Saturday, September 30, 2017

Plastic fantastic lover

It was a near catastrophe back at the labs. Mr. Blixton sunk his bejowled head in his hands in agony for a brief moment, before pounding his fists simultaneously on the taupe colored plastic desk and letting out a bovine bellow.

“We’re finished!” he screamed in anguish. “Get me one of the brains at i.t., get me the head of the psychiatric department, find me the robotics v.p. and somebody bring me an aspirin and a bromo seltzer and I mean toot sweet.”

Papers flew, underlings scurried and department heads unlucky enough to be caught in his line of site genuflected, the rest scattered and amscrayed post haste so as not to risk his vengeful wrath.

“What is it, boss?” said McGillicutty, his heir apparent and designated calmer downer.

“Just look at that headline. We’re wrecked.” There it was in bold print - Men at tech fair molest £3,000 sex robot so much it’s left broken and ‘heavily soiled.’ "What did those wretches do to my sweet little girl? This was never supposed to happen. She didn't deserve this."

It had seemed like the perfect invention. The expenditure for research and development was ginormous. They had built a sex robot that would revolutionize the world. It was so lifelike, so human that it needed to be gently caressed, massaged, cajoled into orgasm. The first sexual cyborg that demanded foreplay, whose intimate secretions were triggered proportionally by soft music and sweet whispering. Half of the males queried said that they would have sexual relations with the hot little plastic minx. An eye candy carbon companion you'd be only too happy to have on your arm for a hot night on the town.

And now everybody in the western world knew what had happened at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz. They had violated her, how did Sergi put it, treated her like barbarians. ‘The people mounted Samantha’s breasts, her legs and arms. Two fingers were broken. She was heavily soiled.’  Rather than a gentle touch, they indulged in the most brutal violence and naked aggression. And what did the poor dear do throughout the abuse? Sam kept uttering the same sorrowful and ironic mnemonic phrase, “Hi, I’m fine.” Over and over again. So sad.

The robotics head stepped up. “We did just what we had talked about boss. She had the optimal little annie fannie dimension package. Samantha spoke and moaned in umpteen languages and signed for the deaf to boot. She was programmed to satisfy every possible human male sexual desire from normal joe to serious kink factor. Samantha even had a fancy and newly configured ai chip, she was capable of learning some very exotic new carnal tricks, all performed without shame or risk of opprobrium.”

The i.t. head had his turn. “Boss, she was designed to be the greatest gift to male sexuality since Adam’s erection. Poor thing was literally incapable of saying no. We pulled the word out of her databanks. Samantha was always ready, never had a headache. She was perfectly fine in mixed company, in fact she had three different interactive modes, romantic, family and makin' whoopie, so she would never embarrass the user inappropriately in any conceivable situation. We never saw this coming. Guess it’s back to the drawing board.”

Truth be told, the new sex robots had been a bigger hit than anyone could have imagined. In fact, dates with the latex simulacrums were outselling the human hookers at the high price bordellos in Barcelona and Vienna two to one. No performance anxiety, no repulsion, no baggage or small talk. All the love you could stand and then merely find and toggle the hidden kill switch.

Samantha had been programmed to like to have her plastic breasts gently massaged, to be kissed, to hear sweet nothings, to be old fashioned romanced. Not to be used like a hideous semen repository, to be so boldly and brutally violated. A girl likes to be told I love you, even a girl whose skin was really just the latest development in plastic 22nd century epi-synth.

Dr. Friedgold spoke up. The head of psychiatry looked Blixton in the eye. “I told you so,” she said. “You dolts.” “Men, you know nothing. You program a latex companion for the gentle arts of lovemaking, for intimacy, you idiots, you give men far too much credit, males could get off on a cartoon character, a piece of liver. It's no wonder the attendees at Linz went into such a mad sexual frenzy."

“Intimacy, what a joke. I’ve got news for you. Men do not buy sex robots so that they can have a friend to drink chardonnay with and discuss Proust. They don’t want intimacy in any form. They want to be desensitized. They want a playmate they can simultaneously shtupp and conveniently set their beer can on, and maybe turn the volume down on, all while watching the football game. You nerds forgot one important thing.”

All eyes in the room turned to the head shrinker.

“Men are pigs.”

© Robert Sommers 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

Orion keeps his watchful eye on El Capitan

Hard times in Whoville.

So let's see, what did I learn today? Probably not a good idea to tattoo your eyeball. DOJ wants Facebook records and histories of Trump's political opponents. That didn't take long. Price pays the price but was magnanimous to offer to pay 50k back to defray his million dollar transportation costs. Cardiologist called with the results from the recent Holter monitor - said my heart was running like a top. Don't go to Germany on vacation for 12 days and leave your four young kids alone in the house, someone is bound to rat you out. Speaking of chilluns, Trumpsters are doing their best to choke out Obamacare, starting with a Congress that has one more day to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program and is doing nothing but sit on their ass. This program funds the health needs of nine million low and middle income family kids. If they fail to do so it will be one more despicable act from a regime that specializes in despicable acts.

And now Dr. Seuss is a racist. Excuse me? The man who wrote the Sneetches and Horton hears a Who!? I don't think so. He was a virulent nazi hater and abhorred racism.

I have collected a lot of his political propaganda material from World War II and he was in no way a racist. Yes, he drew satirical cartoons like the one below. That is what cartoonists do, they satirize. Seuss did it in a most innocuous way, especially when he was writing for children. I read everything he ever wrote and don't recall anything hateful or mean spirited.

His essential message was clearly anti racist. Did he denigrate the Japanese during the war? Yes, he did and later apologized for it. The country had been invaded and people were freaked out, much like after 9-11.

Angelfood McSpade - Robert Crumb

Was Al Jolson also a racist? Robert Crumb? Have you ever read the vile things both Abraham Lincoln and Mark Twain wrote about native americans?

Were they racists and should we now boycott Huck Finn and tear down the Lincoln Memorial? Should we raid Crumb''s French chateau with torches and pitchforks and steal all his truffles?

People have gotten too damn ultra sensitive. If you have a problem with the racial identity of the Cat in the hat, well I think it's your problem. If your target is Dr. Seuss, you just may well be too damn politically correct. Who are these prudish guardians of public propriety going to set their beady sights on next, Captain Kangaroo, Bert and Ernie? Never see too many women around...

Two good articles on Ted Geisel and racism, here and here. I'm out.

Landform #9, Lower Antelope

Pops Staples

More pics

Evening dust, homage to Gene
I'm continuing to ply images out of this weekend's trip to Utah. Hope that you are not getting bored, let me know.

And as always, click on a pic for full screen.

Sandstone Serenade
Viewing the celestial three musketeers near El Cap

Mother comforting child

don't leave me alone in the twilight.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Stella Blue

Milky Way, Schmilky Way

Mail call

Got a few things in from you folks to share.

Kerry B drew this nifty cartoon commenting on the new distaff drivers in Saudi Arabia.

Somebody sent me this pretty Thai sunset but I don't recognize the address, probably Shawn. Maybe Ricardo.

Gods must be smiling on me... half the roof is off and not only did it not rain at 4pm, we got a great sunset! 

Kerry mentions that the Trump phenomenon may have been foretold in this 1990 strip in Heavy Metal magazine.

The Wall by Peter Kuper

This pic was on Google +, photographer unknown, I like it. 

Guess they were wrong. The world didn't end on the 23rd. Oh well.

MJ sent this link on racial demagoguery and youknowwho from the New Yorker.

Shawn sends a link to a video concerning his favorite psychopharmacologist. It is long. Definitely a young person's sport.

And he also offers a dog eared postcard from my first solo photography show.

Then there's this. Tried to warn you.

And an obit to the great Pete Turner:

Jerry sent me this nifty qualitative analysis breakdown.

Hudgins regularly sends me great stuff. A brain built from atomic switches. This is truly fascinating. Either the machines are getting a lot more like us or we are getting a lot more like them. Soon no one will be able to tell.

And Saylor found these petroglyphs hiking in NM the other day.

Kokopelli (or possibly Steve Bannon) and coyote.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Someone please

skip to about 58 seconds...

Road home

Venus announces the new born sun
We were planning to leave at eight and I made it back with six minutes to spare, threw all my clothes in my suitcase and met Ken out at the car.

I explained to him just how close I came to totally deconstructing his car in my little Rav4/Equus experiment.

We hit the road, after a quick stop at Jack in the box. got my quota of fast food this weekend.

Our destination was Antelope Canyon. We thought we had a choice between touring the lower and upper canyons but upper turned out to be sold out and lower was an absolute zoo. It was our only choice but the vibes were not so good.

We made a reservation for two hours in the future and wandered down by the Marina at Lake Powell.

Always wanted to do the houseboat thing there, thought it would happen with Retha and Doug but it never did. I guess never say never.

We made it to Antelope and watched a hoop dancer perform. After interminable lines we entered the canyon with our group and guide. Very steep stairs, my legs still ache. Ken made fun of my slow descent.

You are no longer allowed to either stop or bring a tripod. This made it tough. I did not have the optimal 20mm lens in my kit. But I made do.

Took some shots that I will be pondering for a long while. I am not going to throw a lot at you right now, have to take my time on these.

Certainly an interesting place visually.

I will check out uppers one of these days, hopefully a slow winter day when there is no danger of a Chinese invasion.

Places certainly have their charms.

We drove to Kingman and spent the night. Took the alternate route home the next day through Joshua Tree, I think faster and definitely prettier. Hope you enjoyed the trip.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Monument Valley Shoot

It took about less than two seconds for my photo buddy Ken to say yes when I asked him if he wanted to shoot Monument Valley this weekend. Which was very cool, in many ways, not the least of which was that we would be taking his car. Gets much better mileage than the van.

I have been shooting with Ken for a lot of years now. He is a great, knowledgable photographer and we get along real well on the road. He liked Moby Grape before I did and our musical tastes synch, not to mention the aesthetic. Not identical, but neither of us tells the other guy how he should do things. Most artists tend to like to do things their own way so that is very important.

Not a lot of the southwest we haven't covered but there was still Monument Valley on the collective bucket list so we crossed if off this weekend. Put about 1500 miles on the car and drove long pulls.

Hit a big stop on the forty near Ash Fork, about an hour and a half at a snail's pace.

First stop was Wupatki.

Wupatki is a ruin north of Flagstaff that was populated by the Sinagua people in the twelfth century, then abandoned. The area is volcanic, the soil very black and quite beautiful. The responsible volcano is nearby Sunset Crater, a future stop.

The pueblos has special significance to Hopi, Navajo and Zuni people and certain Hopi clans still return to connect with the place.

We made our way to Kayenta in the dark and checked into our hotel. Had a beef stew and fry bread dinner, which might have been close to the dinner many of the native inhabitants were themselves enjoying.

I love the navajos, I really do and I get a hidden part of myself back every time I visit the reservation.

Got up at four o'clock in the morning. Ken and I drove to the parking lot to meet up with our Navajo guide Harry for a sunrise photographic tour. He works for Dineh BeKeyah tours.

Harry is a good guy, a good guide and a good photographer himself.

I took some astro long exposure shots with my 14mm but had an equipment glitch which made me unhappy with the results.

Sunrise was truly beautiful. Harry gave us the local names of some of the scenery and helped us wet our appetite and get our feet wet. We are not tour people but you can't get to certain places without a navajo guide and as far as I am concerned we found the best one available. And he's a Nikon man to boot.

As always we took a ton of shots and it will take a while to consider and process them. I will share a few this afternoon.

After our four hour tour, we had a good buffet brunch at the view, then went back to the hotel and crashed. In the afternoon we came back, now that we had found our bearings.

And on the way I saw these purty horses in a field on the north side of the road.

Just a lovely place. Never saw a piece of litter the whole time. Walk in beauty. Respect mother earth.

Not totally sure but I think I grabbed some nice stuff. Nothing earth shattering. Stuff has been shot a million times.

But so innately beautiful that it should not be taken for granted.

Here's the obligatory navajo man on the horse shot. This visual cliché is brought to you by Gouldings Trading Post who position this local rider on the cliff for tip donations. Hey it works for me. This is John Ford Point, named for the famous director who used the location for what I believe was the movie Stagecoach.

I found a cute dog, who posed for free and out of simple kindness of heart. Would loved to have taken this one home. met some great navajos there, bright and sweet.

Really have a lot to process. This will not be easy. Amazing how much you can shoot in four days.

I know what you are thinking. Yes, but did you shoot any cows? You bet I did.

We shot for an hour or two in the deep afternoon shadows which I personally thought was more interesting and less flat than the morning light.

I wish I had more time to look at my photographic swag  but I need to go home and eat and see my beautiful bride. Will put some more shots up and trip talk tomorrow.

Will tell you that I went out in the middle of the night Sunday, by myself, for astrophotography, came within two feet of hitting a horse than ran right in front of me in pitch darkness, 55 mile an hour power slide, just missed, saw the terror in his eyes, he saw the same in mine.

Took some night shots in front of El Capitan.

Then headed back to the park for sunrise.

(to be continued...)