... all us superstars are the makers of our own realities, and tricks
may be played upon us whenever we forget.
Playing with the push-pull controls of an audio
recording console is fun, particularly if the results of your pushs and pulls
are expressed, through thousands of silicon transistor diodes and hundred-pound
power amplifiers and quarter-inch round copper cables and overwhelming, towering
loudspeakers, as a sound which is as big and as real as life which is maybe
bigger and more real than life. You push the fader just a little
bit; your life changes a whole lot.
"home" for me for a lifetime. Nudging the faders up maybe an eighth of
an inch no more and being blasted by a wave of energy which first
swirls through and around my head, as though for approval, and then around the
heads of the others in the room and then out of the farmhouse on wires and on
fiber-optic cables and up into the air by which we're all surrounded all of
us listening to the music, and listening to the words, and coming to comprehend
in this manner the world in which we live. Our "real world" is a construct out of
such media presentations those thrown at us not just by recording engineers,
but by our teachers, our political leaders, our radio and TV stations, our press
agents, and our computers plugged into the Internet. Taken together, they tell
us what we are to think about things. There's very little "thinking for yourself" within
the wired global village.
I have been concerned, as I think any careful
person ought to be, to understand just how such pushings and pullings of media
throttles can so powerfully alter and condition the world in which we find
ourselves. I have it about half figured out, and have a few ideas I
can pass along. After all, I have seen some things. I've also read a
bit of Marshall McLuhan. I named a horse after him.
Best for you to start with a review of my association with rock
'n' roll superstars, and with the notion of "celebrity" in which I
found my first clues. I didn't set out to spend my time this way, but there came
a time when newspaper reporters started asking me if I thought
people like George Harrison and
Mick Jagger were living gods.
I said that they weren't. But in my heart I was less certain about their projected media images.
"They may be," I would think to myself, off-line.
In the end, having come to know a fair number of these luminaries, I
did indeed find myself assigning
demi-god status to their projected media images, even if not to the superstars
themselves, who turn out to be just as ordinary and every-day as you and me. As
for the projected media images, they are of course our own creations. We
demi-god creatures, given only the slightest hints and deliberately faint
blueprints from the
publicists on the case. We're happy do this, on our own, simply to have these demi-gods "around" in our back yards, in our
bedrooms, and on the CD players in our automobiles. We love heros, and myth, every bit as
much as the Greeks did three hundred years before the birth of Christ.
We also love ourselves. We make
our own personal lives and careers in a like manner savvy media practitioners
that we are
teasing and inflating them into forms and
postures limited only by our imaginations, and by our skills as communicators.
We are each and every one of us ship captains this being the first bit of
wisdom to be won from even a casual study of celebrities, and their press
reasons for assigning possible demi-god status to the projected images of
superstars, and by extension to our own projections in cyberspace, are inferable from the essays
collected here. The essays appear in somewhat random order, and are
selectable using computer hyperlinks
which are colored blue
the first time you click on them, and red thereafter. That should help you some,
since there's no table of contents.
Don't stop until you've read something about the Rolling Stones.
I called that episode in my life Tattoo Me. See how lives are laid
waste when people can't tell the difference between a humble, human superstar
and its demi-god monster-mermaid image, and assume that the latter the
is the "real
The Virtual Reality essays were written ten years after the
Rolling Stones had come and gone. These essays have a lot to do themselves with
the notion of demi-gods
with the angels
we choose to create for ourselves and are in that sense just as important as the essays having to do
with Mick Jagger and his friends. They urge upon us the conclusion that we
may one day be in absolute control of what's real for people, and what's not. A
The reprints from the newspapers and the slick city
journals show you how it's done, even today how you can push and pull on media control
surfaces and in so doing define what's real, even worship-worthy, and almost always out
of reach. Slick journalism that
is, and I'm all for it.
The other assorted life stories and anecdotes
recounted here are all woven
out of the same thematic bolt of cloth; namely, that all us superstars are the makers of our own realities, and that tricks
may be played upon us whenever we forget. Tricks like, Supper's ready.
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