Thursday, June 29, 2023

Is There Anything Worse?

Cool photo, eh?  No need to give credit, I think.  It isn't real.  It is, but it isn't.  It is an AI generated image.  I've been coming across some terrific AI generated images.  It is crazy.  I read an article yesterday about sites that claim to be able to tell if an image is AI generated or not.  None of them were always accurate.  Maybe you don't need a tech site for this one.  

I do think, though, that it is cool.  So, after I had been reading about it, Adobe sent me an email about their own, brand new, still in Beta stage, AI generator.  Text to image, even.  So. . . what the hell.  I thought I'd try it. 

I just typed in "girl with red hair and blue eyes looking into camera on a crowded beach."  I didn't take it into any editing programs where I could make it more "my own."  This is it straight out of the AI generator.  Weird, eh?  

I read an article about AI porn.  There are sites on the dark web where you can get anything you want.  I was shocked--that there was still a "dark web."  I thought the feds had cracked that a long time ago.  AI porn does not shock me at all.  The bestiality sites have all but disappeared from Google searches. . . I've heard.  The gymroids.  Whatever.  You know what I'm saying.  The morality police are in charge now.  Everything you want is banned or illegal except for guns.  The internet has been made antiseptic.  But I will not be surprised when I read about some fellow with a pair of Virtual Reality goggles and a subscription to a Dark Web site dying from starvation and self-abuse.  Believe what you will, but we are no better than those rats in cages given the choice of pushing the buttons for either food or cocaine.  You know the ones, the famous experiment where the rats starved to death.  

The resulting scientific publications wrote nothing of the rats' happiness.  

* * *

I didn't leave the house yesterday.  It was not due to cocaine or virtual reality or AI.  I was going to go to the beach, but as I reported, nothing got me going.  I have a pinched nerve in my neck, something I haven't had for many, many years, and I had forgotten how not being able to hold your head up or turn it makes life unbearable.  I must have hurt it in the gym.  I don't know.  But it makes me want to puke.  And my knee.  And my shoulder and ribs.  If I had it, I would probably just sit inside and smoke opium all day to relieve the pain. . . physical and otherwise.  

I didn't go to my mother's.  I didn't go to the bar with the gymroids.  I didn't eat until after dinnertime.  A salad and a veggie burger.  It was hot outside, anyway.  Everybody said so.  

So. . . maybe I'm depressed. 

I watched a movie, "The Outfit."  I liked it even though it is not really my genre.  The entire movie is shot in a tailor's shop.  Production values are lovely.  Mark Rylance's performance is captivating.  And in the end, rather heartbreaking.  I had a sudden revelation.  I knew why I was sad.  

Then I watched Maisel.  Yea, yea. . . you are sick of hearing about it.  But it is fucking me up.  I suddenly nut up and convulse with tears every few scenes.  It makes me wonder about my psychological stability.  This is NOT a weepy show.  But I do.  And last night, I realized why.  

Let me set this scene up.  Maisel is a comic at an elegant but illegal burlesque house.  Lenny Bruce is scheduled to play Carnegie Hall and they have put him up for four days in their hotel.  "They asked me what color I wanted my room painted," he tells Midge backstage at the burlesque house just before the place is raided.  They escape into the winter's night and end up at his room.  Season 4, Episode 8.  You should probably watch it.  

But maybe this clip.  You see?  Fuck me.  I should have outgrown my romanticism by now.  I'm too old to keep feeling this way.  It is this that is leading me to my demise.  

A beautiful, smart, independent woman and an absurdly doomed, outcast of a man.  Fuck me.  

I need to start watching the shows my mother watches on commercial t.v. instead of cancelling my cable.  

* * *

Tennessee called me yesterday.  He is leaving town for a week, first to his beach condo, then to Miami for a few days through the 4th.  Jesus. . . I haven't paid any attention to the calendar.  Is it the 4th already?  

"Miami!?!?  Where are you staying in Miami?"

He paused.  

"Um. . . I hate to tell you.  You're going to think I'm a rich asshole. . . . We're staying at the Fontainebleau."

"Oh, wow. . . yea. . . that's wonderful.  I keep looking for room deals but even a small one overlooking the street is $700 a night in the off-season."

I love the Fontainebleau.  I first saw it as a child with my parents.  It was winter and there were women wearing mink stoles.  I'd never seen that before.  I knew then what I wanted.  I went back in the 70s and 80s before the renovation.  It still looked like 1950's New York.  You walked downstairs and you were in a shopping mall with winding hallways, bars with chetah skin booths. . . Frank Sinatra. . . etc.  After the renovation, though, it went out of my reach.  If I teach the photography course this fall, what I get paid would not cover three nights there.  

I was feeling like the hillbilly I was born to be.  I need different friends.  

Maybe as a tribute, I'll go to the mall and eat lunch at the Olive Garden this weekend and maybe watch some Marvel Superhero action movie in a theater.  A really big time.  

* * *

Or maybe I'll just load up on drugs and wile away the hours in an induced stupor.  Dye my hair blue and go to an LGBTQ parade in a rainbow shirt on an impossibly hot day.  Sit in some dingy drag show bar with my woke friends.  Become a barfly.  Go to some fireworks display with thousands of the hoi-polloi on the 4th.  

* * *

Or maybe I should use my prodigious talent and do what many can't.  As always, summer fucks me.  The world closes in.  The trees and bushes grow and thicken and shrinks the vista.  Mosquitos and palmetto bugs abound.  I should take a trip, get out of town.  Red has invited me to come to Vegas again.  I have a standing invitation to my buddy's home in Yosemite.  

If I could only walk.  

* * *

I keep thinking I'll find a positive note after a series of asterisks.  Is there anything worse than an aging, weepy romantic?  

Sure there is.  They are mostly politicians.  

* * * 

But. . . there is this.  

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