Searching for an audience

Besides this blog, I also have a blog at This was a blog I created to place my first piece about Apple, which caught the attention of Roger, which led to my knowing about Tim, which led to my having a column here. Everything I write here is there, and vice-versa, although obviously with some difference in structure and intent. I don’t really blog there like I am doing here however, so my world is becoming divided. Oh well.

BeHappyAndFree comes from the words of The Alan Parsons Project song “Day After Day (The Show Must Go On) on the album, I Robot. The other day I dug out the album jacket, and this is what I discovered:

“I Robot: The story of the rise of the machine and the decline of man, which paradoxically coincided with his discovery of the wheel…and a warning that his brief dominence of this planet will probably end, because man tried to ceate a machine in his own image.”

Those words were copyright 1976. Pretty amazing, huh? At the dawn of Apple. In my bio, I describe myself as a daydreamer. The words from the song read:

Gaze at the sky
And picture a memory
Of days in your life
You knew what it meant to be happy and free
With time on your side

Remember your daddy
When no one was wiser
Your ma used to say
That you would go further than he ever could
With time on your side

Think of a boy with the stars in his eye
Longing to reach them but frightened to try
Sadly, you’d say, someday, someday

But day after day
The show must go on
And time slipped away
Before you could build any castles in Spain
The chance had gone by

With nothing to say
And no one to say it to

Nothing has changed
You’ve still got it all to do
Surely you know
The chance has gone by

Think of a boy with the stars in his eye
Longing to reach them but frightened to try
Sadly, you’d say, someday, someday

But, day after day
The show must go on
And you gaze at the sky
And picture a memory of days in your life
With time on your side

With time on your side
(Day after day the show must go on)
With time on your side
(Day after day the show must go on)

I copied the album to a digital format about a year ago, but never loaded the CD in my library. The other day at work I discovered a casette of the LP, and have been playing it a lot there when I had the chance.

A few days later (before the snow) I took my daughter to the park. As I watched her roll down the hill, I realized why we all know what it is like to behappyandfree with time on our side. It is the state of innocence, and trust, and inner peace. As adults, we understand that time is a compromise, and our emotions are mixed with a selfishness that is conscious and wilful. We lose our purity as we get older, but we never forget our innocent state. Like the Apple in the Garden of Eden, knowledge is the devil in us all.

When I started writing, I discovered that it made me need to constantly search for an audience. Although opinionated, I am more of a shy, stick to my cave kind of guy. Well, you know what they say about the quiet ones. I sure do talk a lot for a “quiet one.”

I went to the other day to see what he was up to. I never knew he was part of the genius behind Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. But what I really found was that even though I consider him a guy who has “made it,” he too still seeks an audience.

John Farr, whose writings I love, is in the same boat. I am thrilled that he is here. We are all seeking a broader audience, and we all have a unique perspective to share. It is our humanity that makes us real. The I Robot will never replace man.

What makes a man both superior to and weaker than the robot is his pride. Pride is a damn trap. Without the conceit to write, I have nothing to say. But with conceit, there is nothing worth saying.

As citizens of this new world of robots, I think we would do well to remember the words of a song from before automation:

Home on the Range

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Today, man has conquered nature. This is a recent event. Now man needs to conquer himself. The thing that will make it possible is the conscious choice to “seldom hear a discouraging word.” Hope is at the center of our humanity. It is what drives an artist to find an audience. It is what drives a reader to listen. It is what drives man in a system of the perpetual re-birth of the same wisdom.

John, in one of his stories, mentions a bumper sticker that says “Art Ain’t For Sissies”. It is correct, but still reveals the conceit of the artist. Actually, a more accurate expression would be “Life Ain’t For Sissies.” Have the courage to love your brother, and worry less about the robots. A child is easily frightened, and is afraid to reach for the sky. What makes a man a man is his courage without conceit.

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