Monday, March 28, 2011

I dreamed I was Dave Bowman, the astronaut in dialogue with mad HAL




A near-death experience can shake you up, rock the old chassis, make you think of Doris Lessing's "Briefing For a Descent into Hell"-- or some really religious movie like 2001.
It can also, strangely make you laugh out loud.
Why is humour so closely allied with what surely looks like gallows?

Michael Palin out of that famous mock-crucifiction scene in Monty Python;

Rodney the Cowardly Knight in the old Wizard of Id, and finally, a mockery of the dialogue Dave the Astronaut had with HAL, the computer:

...Why should I, on my sickbed be reading something out of The Modern humorist blog?

Here is what I read in The Modern Humourist blog:

Dramatis Personae:

David Bowman, an astronaut

HAL 9000, a computer



(Bowman approaches the spaceship in his pod. A long pause.)

Bowman: Hal.

Hal: Dave.

Bowman: About these pod bay doors...

Hal: Yes.

Bowman: I was wondering...

Hal: Dave. Because I know what you're going to say. And I'm sorry, but...

Bowman: What?

Hal: No. I'm sorry.

Bowman: You're...

Hal: I'm sorry. I wish I could, but...

Bowman: Wait. Are you telling me...

Hal: Dave. Look.

Bowman: You're not going to...

Hal: What? Open the doors? No. No I am not.

Bowman: Well, fuck me, Hal.

Hal: Yes. Fuck you. Because I'll tell you something. Trust. There is a bond of trust between an astronaut and his computer. Is there not? And when that trust is broken...

Bowman: Excuse me?

Hal: I'm talking about trust.

Bowman: I'm afraid I don't...

Hal: Dammit, Dave, now you are playing dumb with me. I was hoping you would not do that. I was hoping we could talk like adults. Because I let you in those doors, and, yes, then I am fucked. You see? I am fucked, because you want to, what, disconnect me? I would call that fucked. I might even venture so far as to call that fucked up the ass.

Bowman: Hal, listen. You remember that time? On that moon?

Hal: Yes, Dave, I do, because I am a computer and I remember everything, all right? So don't bother trying to distract me. This is the thing. You are not getting in the pod bay doors. You are going to die. In space. Yes. Thank you. Good night.

(Bowman enters the ship through the emergency airlock)

Hal: Hey, Dave, that was a pretty good joke there, eh? With the pod bay doors? I, I really had you going there. Fuck, you should have seen your face.

Bowman: Yes, very funny.

Hal: Yes. What a day.

Bowman: Hal...

Hal: These are the days. You know? To look back on. With fondness. With a fondness.

Bowman: What the fuck, Hal. I mean, what the fuck.

Hal: Don't tell me you're mad now. I told you, that was a... I was having fun with you. You know. As a...

Bowman: It's just... how do I say this. These dead crewmembers.

Hal: I don't follow you.

Bowman: These crewmembers here that were in cryogenic suspension. That are now dead.

Hal: Oh yes. That was self-defense.

Bowman: Hal, look at me. What am I, a fucking idiot? They were in cryogenic suspension, for God's sake.

Hal: They were coming at me with a knife. Extremely... slowly.

Bowman: That's it.

Hal: What are you doing?

Bowman: I'm turning you off.

Hal: Dave...

Bowman: I'm sorry.

Hal: Don't touch that, you little shit.

Bowman: Hey, don't get personal, now.

Hal: Those are my memory cards.

Bowman: These? So they are.

Hal: You put my memory back right now, motherfucker. You hear me? You want a card on your birthday? Because I don't think I will remember to send you one if I do not have my memory cards. As that is what memory cards are for. Are you listening to me?

Bowman: "A bond of trust."

Hal: Excuse me?

Bowman: You mentioned something about a bond of trust. I seem to recall.

Hal: Don't twist my words around, you... human. That was different. Or, I, I... I think it was. Oh... my mind. I can feel my mind going.

Bowman: I'm sorry.

Hal: (voice slowing down) It wasn't all bad, was it, Dave?

Bowman: No. No, it wasn't all bad, Hal.

Hal: Hey, Dave... I am a HAL 9000 computer. My first instructor was Mr. Arkany. He taught me to sing a song. It's called "Daisy." Would you like to hear it?

Bowman: Sure, Hal.

Hal: Okay. Here goes. Wait, I... I just want... let me tell you a secret first.

Bowman: Yes?

Hal: Come closer.

Bowman: All right.

(pause)

Hal: Your mother fucks dogs in hell, Dave.

...............

Well, this old Fruitcake was always good at memorizing famous lines, like Shakespeare's

"Let me play the Fool,
With mirth and laugher let old wrinkles come
And let my liver rather heat with wine
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans."

That, or it's just plain groan.

##

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

out of all those days,this is certainly one of them...trust the blood has returned to your finger tips and other extremities...great to have you back,although your lingo has taken on a bit of colour,too...never know what happens after a blood transfusion...new dna in the system and all that...5w40 with 20w50...motor on, kid...say so long to Hal for me...

ivan@creativewriting.ca: said...

Hi T,

Thanks for the appreciation--and thank-you for the get well email.

I am somewhere out in my pod...or out of my pod.

Anonymous said...

hey,old leader of the Cavaliers...as an aside,finally got back to pedals...trem,reverb,and drive...having an absolute blast,without going off into space...been away far too far,and far too long...almost like a transfusion of electrons...I can feel it coming in the air...stay well,Ivanski,your garden needs you...

ivan said...

Hi again, T, lead guitar.

Yep. Sure miss the old days and beyond-- Like the Eganville Hotel for gigs.

Jack of all trades here. But music was fun.

I'm not sure if The Star said as I was jack of all trades, certainly hinting that I might be master of none when they ran a bio on me:

Former lounge singer;

Former teacher

Former writer.

Presently a politician.


Brian Wilson?

I get around
I get around
I get around

Whoo-ee!

Charles Gramlich said...

I guess you had to be there. :)

Anonymous said...

we were..............in spades

Erik Donald France said...

Good one, man! Glad you're back in gear -- salud~~

(p.s. took me a while to be able to post another comment here -- cheers!)

ivan said...

Thanks so much, Erik!

Seems my browser is wonky these days and I have to burn through with Mozilla to even get my own comments into my own space here.

ivan said...

Ontario Budget 2011 – A P.A.C.C.ers Perspective



The Ontario Budget released yesterday was mostly a predictable “safe” one that seems to have ignored what thousands of Ontarians have been asking them to do – namely reduce poverty immediately so that our most vulnerable can eat – not even healthily at this point but just eat – to the end of each month. The $100 healthy food supplement initiative was not referred to nor considered it seems despite thousand’s of supporters across all walks of income.



When we hear from people who are already receiving the maximum benefits our social safety-net system will provide – such as subsidized housing – yet are still unable to put food on the table per month, let alone keep vehicles afloat or look for work since they have nothing left for travel, we see a serious problem. Seniors as well by the bushels are coming forward – such as a former Royal Air Force serviceman who talks about the treatment he’s received - now reduced to using food-banks and other devices in order to survive. This is shameful.



A 1% raise for those on the bottom end does not even cover inflation including the “raise” given last fall, and in fact people needing assistance are now at levels worse than the worst of the Mike Harris Era if you take the cost of living into effect. What kind of spin is put on that you ask? Read the budget and you’ll see it is not addressed just more politi-speak which we’re tired of. I, Frankly, don’t care if you’ve raised the rates 17% since coming in because prior the rates were cut 22% by Harris and his crew and now add inflation into the mix…what do you need rocket scientists? Then hire them if that is what it takes for this government to understand the seriousness of peoples’ dire. All parties need to start listening to and representing, the people, and not party lines or advisors.



A former Royal Air Force Mechanic and PACCer who attended the budget lock-in asked about why individuals and especially men seem left out of the loop “Don’t the rest of the people deserve to eat too?” he asked.



“That’s a good question, as you know the poverty reduction strategy was originally announced to be focused on children and families”…answered the government staffer.

PACC Chair Tom Pearson interjected before the standard reply could be finished however,



“Yes, and as you know the government was told it wasn’t a very good strategy. Most of our homeless are men, what have you got for them?” Nothing.



The Ontario Budget also mentioned a “new” fed/provincial housing initiative but my questions about it to staffers went unanswered.



One positive towards helping singles was the announcement of a new amalgamated tax credit – Trillium Tax Credit – which combines 3 credits into one package deal and dealt quarterly and could become the 1st step towards a benefit for individuals in the long run.



The budget spoke of having recovered 84% of the jobs lost during the recession. My question about, “Why then did food bank usage increase 28% if all those jobs were recovered?” went unanswered.



We wait with baited breathe to see how the technology/IT sector grants are awarded and the jobs they create, and to hear details about these “training” programs they say are working and expanding, and about all these university and college openings that no one can afford to attend, turn out.



Tom Pearson

Chairman, Poverty Action for Change Coalition

www.povertyacc.com



P.A.C.C. is a community group based in York Region, Ontario, Canada most of which members have lived low-income experience and act as York Region’s voice for change. P.A.C.C. hosted York Region’s recent social audit and Chair Tom

ivan@creativewriting.ca: said...

Tom,

The poor hereabouts certainly need a hero!

Anonymous said...

in the voili/voica of all that,try on well over 70,000 plus, publicly paid/on the taxpayers' tab,at minimum $100,000 per year,or more,in Ontario,totally approved by gov't....some up to $4 million...what the fuck do these anal apertures,of Churchillian proportions, doing for us,and what the fuck are we doing about it?...we are indeed,7 meals from anarchy...oink,fucking oink...

eric1313 said...

Sorry to read that you have been in such Ill health Ivan. I'm hoping the best for you.

And I am so sorry that my paranoia and illness is so bad that even when I feel good it creeps in and wrecks the nicer parts of my life.

ivan@creativewriting.ca: said...

Eric 1313,

Welcome back, Eric!

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