Friday, August 26, 2005

Elevator angels

I have been meaning to blog this for a while now. Weeks, possibly months. And it was always to be entitled "Elevator angels". It was to be a fairly benign post about biking. And how nice it is. Uplifting. Hence the hook to CocoRosie's line about how Jimmy Morrison "...has his elevator angels", since I still almost always end up with that song in my ears when I go out biking. Finally, I thought I'd wrap it up with an interesting anectode about how the drivers here—who usually are among the most careful and calm that I have ever met—simply can not stay behind a guy on a bike. Even when he is going 30 in a 25 mph zone. Or even 45 in a 35 mph zone. They just have to pass. Over double yellow lines. Around blind corners. Through intersections. Anything. It is as if their sanity just takes leave of them while in the presence of someone on a bike.

Anyways, as it turns out, that is not the blog ended up with in my head.

Maybe it was just too banal. Or too diary-like. Or maybe I am just stuck in my pretentious navel-exploration of these last few months.

OK, so here is what I ended up with: I still can't figure out who Morrison's elevator angels are. I just like the image. My best guess is that oft-quoted Village Voice interview with him. In it, he describes some superficial experience with an all-glass elevator in a hotel in Atlanta, presumably Georgia. In the interview he also talks about Saint Nicholas, who CocoRosie describe as "a different type of Santa Claus". So that's my guess. But the thing about Morrison is that from what I have read of him, and about him, he was a fake. I mean, he was just an act. A façade. But still. I am haunted by some of the stuff I have read by him. I mean, behind seemingly endless plastic "I looked at you. You looked at me. I smiled at you. You smiled at me."-crap, there are still words like "The hitchhiker stood by the side of the road and leveled his thumb in the calm calculus of reason." and "Dead president's corpse in the driver's car. The engine runs on glue and tar. Come on along, not going very far. To the East, to meet the Czar." and even more importantly "The days are bright and filled with pain. Enclose me in your gentle rain. The time you ran was too insane. We'll meet again, we'll meet again."

Then, all this stuff from just a line in a song that I hear when I bike gets me thinking about our mind, and how it is an amazing muscle, and if you give it the same tiny bit to chew on almost every day for an hour or two, with nothing else to do except stearing clear of crazy, passing cars, then it will just chew and chew on that tiny bit until it has sucked every last drop of taste from it. Give a monkey infinite time to type away at a typewriter (anybody remember them?), and he will eventually spew out Shakespeare unabridged. An idle mind, the devil's workshop? Definitely. No question. Just see where this goes:

So I am at the monkey-with-a-typewriter stage, and where does that lead me? Straight into open source, and the power of it. How throwing enough people at a problem will solve it, despite the complexity of the task and the relative lack of knowledge of each member of the group. Which predictably leads me to the recent 'revelation' in the mainstream media that it is increasingly Chinese hackers that are testing the waters at .mil servers these days, and how people just don't get black hats. "Why do they do that?" and "How can they do that?". All the while missing the point, that if you had a couple of million people standing on your lawn, discussing what would be the best way to get into your house, you probably could not find a good enough lock either to hold all that they would throw at it.

And from there I went into some gray-hat territory, while another little person in a big-ass 10 person SUV overtook me, going downhill at already something liberally over the modest speed limit.

All your base are belong to us!

Confusing? Yes. Pointless? Yes. Crap? Yes.