Tuesday, May 10, 2005

When do I get my jetpack?

Growing up, I always believed that by the time I was 40 I would be flying to work and taking my meals in pill form. Technology was supposed to transform us into a high-flying utopia with no poverty or crime. Instead, our greatest leaps forward have enabled me to TiVo "American Idol" and fill an entire hard drive with porn for $19.95 a month. Progress worth every penny, true, but still a little short of my expectations.

Tonight, however, I got a chance to savor what we, as a technological society, have wrought. I was watching a three-year old episode of "Ed" when there was a little interlude in the show.... one of those slow motion moments with sliding camera crawls to give the viewer a moment to appreciate what the character is thinking. Carol was watching Ed joke around with their friends and realizing that she didn't want to elope after all. Instead, she wanted a full wedding. It was a nice moment that gave me a warm fuzzy for friends and family and honeymoon sex with a hot chick like Carol.

And there was a song.

A haunting, tripping little song that reminded me of Carole King and Janis Ian and summer nights in California when I was 13. Twenty minutes after the show ended I still had the chorus in my head:

"I was hoping that you'd know better but you're an amateur and I've been wrong
before."

So I came to the computer and entered the lyrics. Within one minute I owned the song. Amateur by Aimee Mann.

It figures that it's an Aimee Mann song. Every critic has sung her praises as a wonderful songwriter ( this generation's Carole King?). Most people only remember her as the lead singer of 'Til Tuesday but she is considered one of the best singer-songwriters out there ( and her husband, Michael Penn is no slouch either ).

So, I may not be able to play Frisbee with my robot dog yet, but after repeated listening to Amateur, I'm convinced that technology is a good thing.

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