Monday, June 7, 2010

Do Androids Dream of Dirty Martinis?

Let me sum up:
1) Sci-fi-tastic Broken Bells music video for the song "The Ghost Inside"
2) Photo of "Mad Men" vixen Christina Hendricks rocking the crap out of said music video
3) Footage of me watching the last 20 seconds of said music video
4) Photo taken after viewing

Let me splain:
Dang it, "Syfy" channel, my brain broke a little when I tried to type Sci-fi-tastic, and I blame YOU. But your Cafe Diem mock-up at San Diego Comic Con last summer made me cry happy tears, so I'll let it slide. (The best part is, someone stole Fargo!)

I had something else planned for this week, but then I saw this video on io9, and by the time she hit the asteroid field I realized the video was definitely Geek Tears fodder, so I paused to grab my camera. I should note that I'm NOT a camera geek...I'm still playing with the best way to document tears (especially when it's a few quiet tears and not a big, puffy, red tear-storm). But there is definitely a rhythmic teardrop on the last beat of the viewing video. And I liked the aftermath photo because the woobly corneal computer reflection seemed vaguely android appropriate.

I know Christina Hendricks from "Firefly" and know of her in "Man Men" (Season 1 has been sitting on our shelf since Christmas, waiting to be consumed along with some bourbon on the rocks). I've read several interviews where she's talked about feeling uncomfortable with all the attention her body has gotten. Having the role of "Curvy Lady Spokesperson" thrown at you is probably a ├╝ber-weird, especially when it pulls focus from the fact that you're also a very talented actor (and to the fact that curvy is still a wacky anomaly). Given this state of affairs, I think there's something really cool--in addition to an amazing performance and old Hollywood glamor--that Christina brings to this role that say...Carmen Electra wouldn't.

One of the comments for the music video on io9 was simply SYMBOLISM. Fair enough. But like all the sexiest symbolism, the body dismantling probably hits different folks very differently. My ears are horrible at deciphering lyrics so I looked them up after viewing. Actually, I looked up a wildly flawed version of the lyrics that made the song seem almost T.S. Elliot-esque ("Don't let the lady finger blow in your hat?"). But once I got a good version I was able to see Broken Bells story of pragmatic, violent romance more clearly.

The lyrics and the video mostly hit me as a psychology-geek (and a person-geek). The therapeutic style I've dug the most is called "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" or ACT. Some basic tenants include the idea that suffering is more normative than we like to pretend it is--uncomfortable thoughts and feelings come along with being a conscious, verbal human being. Especially in situations where something you truly value is involved. And when you treat crap thoughts and feelings like things that have to be avoided at all costs, you usually start trying various strategies to control them and, oddly enough, these strategies usually lead to a whole new pile of suffering (can you tell the ACT folks are Buddism-loving hippies, yet?)

The craziest thing to me is how attempts to control crappy thoughts usually send us in the complete opposite direction of what we care about. And how easy it is to ignore this as long as those strategies help to shut up our minds...even for a minute. Another song I love that hits on this is "Late Night Test Subtext" by Riki Lindhome (sometimes she also sings awesome songs with Ted's adorable girlfriend from Scrubs, Kate Miccuci):

I never really liked you anyhow
I just don't want to be alone
So come on over, come on over
Cause you know make my mind...quiet

So yeah, one big reason for the tears was the fact that we all (myself verdy much included) do some really wacky--and often regrettable--things while trying to avoid/numb out/obliterate thoughts and emotions we don't want.

Feeling depressed? Sit on the couch and stare at the TV until you feel up to hanging out with friends.

Feeling anxious about a paper you want to do well on? Play on youtube for 5 hours!

Feeling full of existential android ennui because your life isn't getting anywhere? Convince yourself stardom will make you happy and sell everything you have to get there...including your means of getting anywhere.

~Geek out

1 comment:

  1. I am Psych-geek, too! :D Therefore, I smiled whenever you mention the tiniest thing about Psych! lol! :P You understand.