Day 40

5.02: If only I could build an army of robots to do this for me. To write a novel, they’d have to be specially selected of course: complicated, vegetarian robots that had troubled adolescences spent carving sixth-form poetry into their arms with a Swiss Army Knife, and whose hobbies include skulking in second-hand bookshops, and caustic sarcasm. I’d probably need to hold interviews.

This guy‘s had a crack at it (hiring robots, not – to the best of my knowledge – disfiguring himself). Pat Metheny is a man with an orchestra from the future and a haircut from the stone age. And he, like a hunting-gathering conductor, controls it partly with his guitar, partly with his feet, partly with his magical gaze, which is a cross between the bits in Superman when Clarke Kent peers over his glasses, and Paddington’s special hard stare.

Then of course there’s Thomas Truax, long deserving of a mention in these notes, who’s a sort of troubadour rag and bone man of recycling and defunct technology. He tours the country with a motley crew of mechanical players, born like Frankenstein’s backing group out of pram wheels, gramophone horns, television aerials, and greased lightening.

I’m worried now about an X-men scenario, where the robo-musicians start to threaten the personal identity and long-treasured beliefs of your everyday working guy, and they’re vilified in the popular press and and driven underground, or sent to gulags where they grind out a dismal shelf-life assembling sandwich toasters and Nissan Micras. Did you learn nothing in  history class dummies? We all know how badly things went when that computer in 2001 started to feel alienated. Robots are people too, and don’t you forget it.

5.43: By coincidence, today is the 76th anniversary of the first public appearance of the saxophone. We all knew no good could come of it.

6.52: Another sluggish morning. Must stagger on but, at the moment, it’s a bit like trying to wring Dandelion and Burdock out of a handful of hay and an old potato. I’ll telephone the robo-writers agency as soon as it opens.

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~ by David Thorley on February 3, 2010.

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