Sunday, July 15, 2018

Marshmallow fluff is nanotech





There is a food in my kitchen that I haven't had in years. I'm convinced it contains nanotechnology.

Let me back that up a bit.

My dogs take several medications. In order to get a dog to take pills, one must first mask it in a food. Liver sausage, cream cheese, maybe a beer (I kid, but there is a non-alcoholic beer available for dogs). At our house, we use peanut butter. That is until our vet told us that it would be a good idea if Butterscotch ate as little fat as possible from now on. Peanut butter, or the brands I've looked at anyway, averages at around 19 grams of fat per serving. I asked the vet what else we might use.

"Marshmallow fluff," she said. "It has zero fat."

So I got the fluff and sure enough the dogs like it just fine. It's been a treat for me too, as I haven't had it probably since I was a teen. Now I'm indulging in plenty of fluffernutters. And yet I've noticed something that has me curious. Here is a photo I took recently of the fluff:




You can see where I spooned out part of the mass. Those are the kind of scoop marks one expects when you use jars of peanut butter, mayonnaise, ice cream, sour cream, yogurt, and you get the idea. Now, here is a pic of the same fluff one hour later:




No scoops. No crevices. No scrapes. Nothing. It's like it had never been opened.

I scooped out more, then checked a half hour later. A smooth surface of fluff greeted my eyes.

I haven't actually sat down and observed the fluff in an uninterrupted fashion, but it appears that if you pierce or skewer the fluff, it eventually repairs itself and returns to its initial form. There is only one reason I can think of for a material to have these kinds of characteristics.

Nanotechnology.

Engines of Creation is a 1986 book by K. Eric Drexler. I was planning on assigning excerpts from it for my class on ethics and transhumanism, but, well...we all know what happened. But I digress...

Drexler imagined nano-sized devices, meaning invisible to the naked eye. These "universal assemblers" could build or even rearrange objects atom by atom. There are, obviously, all manner of applications for nanotech, from precision delivery of medicine or surgeries in the human body (not to mention completely erasing the need for dialysis) or removing pollutants from air and water. It could also, as Drexler warns, lead to perils such as the "gray goo" scenario, wherein self-replication of nanobots leads to them consuming all organic matter in their path, leaving behind, you guessed it, gray goo.

Could marshmallow fluff be "white goo"? One handy-dandy feature of nanotechnology would, after all, be self-repairing materials. Tears in clothes sew back up on their own, tires on cars never puncture, and fingers grow back even after nasty lawn mower accidents. I'm kidding on that last point, but only sort of. My point being, these attributes are, as I stated at the outset, seen in marshmallow fluff.

I found K. Eric Drexler's website. I've sent him an email asking about the fluff, but so far he hasn't gotten back to me. Looks like his last blog post was in 2014, so I don't know how much he's online these days. I'll let you know what he says.

Man. You'd think the makers of marshmallow fluff would really play up the nanotech angle in their marketing.

And before I get any mail telling me what a dope I am, I'll let you know that I can be quite the satirical blogger.


Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Music for a collapsing world



Go ahead and admit it.

Things don't feel right. They haven't for a while. A new Supreme Court nomination has sparked talk, whether grounded in reality or not, of the repealing of people's rights. The NATO alliance might actually fracture. Policies have been enacted that threaten the economic equivalent of a Mad Max future and people of all social strata are just reveling in it. Conflict and polarization are omnipresent in nearly every form of media, leading one to believe that soon, very soon, daily encounters with others will begin with the question, "You red or blue?"

Believe me. In the past year and a half, I've learned a little something about how things fall apart.

These are the times of the writer. This is when writers, often sitting back in a corner, just watching the game unfold and analyzing it in quiet, offer texts of penetrating insight and chilling warnings. They act as the great mirrors, holding themselves up to society and showing us the good, the bad, and the ugly...challenging us to see if our perceptions stack up to the reality. Often, the casual reader recoils and scoffs, "That's so depressing!" Then as the first crumbles of social concrete sprinkle to the ground, the writers, once shunned as cynics unproductive to the conversation, shrug and smirk, "told ya." It's times like these that have brought us George Orwell's 1984, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.

They also bring us great music as musicians offer similar observations. So if the world is collapsing, I say why not give it a great soundtrack. I now tender a list of what to listen to while it all comes apart:

Last September, Gary Numan (pictured above) released his album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World). He's best known for his early work with Tubeway Army and his single, "Cars," but Numan has a long legacy of sophisticated song writing and compelling, marvelously discordant melodies. Savage is a concept album, telling the story of a desert world ravaged by climate change. As Numan said:

"It's about a desperate need to survive and they do awful things in order to do so, and some are haunted by what they've done. That desire to be forgiven, along with some discovered remnants of an old religious book, ultimately encourages religion to resurface, and it really goes downhill from there."

Check this track, "My Name is Ruin":





"My name is ruin, my name is vengeance
My name is no one, no one is calling
My name is ruin, my name is heartbreak
My name is loving, but sorrows and darkness"

Another magnificently menacing track is "Mercy." I've listened to it on repeat as I write my book about the College.




"You all remember my pain
Your politics are screaming
You won't know my name or my forgiveness
Mercy's overrated

No Mercy
No Mercy"




In 2007, Nine Inch Nails released Year Zero. By then, Trent Reznor had been well known for deep, moody, and contemplative songs about depression, heartbreak, rage, and the desire to end it all. This time around, he turned his gaze outward and looked at both the political landscape and the world writ large. Year Zero is a concept album beamed from the future as a warning, telling of a United States ruled by a Christian theocracy where it is a citizen's duty to report "immorality." There are obvious themes of the War on Terror and the surveillance powers of the Patriot Act at play in the record. There is also a summation to the album that intimates...but never blatantly states...an all-powerful being bringing an end to the world. There are no survivors...save for perhaps the machines that will carry on to create the same kinds of soundscapes that Trent did.





"In the hour of our twilight...
It will all be said and done...

Shame on us, doomed from the start
May God have mercy on our dirty little hearts
Shame on us, for all we have done
For all we ever were, just zeroes and ones"


Moral of the song? Actions have consequences. Sometimes, global consequences.


I've been listening to Heligoland  from 2010 by Massive Attack.




Fans of the series House no doubt recognize Massive Attack from the song "Teardrop", the show's theme. Massive Attack is an electronica, trip hop duo that often works with several other singers and musicians for MA albums. For example, Hope Sandoval from Mazzy Star contributes vocals on Heligoland and there's guitar playing by Adrian Utley from Portishead. Anything involving Portishead is just fine by me. In fact, it's his guitar work that really makes the song, "Saturday Come Slow."





"In the limestone caves
In the south west lands
One time in the kingdom
Believe is on the sand
Saturday comes slow
Do you love me?
Do you love me?
Or is there nothing there?"

Whether they intended it or not, I listen to this record and imagine myself staring out the window as reality changes into something else I can no longer recognize, yet no one else seems to notice it besides me. Perhaps more accurately, others are too afraid to talk about it.

Observe the video for "Atlas Air."




Look at the fear, the paranoia, the suspicion, the switching to gun camera footage. It speaks volumes.

I asked my friend Jason for his take on what would make for fitting additions to this soundtrack. He correctly pointed out that most of Killing Joke's catalog qualifies.




Continuing with the "Mad Max economy" theme, Jason also recommended The Pop Group with "We Are All Prostitutes."




"Capitalism is the most barbaric of all religions." Let the debate ensue...


Even my beloved Duran Duran can dwell on the disintegration of the social fabric, albeit most of those ruminations were confined to their Cold War, punk-influenced debut eponymous album.







"Look now, look all around
There's no sign of life
Voices, another sound..."




"Is There Anyone Out There?" Ahhhh that one brings back "careless memories" of late night teen angst. Not sure it fits the motif, but...no, yeah, I think it does.

"Outside is there anyone out there, anyone else outside
Oh outside love is there anyone out there, anyone else outside
Look out of the window maybe you can call by my name
Another night over babe another light comes on in vain"

Maybe it speaks to the isolation of the human condition. No matter what we're going through, the philosophy of existentialism states that we face it alone for no one else can know your own experience. Despite all our technology, despite "the Internet of all things," we remain utterly disconnected.

And Duran wrote this song in 1980...


David Bowie. Blackstar.




I've made no secret how much I love David Bowie. Likewise, it's obvious to most everyone by now that his final record, Blackstar, was all about him facing his impending death. As Bowie was so often able to do in his legendary career, the work is at once clear and cryptic, all while stirring emotions that the listener might not at first know how to process.





"Look up here, I'm in heaven
I've got scars that can't be seen"

This is a deeply personal work, arguably his most personal. Therefore, I would doubt he was contemplating things on a global scale, and yet...and yet...I believe we can apply this same schema to not simply coming to grips with one's own mortality, but in viewing the ephemeral nature of all that surrounds us. The impermanence of things...

Within this bleak, existential reality, however, Bowie did not neglect the light of hope.





"Something happened on the day he died
Spirit rose a metre and stepped aside
Somebody else took his place, and bravely cried,
"I'm a blackstar, I'm a blackstar."


That's what we all want in the wake of disaster, isn't it? Something new coming from the ashes.


Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Mars engulfed in dust storm





Image is from Space.com


A planet-wide dust storm.

That's a concept difficult to get your head around, but it's exactly what's happening right now on Mars.  For those of us with an interest in space science, it's quite a sight...so you can imagine what people who do it for a living are thinking.You can see an animation of the storm at the previous link. The picture above is a still from it, showing the otherwise clear, red features of Mars muted by a cloud of dust.

The storm began as a localized disturbance in May and gradually grew to engulf the entire planet. To render an idea of scale, Earth is slightly larger than Mars. Such a storm here would encapsulate most of the world. And yet it's not an unheard of occurrence on Mars. In fact it happens every few years, albeit this one seems set to be a record-breaker.

While it's not fully understood what causes the storms to grow to planet-size, it's thought that the smaller ones...even though they're still continent-sized at times...begin when sunlight warms the surface of Mars. This causes the heated air to rise into the thin atmosphere where the air is cooler. This creates an updraft which draws the fine Martian soil upward. The wider the temperature variations, the more dust in the air. Sometimes multiple storms can arise and in time, merge into larger ones.

That actually reminds me a little of my "merged hurricane," "sentient superstorm" story idea that I assure you will one day find its way into print.

Just as storms have a habit of doing here on Earth, this one is messing up a lot of people's plans. Mars is about to make its closest approach to Earth in 16 years. Unfortunately, astronomers both amateur and professional may not get a full view of the planet's features through their telescopes due to the heavily clouded atmosphere. Officials at NASA are also concerned for the Opportunity rover. As it is solar-powered, there has been no contact with the rover in weeks. Its solar panels are likely covered in a layer of dust but even if they weren't, the dust cloud blotting out the sunlight would be more than problematic. It is hoped that Opportunity has simply gone into hibernation mode and will re-establish contact once the dust storm subsides.

What does this Martian occurrence mean to writers? Well, I don't recall super dust storms making their way into the John Carter books of Edgar Rice Burroughs (I could be wrong as I haven't read all of them.) This may be due to the fact that telescope technology of the 19th century might have had difficulty observing such storms in detail. The storms are, however, integral to The Martian. I have yet to either read the book or see the film, but I am told a dust storm is what maroons the titular astronaut on Mars. I will say that including these storms in fiction about the Red Planet sounds necessary in order to lend any tale of colonization or extra-planetary campcraft authenticity.

Maybe colonizing Mars wouldn't be as much fun as I'd originally thought.

Oh who am I kidding? I'd still go. A planet-wide dust storm still beats perpetual political conflict.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Would YOU kill Bigfoot?



Image found here.

If you hang on to the end, I will have a special announcement.

Well, I'm back.

Hope you will pardon the absence. I've been taking time off to handle a few other things and to relax. Pursuing the latter, a mind-pop prompted me to find and watch an old movie from my childhood, The Curse of Bigfoot. You can find that movie here, but the less said about it the better. I also found old episodes of In Search Of on YouTube. As I've said before, that show, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, exerted a profound effect on me. With but interviews, Nimoy's narration, location footage, and really creepy music, In Search Of helped jump start my lifelong interest in strange mysteries and the paranormal, first as a childhood believer and now as a writer who is fascinated by the generation of these narratives, for they are indeed a form of writing, just as I am doing now with this post. I found a cheap set of In Search Of on Amazon and might have to indulge myself. But I digress...

One episode has kept me thinking for weeks because of the questions it posed. It had to do with Bigfoot. Also known as "sasquatch", this is of course the legendary bipedal creature of the North American wilds, said to be a cross between human and ape. I am about 90% convinced no such thing exists. I leave that 10% open because a) I don't know everything and b) my Grandpa once told me of friends of his who saw Bigfoot during a wave of sightings in Ohio and my Grandpa was among the most trustworthy people I've ever known. If you check the database on the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization's website, you'll see that Ohio remains something of a hotbed of sightings.

But that's mostly the extent of the evidence for Bigfoot's existence: sightings, albeit hundreds of them. There are also casts of footprints, photographs and videos of varying veracity, and stories from Native American lore. Apart from all of that, there is no tangible evidence upon which to rest a case for the mysterious creature. So if indeed Bigfoot exists, how do you get conclusive evidence?

Simple. You get a specimen for examination. Alive, preferably. Dead, just as good.

Dr. Grover Krantz was a biological anthropologist.





He was something of an anomaly in academics as he openly professed his belief that Bigfoot exists. At the same time however, he knew that pictures, particularly in the digital age, will never be enough to form conclusive evidence. Only a body or a piece of a body will be accepted.

Peter Byrne takes an opposing view.

 

Byrne was a big game hunter who converted to conservationism. He became fascinated with the idea of Bigfoot after encountering tales and footprints of its cousin, the Yeti, while in Nepal. Byrne believes that shooting a Bigfoot, even if the action at last proves its existence, is unethical. An aspect of his reasoning is that the animals, if indeed they exist, are quite rare and what if we shoot one and it is the last one left?

Krantz shrugged off that philosophy with a sort of Libertarian, "that's the free market" reasoning.
"Species go extinct all the time and there's nothing we can do about it. If it's the last one left, then so what? It makes no difference if they aren't proven."

Another counterpoint is that Bigfoot, if it exists, would perhaps be a close relative to humans. Might killing one constitute murder? How can murder be committed in the name of scientific pursuit? A Native American woman interviewed for the In Search Of episode, expressed disdain for those who call Bigfoot an "animal." She, and according to her, her tribe, view Bigfoot and a fellow human, basically 'living his best life" out in the woods and the mountains. It is not up to us to determine whether or not he exists, therefore we have no moral grounds upon which to act.



So what's the answer? Is killing a living thing in order to prove its existence right or wrong?

Yes, I sense the philosophical absurdity in the question, but I still find it intellectually stimulating.

Immanuel Kant formulated a philosophical concept called "the categorical imperative." This is meant as a tool by which people may decide their actions. In a categorical imperative, there is an action which must be undertaken and it is justified by the end itself. It would seem the highest imperative of all would be the preservation of life. Obviously humans have all matter of exceptions to this, not the least of which is killing to eat, but it would seem in this case that taking a life in order to prove a point is not ethical. Kant himself opposed cruelty to animals. He believed that such actions ultimately lead to a deadening of one's sense of compassion and that cannot help but find its way into interactions with fellow human beings. Thus, kindness to animals is an imperative.

There is another way to look at this however. Say a Bigfoot is killed, the body analyzed and found to indeed be a close relative of humanity, and thus proven to science. If that happens, we could take legislative action (presuming it would not fall victim to the current hack and slash of environmental deregulation) to protect and preserve the remaining members of the species. This might be, from a utilitarian standpoint, a case of "doing the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people." Or sasquatches. As the aforementioned Leonard Nimoy once said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one."

What's the solution? I don't know. I lean towards a "no kill" approach as that tends to be my nature these days. The writer in me also feels ambivalence towards proving Bigfoot's existence. For if the creature would be dragged from the shadows, it would lose its mystery and then ultimately its narrative appeal for me.

Let me repeat that this is essentially an academic discussion. I don't believe there is such a creature so it's a waste of time to try to go kill something that doesn't exist.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT:

I am very happy to report that I am working once more with my old writing partner, George DeRosa. We will soon be releasing a brief novelette about a reality TV show that is hunting Bigfoot. Drama, suspense, action, hilarity, and stupidity will ensue. It will be called The Randy Bigfoot and more details to come.

As an addendum, writer Margaret Atwood once wrote a poem about Bigfoot. 

As another addendum, here is the full In Search Of episode I referenced:




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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Why I teach


For the longest time, I have been meaning to read a book by Colin Wilson called The Outsider. Even blogged about it once before.

I have had difficulty finding an edition for various reasons, but I will get to it one day. Here's a quick precis of the text: In his early 20s, Wilson found himself alone on Christmas Eve in his one-room apartment. He was struck by how similar his position was to many of his favorite characters in literature. "It was not a position I relished," he wrote of the time. "Inner compulsions drew me to it, forced me to this isolated position. I was an outsider." It is a state of mind that while not exactly like my own, I find it kindred. I think of it often as I fear the future of English, History, and other Humanities disciplines in an increasingly bottom-line world. That, I promise, will be the subject of another essay, but for the scope of this blog post, I would like to examine how it spurred, and in select ways continues to spur, my teaching.

In my early adulthood, I worked in a typical business office. I wasn't sure, despite any proclamations to the contrary, just what I really wanted to do in terms of a career. What I did know was that I felt like an outsider. I would mention books that I've read or explain aspects of how humanity came to be, and in return I would get furrowed brows and tilted heads, responses of "How do you know that?" or "What does this have to do with delivering our services?" Now I don't mean to paint these people in a negative light. Not at all. They're fine folks and contribute positively to society. The experience simply served to help me realize I needed to be back in an atmosphere that was a "culture of ideas." More than that, I wanted to be engaged in showing others how to express their ideas in writing.

By accident of fate, I found myself making a visit to a DePaul University extension campus and the rest is history.

After grad school and the commencement of my career as a professor, my drive to teach transformed. I still wanted to discuss books and ideas and show students how to develop their own writing, but the motivation was different. After just finishing a year's worth of classes in my MFA program on the teaching of writing, have spent a great deal of observation and reflection in terms of my pedagogy. I now think I can at last put that transformation into words.

"How can I help?"

That phrase, or several variations upon it, is what I found myself saying more than anything else in the classroom. It also happens to be exactly why I teach.

I want to help.

If someone has been historically frustrated by the writing process, I want to help.

If someone hates school, I want to help and make them hate it a little less, even if for just an hour.

If assigned reading and essay structure induce palpebral twitches and eventual drowsiness, I want to help that student find a new and exciting way to look at it all.

If someone feels like an outsider themselves, I want to help and show them there are a lot of cool outsiders out there. Often, they do amazing things for society.

Whatever is going on with a student, whether it involves writing or not, I want to help.

And yet that "outsider" feeling comes creeping back. After my college closed, I was once more greeted by harsh realities of the high walls and the fierce competition of higher education. Others, namely "vodka tonic guy", asked why I would still fight to get back into a college. "It isn't 'market valued'" he said. "Why would you struggle to go make a quarter of what I could make in business, like doing marketing or PR?" Thus, I feel again as an outsider. Sort of brought back adolescent memories of wearing my long coat, the brooding, melancholic literary artist who listened to The Cure and had poetic insights to offer if only otheres would listen.

Thank God I'm not that dreary or insufferable anymore (I hope), but the "outsider" feeling resurfaces when facing individuals like Vodka Tonic Guy. So why do I teach?

Here's why:

"Thank you. I don't think anyone else would have helped me the way you did."

"You teach like you care. You care about us."

"Thank you for challenging me to always keep thinking critically and intellectually."

"You're the best teacher I've ever had. Thank you."

And in response to the blog post "Lost Causes" (linked above with "Vodka Tonic Guy"):

"Thank you for everything you taught me. The lessons I learned with you have been fundamental. I know our last months at SJC were tough, but I know I and everyone else are just as grateful that you didn't leave us. Thank you."

So, I hope that I may humbly take that as evidence that I helped. That's why I keep going.

That's why I teach.


Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

Monday, May 28, 2018

ROBOTS: The Musical Production





ROBOTS: The Musical Production takes place June 22nd through June 24th at the Delphi Opera House in Delphi, Indiana.

It was spring of 1983 and robots were on my mind.

My little self just heard "Mr. Roboto" by Styx and a grand idea struck me. As I walked to get the bus to school that morning, the idea took root and grew. I would write a story sure to earn me both Hugo and Nebula Awards for it was so earth-shattering, so innovative, that it's fresh quality could not be denied by anyone of estimable mind. What was this bold new literary concept? Why I would write an epic story arc about...hold on to yourself now...

Robots taking over the world.

Fortunately for the human race, I never got far with it. Even more fortunate is there are those out there with truly inspired takes on robotics and what their continued evolution means for humanity. One of them is my friend and former professorial colleague, Dr. Paul Geraci. He has written and composed an opera called ROBOTS: The Musical Production and took time out of his busy schedule to talk with me about the show.

Jon Nichols: Thanks for talking with me today, Paul. Could you please tell us a little about the play?

Paul Geraci:  ROBOTS is a futuristic opera in one act that takes place in a 1st grade classroom in the not too distant future.   It blends story aspects of Blade Runner, Battlestar Galactica, the Twilight Zone, and the Terminator, with operatic musical stylings of classic Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and Soundheim musicals.  
In this conception of the world, students learn to control robots to accomplish their every task.  But since machines now do everything for them, what purpose do human beings have?  Events occur that pose questions such as “If robots do everything what will we do?” and “Is our station in life defined by the robots we own?”.   The teacher must balance her role in teaching robotic education while contemplating her place in this new world of technology.  When no one is around the robots come to life and ask questions of their own such as “Where would the humans be without us?” and lay hints at future robot revolution.  Finally, a new teacher comes to the school and challenges perceptions about society’s values and a new paradigm of things to come. 
ROBOTS is a show that will leave the audience humming tunes, deliver big laughs, and put on a spectacle of dancing robots.  But more importantly it will also leave concertgoers with deeper questions about the future, humanity, and the obsolescence of the human race.

JN: What inspired the show?
   
PG: Originally ROBOTS was a 5 minute short film.  After several rewrites and brainstorming sessions with film director Tim Mills, I decided it worked better as a stage show with music than a film, thus, it became a 1 hour opera instead.  This show is unique as I wrote the music, lyrics, and the story, but the added time allowed me to develop the characters and create some amazing feelings about them.  I took some inspiration from the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee where all the children are played by adult actors.  This added some humor and light-heartedness to some rather dark subject matter.  It took 13 months to compose- though I am constantly editing!


JN: What can an audience expect musically?

PG: Since ROBOTS is futuristic but also centered around 1st graders, a special type of music was called for.  In most music we have chords, and those chords are built on thirds (do mi sol, or C E G).  ROBOTS uses what we call quartal harmony, or chords built on fourth (sol do fa, or G C F) this creates the signature harmonic language for the entire show.  Quartal harmonies are not new, composers Paul Hindem
ith and Kent Kennan used them quite a bit.
    Despite the lengthy and technical description of the harmonies, my concept of melody still falls within the tonal paradigm.  All of the melodies are singable and fun with memorable tunes.  And there is variety – the audience will hear a wide array of styles including:  operatic arias, musical theatre tunes, children’s tunes, funky blues, waltz, and rap  (yes, rap). 

JN: What are your favorite robots from science fiction?

PG: There are so many robots from science fiction that I loved.  Here are two of my tops
1.  R2-D2  -- R2 is a stud.  Although he doesn’t communicate in English, we can tell he’s got sarcastic bent to him and that he is probably not above using a few four letter words from time to time.  He always  manages to save the day and has been in every Star Wars film with the exception of the new Han Solo film.
2.  Twiki  --  Who didn’t love having a robot voiced by Mel Blank.  The wise-cracking Bugs-Bunny jokes keep me amused even today.  Buck Rogers may have been the hero, but we watched for Twiki!  Well, and Erin Gray- as Twiki would say “What a babe!”

There are deeper issues at work in ROBOTS. As I mentioned, Paul was a colleague of mine at the now closed Saint Joseph's College. He explained how that traumatic event, perhaps inadvertently, found its way into the work.

PG: There is a actually a big connection to SJC and losing a job in this show.  Even though it was written before the announcement, perhaps it was a strange foreshadowing of things to come.  Many people may tear up a bit as it strikes at our hearts.  Even though the show is called ROBOTS, it is really about people and human emotions and self worth.   I’ll leave you with some song lyrics from the show:

What do you do, when they don’t need you anymore?
        The curtain falls, but no calls for encores.
        Yesterday’s news, just a footnote to the page.
        I’ll sing the blues, retired at middle age.

        And it’s plain to see, this society
        Ignores all the flaws that make us real.
        Then humanity, will cease to be,
        A people who love and care and feel.

What do you say, when they take your life away?
        You gave all you had, but you can no longer stay.
        Collect your memories, and put them in a box.
        Turn in your keys, and watch them change the locks.

        And as soon as you’re gone, progress bravely marches on.
        But does it march in the right direction?
        And to whom it may concern:  What lessons are being
            learned?
        There is more to life than sterile perfection.
       
        And what becomes of me, a disposable human being?
        Sacrificed on the alter of efficiency.
        And who do you think, is next to be extinct?
        It’s you and you and you just wait and see.
        Wait and see!
   
        You’re ostracized, no one cares about your cries.
        And you curse the ground upon which you live and breathe.
        Outrage ensues, and your faith becomes unglued.
        And there’s no one left to blame or to believe.
        But I believe!
        There is more to life, than just a petty job.
        And my heart’s value can’t be judged by anyone but God.   
        There is more to me, there is more to say,
        The journey doesn’t end it just goes another way.
        There is more.
        There is more.
        There is more.
        There is more.
There is more to life, there is more to me.

        There is more.


I certainly hope so, brother. I certainly hope so.


Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets