The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I Had a Funny Dream the Other Night.

I dreamt of meeting a famous Greek in a Dublin pub of an evening.

There I was at the bar, enjoying the first pint of the night when I noticed the strange old fellah propped up beside me. He seemed to be wrapped in a white towel with coloured food stains down the front and was finishing a large glass of pale liquid that smelt vaguely of rat urine. It took me a while to suss who he was but eventually the penny dropped.

“Aristotle, star graduate of Plato’s Academia, tutor to Alexander the Great and father of modern scientific thinking, look at the state of you. What’s the story? For a minute there I thought you were that mangy slob Socrates.”

“Ah, don’t talk to me about that pikey old Athenian Nancy and enough cheek out of you. You don’t know the day I’ve had. Listen, you wouldn’t have the price of a glass of Retsina on you, would ya? I spent all my loose change on bus fare."

What could I do? He was after all the originator of logical thought, so I spotted him a refill of the rancid yellow nectar and noticed how the gesture made him warm to me.

“So tell me my kind young fellow, when are you from?”

“You mean where.”

“No I mean when.”

“Oh right. I get it. Well I suppose I’d be mostly from the end of the twentieth century. That’d be a little under two and a half thousand years after your stint.”

“Fascinating. And tell me if you please, in this century of yours what was the greatest advancement in civilization. What leap in knowledge most changed the way people lived, from the lowest pauper to the most powerful emperor?”

I thought about it for a moment.

“Well Risto, I suppose it would have to be television.”

“Tele-vision? And pray tell, what is this tele-vision?”

So I tried to give him a concise description of the electronic transmission of sounds and images through cables, airwaves, cathode ray tubes and finally onto the illuminated screens of household boxes. It never actually occurred to me to simply point out the giant flat-screen monstrosity that was showing the match at the back of the bar. But dreams can be illogical like that.

After finishing this description I studied the old man carefully, not sure whether he hadn’t understood me or if he was merely lost in deep thought. Suddenly his face lit up like a fluorescent wart and he sat bolt upright on the stool.

“But, but this is marvellous my friend, simply marvellous! You must have lived in the most enlightened age in history. Why with this tele-vision the most brilliant thinkers of your time would be able to communicate all their deepest meditations to the entire population. Everyone in the nation would naturally become the most knowledgeable philosophers and finest appreciators of art. Existential debate would be the norm in the fish markets, grain mills and iron smiths throughout the land. There would be no need for our old Academia, as instruction and wisdom could be issued through this miraculous tele-vision.

And how democracy must have flourished in your time, with senators and kings being able to issue decrees and explain their decisions directly to the masses. Why, civil unrest would become a thing of the past as would war. After all, what are wars but simple misunderstandings between cultures that get blown out of proportion? But with this tele-vision, all the peoples of the world would understand their common humanity and put aside their weapons and.....”

I sighed and felt that an interruption was called for.

“Listen Risto, sorry to have to break this to you but...”

And I went on to explain reality TV, Paris Hilton, soap operas, advertising, spin doctors, the Bush administration, Iraq and Vietnam, Fox news, daytime talk shows, Ben Stiller, Stock, Aitken and Waterman,...etc. etc.

The rest of the dream is a bit of a blur.

I just remember waking up with a vague feeling of unease and a slight stench of Moussaka vomit on my jammies.


Blogger Twenty Major said...

I wonder what he'd have made of the final episode of the Sopranos.

8:48 pm  

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