is trying to create where avid users help people who haven’t used as much of their minutes have more success with it. There was a time where I wasn’t sure how these pairings were happening, and I think it got a little bit misrepresented and sounded like people who weren’t using as much time were being paired with people without their asking to be paired. I think it’s more that the offer is there if people are feeling like they’re not getting the full potential out of an expensive service, but my mind decided to put a nightmarish spin on it.
I think the idea of my family playing with a pool constructed from nothing, and thinking the drone buzzing around said pool was a great toy represents the ability of technology to sneak into our lives and many of us being more accepting of it than we should be until we smash into some unintended consequence.
As for the thing about curing all my imperfections, I think it comes from reading a weird and kind of disappointing book called the gift by Dave Donovan, in which some representatives from an alien race can cure people of their physical limitations. I thought the book was kind of meh, but I guess it went into the soup. But the idea that you could make your imperfections worse comes from that Body Integrity Dysphoria that some people have, and actually give themselves a disability.
As for the “Sixteen tons” song, it’s been playing on that wacky radio station we like to listen to in the mornings. When the station started playing it, it made me think about being in Grade 4 and learning the ukulele and how cool my teacher was, because he taught us that song. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was definitely a fun, cool guy. Just imagine listening to a bunch of 9-year-olds belting out “St. Peter, dontcha call me, ’cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store,” and you get the picture.
And the last bit, the bit about a whole university getting implants reminded me of The “Outer Limits” episode called “Straight and Narrow”. I haven’t watched that episode in years, but my brain coughed it up anyway.
I don’t know why my brain decided to process all those thoughts, but there it is. Hopefully your dreams were much more pleasant that night.