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Not Recommended for Children Under 13

February 18, 2019

It was one of those moments.

Or was it?

Enlightenment wasn’t really the right word. That should somehow make things better, right? Maybe somehow improve fitness, survivability. Discovery made it sound like something scientific or geographic. Also not really appropriate to the situation.

And where did it really come from? Was it somehow messengers from the future sending messages backwards through time like PKD had assumed? A brain fart of some kind?

If so, how did it supply information that he didn’t otherwise have? Was part of his brain cordoned off from the rest, only specializing in mostly useless trivia for just such occasions in order to trick the rest of the cerebral cortex and associated wetware? Didn’t seem any more likely that PKD’s explanation.

No. This was someone, somehow, from the here and now.

And what had it really meant, the “message”? A visual. A visual…a “video” to go along this time with a song stuck in his head. This particular song he didn’t so much mind being stuck there. It was pleasant enough and had no lyrics to twist around. It worked nicely as an eraser to get whatever worries and humbugs were bouncing around in there without any real purpose. Worry was, like so many other negative things, the purpose of itself. Solutions and actions rarely came from it.

But the visual of the Western spy dressed up in something like bad, old TV version of Asian style, doing a dance that likewise would likely not be considered politically correct–probably downright offensive actually–was odd. Clearly the intent had been some kind of reference to China.

The writer and performer of the instrumental had influenced many who had followed him Two Beatles; Led Zeppelin‘s guitarist; Clapton; and of course that arm-spinning, wonderfully XL-schnozzed guitarist for The Who, who had fallen out of favor in recent years after an arrest predating the #MeToo stuff.

What was the message though? Brit guitarist names a song after a porcelain-faced toy originally produced in Western Europe in the 19th Century. China, the word here, was supposed to mean the porcelain in this case. How did that invoke deranged spies dancing like some kind of goofy brainwashed cartoon character?

Certainly during the Cold War, the spy community often suspected musicians of being “Commies,” or Russian assets or sympathizers. Was that it? A musician who wrote a song including the word China in it influenced so many other influential musicians, that there must be some connection to communism somewhere?

As he saw it, it likely really meant that the spy world was full of semi-deranged people who really probably in many cases should not be the ones making decisions requiring rational thought. It would be like allowing a gun with some sentience to decide when to fire. Tools will tend to view things in terms of what they do, if they could view things. The saying was something about every problem being a nail when you only have a hammer, as he recalled.

He looked up that saying and came across an article, also from the UK, from 1868. It sort of involved the idea, except the idea was when a child is handed tools. A quote caught his eye.

Give a boy a hammer and chisel; show him how to use them; at once he begins to hack the doorposts, to take off the corners of shutter and window frames, until you teach him a better use for them, and how to keep his activity within bounds.

“And allow him to do whatever he wants in secret and don’t question it because of unnamed fears, and he won’t ever learn to keep his activities within bounds,” he added, attempting to pick the idea up using the author’s idea.

He logged off.

“F***,” he thought. “It’s just a song.”

But then he wondered a few more times how he had seen the weird “video” in his head before he even know the title of the song.

“They are a weird bunch.”

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