Daily Archives: January 3, 2011

Dance Day 4, I am Stayin’ Alive

10:27pm

Today is our last day in Atlanta.  We leave tomorrow.  We started the morning with going to Flying Biscuit to meet Yura’s dad’s side of the family.  After breakfast, we went to see one of the cousin’s new house.  Then back home for Isaiah’s nap.  Packed.  Fell asleep.  Woke up.  Out again for last dinner out with mom’s family to say goodbye.  Grandma came over with my favorite mother-in-law and we did an interview on the iPhone of her about the Russian Revolution, World War II, her life.  She lived through all of it.  She is 83 and amazing.  She remembers everything.  I will be writing about her soon but today I have to get something off my chest.

By the time Yura left to bring his Grandma home it was 9:20 pm.  I haven’t danced or written yet.  I was tired and dragged my feet to the living room for my 30 minutes of dance.  I turned on Bob Marley.  I needed to take it easy tonight.  This was the first time I was alone.  Only Isaiah sleeping upstairs.  It was me and the huge flat screen TV.  The TV finally had a purpose for me.  It acted as my mirror for my dancing.  I was letting it all loose.  If I can’t get loose alone, I thought, then when can I get loose.  I did crazy moves.  Jumps, head tosses, it was not pretty but I got my energy back.  By the time Yura returned, I was skipping and leaping through the whole house, using the slippery floor for my MOVES.

But as I was dancing the giant turned off TV was speaking volumes.  I read the book 1984 by George Orwell at some point after college.   It was unforgettable.  I think about it all the time.  I try to bring it up in conversation hoping that someone is as excited about it as I am but they rarely are.  Most people think of it as the book that brought the term “Big Brother” who is always watching.  I can never get out of my head the TV that spans the whole wall of every apartment.  The TV is always on.  The TV is blaring propaganda 24 hours a day and it can also see into the apartments to watch everyone. There were only small spaces where the TV could not see what you were doing.

While we were in Atlanta, my parents decided to use the opportunity to come to NY and use our Brooklyn apartment.  They didn’t realize they would be snowed in for 5 days.  On day 3, my dad complained on the phone to me about us not having a TV.  He was angry, “What are we supposed to do here, you don’t have a TV, you don’t even know what is going on in the world.”  I laughed but I know he was not joking.  Yura and I have not had a TV for almost 4 years now.  We use a projector to watch Netflix.  We use the computer if we need to watch some show or some clip.  When we come to places like our parent’s houses where there are TV’s, at first we get so excited and start flipping through all the channels watching all we can find.  After few days, we remember why we don’t own a TV.

When I come home to visit my parents, I am usually woken up by the sound of the morning news coming on in the kitchen.  That’s how I know my dad is up.  The TV goes on.  When we come to Atlanta and stay with Yura’s dad, the same thing.  We are not one of those families who kept the TV on while we eat and sleep but over the years, I see my parents using the TV much more than they used to. By the time Yura and I come down stairs for breakfast, Yura’s dad is sometimes upset by something that happened — ON THE NEWS.  I can’t help but think about 1984.  The TV may not be watching us but it’s doing the same thing that it did in that book.  Its draining our energy.  It dumbing us down.  Its making us feel that we don’t know anything unless we put it one everyday.  Its making us angry when its sunny outside.  Its making us feel helpless.  Its making us feel smaller than we are.  It doesn’t even have to watch us.

I don’t want to go into the Eye of Mordor and talk about the propaganda in the media or the crazy reality shows.  But here is something everyone can maybe agree on.  The commercials.  Everyone knows they are ridiculous but we are forced to watch them.  They are just on spewing their propaganda.  Oh but I don’t watch the commercials, I tune them out, I mute them.  They are still on and they are telling you to drink Coca Cola, Pepsi, and whatever other poisonous drugs that cause side effects worse than the diseases they cure.  Oh but I don’t drink Coca Cola.  It’s a vicious circle.  Sorry but the fact that you know that they are untrue is even worse than believing in them.

One sure way to keep people controlled is to render them powerless.  I can’t have power over someone smarter than me but I could over someone way dumber.  I can tell them anything I want, and they will listen because I am better than them.  To ensure I am smarter, I will dumb them down by interrupting their programming by the same stupid message over and over again until they learn to accept it as their way of life.  Their way is to listen to this nonsense and say, its ok, I am not really listening to it and I know it’s not true so I must be smart.  I am smarter than those commercials so they can’t affect me.  I am extracting real knowledge out of this modern flat screened LED machine here.  Without this machine, I don’t know what’s going on in the world.  The only problem is, the nonsense is paying for the knowledge so how can it be real knowledge?  Do you think Coca Cola is stupid enough to pay for the TV out of the goodness of their own heart?  They are doing it without getting nothing in return?  Thank you Coca Cola for all the knowledge.  Not only do you support 20 channels but you are now paying for like 500, your generosity is astounding.  Oh yeah, I forgot its not me who is the sucker its the people living in the south, east, west and north.

I just had to vent, I am better now.  I will leave everyone alone with their precious TV’s and I will continue to use it as a mirror for my awesome new dance moves.

Back to the Bee Gees:

I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.

Music loud and women warm.
I’ve been kicked around since I was born.
And now it’s all right, it’s O.K.
And you may look the other way.
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man.
Whether you’re a brother
Or whether you’re a mother,
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Feel the city breakin’
And ev’rybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ alive.
Stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ alive.
Well now, I get low and I get high
And if I can’t get either I really try.
Got the wings of heaven on my shoes
I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose.
You know it’s all right, it’s O.K.
I’ll live to see another day.
We can try to understand
The New York Times’ effect on man.
Whether you’re a brother
Or whether you’re a mother,
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Feel the city breakin’
And ev’rybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ alive.
Stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ alive.
Life goin’ nowhere.
Somebody help me.
Somebody help me, yeah.
Life goin’ nowhere.
Somebody help me, yeah.
Stayin’ alive

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