Monday, December 23, 2013

Time Stand Still

 One of the rather interesting things in life is the perception of time, especially on this, the shortest day of the year (for the northern hemisphere).  When I was say, 10 years old, often time dragged-on.  I remember hearing parents talk about how time flies faster, grandparents admitting even further still time was very fleeting.  Interestingly, their perception of time was faster. 

  When I watched Star Wars in 1978 (I was a Johnny-come-lately at age 8) I remember how Luke was fussing about how he had to stay on-station with his uncle for another season instead of going off to the Academy or what-not and they had an argument such that Luke was horrified he'd have to wait another year and Uncle Owen admitted, "Well, yeah.. just another year."  From my point-of-view at-the-time, a year seemed ludicrous an amount of time, but now that I'm older, a year doesn't seem all that painful and actually a wiser choice.

  When I was 4, I remember wanting to get into kindergarten in 1975.  I wouldn't turn 5 until September 12th, a few days after the start of the class, and the school system was trying to keep me from going, but I was impatient and wanted to start and my mother got me in.  Most of the other kids were nearly 6 by that time, however, and so throughout the entire 12 years of school I was a bit of a runt, and that matters.  That changes things, and one's perspectives.. on everything.  You see, you grow pretty significantly each year, at least a few inches during grade school through high-school.  I was always about 3 inches too short throughout.  This puts you on the defensive, and you learn to watch your back from treachery, sniped by taller bullies in the shadows.  Anything in those days to one-up a fellow student.  Anything to get a leg-up.  Being a nerd back then got you a black-eye or worse in the early 1970s and 1980s.  The only thing that kept me from going nuts was a Kung-Fu class known as Bob Meserve's Health and Self-Defense.  I was pressed to go at age 10.  By high-school I had little to worry about lest I be ganged-up on by more that 5 or 6, though that happened occasionally.  What got me back then was the actual feelings of confusion of being ostracized for no reason rather than any physical damage.  That I could generally ward-off quickly enough and easily, it was the psychological that brought me down sometimes.  Still, I grew quick enough and held my own, and a little roughing-up in school teaches you a lot more things in life, how to defend the weak, understand honor, know oppression and how to defeat the evil later in the world and champion those who need it.  Made me to be a very decent sergeant later-on I'd like to think, and to handle great stress and pressure when lives were at stake.  At least I can say that I did.  I know many military that have it pretty easy and never faced such things.  A harder life makes one more resilient and with a richer soul.  I know almost none who can match my own depth, though it makes me sad that the emptiness and dull-headed, unthinking, un-wondering, stubbornness surrounds me.

  Ah, but again I digress a tad.  During days in school, minutes seemed like months, but today, I've been up nearly 12 hours and it seems like only 1 or 2 have gone by.  The amount of time that has spent from Thanksgiving to Christmas seems a mere blink.  I can remember at age 8 that distance was quite farther.  Quite. 

  Time is measured in a relative way based on the observer.  Time is different for satellites as they are distant from the Earth's gravity and atomic clocks onboard need to be slightly calibrated for "clock drift".  Standard space-stuff (though I know a few space guys that are clueless on this and will likely end-up working at some retail store as they don't seek knowledge as passionately as myself, though I must admit a lot of pop-culture knowledge hasn't been too useful, as well as all that union-method stuff from Calculus 3 back in 1989). 

  I knew back when I was in my single-digits that there would be a paradigm-shift sometime, as I believed my elders when they said time would run at a different rate, that my boredom would cease and I'd never have enough time.  I didn't know exactly when this would happen though, or whether it would be gradual or sudden.  I found it is indeed happening now that I'm a surprising 44 years old already.  I noticed a change around age 32 where it was picking-up, that time would fly faster, seemingly.  Now, at 44, days fly-by like hours.  I suspect it may increase to weeks flying-by like hours.  Why is this?

  I have to be cognizant of these temporal adjustments and consider them duly. I sit and consider these things at-length.  Could it be that the influx of media thrown at us with angry colors and sound make the brain change?  There was little by way of input in the 1970s except for turntable vinyl and the potentiality of experimental drug-use and the occasional TV channel.  Back then, guys would sit around and philosophize of UFOs and existentialism while listening to Led Zeppelin, trying to find the deeper meanings of Stairway to Heaven.  Back then, albums had hidden meanings.  Album art had clues you could discover.  Back-masking audio bytes with sinister secrets.  The world had a lot of hidden secrets if you spent the time to look and listen and research.  Knowledge was only found in back-reaches of dusky libraries and rare TV documentaries about the Loch Ness Monster and such.  Interesting times requiring slow, methodical research, seminars to attend, mysteries to be explored, all time-consuming, yet time was not fleeting, it was full.

  Those days are all but gone.  I don't think anyone gets together and plays an album on vinyl now, discussing album art, hidden meanings in lyrics, etc.  Rap music sort of destroyed that, it's nursery-rhyme profanity in a 2-year-old splash of malignant narcissism to me is the death of Civilization.  Not all of it was junk, some was cerebral, almost.  Almost.  There are probably a few pockets of stand-outs somewhere who consider depth of things in music and art, but I find it hard-pressed to gleen any goodness out of current offerings.  There hasn't been a truly deep album since probably the late '80s or early '90s.  Kids don't have the brainpower or patience for it.  Good luck releasing Genesis' , Watcher of the Skies, Emerson, Lake & Palmer's, Tarkus, or Rush's, Fountain of Lamneth these days.  I can appreciate non-progressive rock, but honestly, the depth of even Iron Butterfly's Inagadadavida still is light-years ahead of anything this Generation Zero can even fathom.  Sigh.

The Beatles' Abbey Road has several clues of Paul McCartney's Death.

  I watch the clock jump hour-to-hour, even as I write this post and consider adding imagery to it for the non-readers who like to "look at da pic-shuz" but in this post, I think I'll avoid it to make a point.  (Actually, I couldn't resist.  I put some anyway.  Dork that I am.)   I can't understand why time flies faster as one ages.  I suspect a 6 year-old is annoyed this dragging Sunday afternoon won't end.  It's very cold outside and no snow to play in and everything is borrrring, lying upside-down on the couch.  Or maybe not.  Maybe there's so much online distraction to keep his frazzy little brain distracted enough he won't notice the passage of time.  Maybe the idea is that we weren't distracted enough as kids?  Not enough input?  I'd say now it's too much, perhaps.  Still, I was unemployed for a few weeks back in 2008 and time didn't go slowly by, it was still quick-stepped, so my consideration that media is affecting things might not be a good case for it.  Yet I kept myself entertained with YouTube and Playstation games, so.. maybe.. if I did nothing... I motorcycled around a bit but it was cold in January in Colorado so not as much as I'd like.

  So I wonder if it's the computer media that's affecting time?  Well, the older crowd back in 1978 when I asked them didn't have such distractions, and from 1950 to 1978 there wasn't too much change with media.  They still had TV and radio and newspapers.  It was mostly still the same.  The same album releases, though the 1950s had some pretty empty lyrics.  I'm not sure if there was anything "progressive" back then aside from jazz and some beatnik poetry readings. 

  I think I might have control over it.  It's my own perspective.  Currently, my body has began to decide that the production of melanocytes has decreased to instead work on keeping me alive.  Yep, I'm going gray, and not by lack of vitamin B.  I drink enough of that (as most do now) by way of RedBull and the like.  I get 100% every day.  No gout for me!  Maybe if I focus on time.  Work with it?  I'm not sure.  Such is the mystery of life.


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