Posts Tagged ‘Paranoid Romantic’

People… People who need people are the luckiest people in the world

– Barbara Streisand, founder of the Streisand Effect 

There is a growing segment of the population within developed nations whose preference it is to have intimate relationships with robots rather than living entities from their own species. In fact, it is a common occurrence, according to my doctor (well, he’s a pharmacist (well, more of a free-lance pharmacist)), for perfectly normal human beings to fornicate with robots. Not that I am one of those people! I mean, I was only asking because I have this friend…

Photo by Franz Steiner

Photo by Franz Steiner

Could you blame anyone for preferring sexual intimacy with a humanoid-ish being in a controlled environment? No jealousy, no apathy, no passive aggression, no needless quarrels. Guess who never argues over finances or changing diapers or cooking and cleaning? The lover who runs on batteries. Guess who doesn’t disobey their programmed Protocol by betraying or fileting you? The lover who runs on batteries. Guess who is always ready and eager for a carnal knowledge exchange? The lover who runs on batteries. For someone with paranoid tendencies with trust issues, like this friend I have, a romantic relationship with a She-Bot allows him an alternative to finding love in all the wrong places.

It is the normalizing of the human-on-robot (or robot-on-human, depending on your proclivity) relationship which makes it all the more important for me to raise awareness of proper etiquette when engaging with a friend who’s accompanied by their robotic companion.

First of all, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and tastes like a duck, let’s call it what it is. But what is it? Agalmatophilia is commonly used to explain the robo-sex preference, but only to insult as this is a fetishism which also applies to mannequin-fuckers and frat-boy Ruphylin peddlers. A Mechaphiliac is a fetishist obsessed with machines, but this broad category also contains your typical jet-ski douchebag. Technosexual could refer to someone who is strictly a pornographic spectator and a Robo-philiac could be anyone who wants to plug-in to your standard R2 Unit garbage-can-on-wheels. What fits best is Androidosexual. An android isn’t just a robot, it is a humanoid robot. We’re not fucking robot sheep here, after all.

photo by Franz Steiner

photo by Franz Steiner

Of course, not all robots are built in the image of Sean Young in Bladerunner or Tricia Helfer in Battle Star Gallactica. Contemporary robotic companions walk awkwardly (they haven’t mastered the controlled fall of the human gait), they only speak when spoken to, they don’t yet possess artificial intelligence and they are Uncanny Valley girls (or Uncanny Valley boys). The “Uncanny Valley”, for the uninitiated, is not somewhere in California, but rather it exists in your mental perception. When the line between human and robot becomes blurred, this is the Valley of Uncanny. If you begin your perception of robots with R2-D2 and proceed along the spectrum towards Sean Young in Bladerunner, the moment right before your android appears to look human is the deepest gulch in the Uncanny Valley. The geographical term refers to a psychological revulsion towards pseudo-human characteristics. For example, if you look at an intricately detailed doll face, it is almost frightening because it is almost human without being human at all.

Okay, with the biggest roadblocks towards proper etiquette addressed, let us jump into:

Vic Neverman’s Social Etiquette when encountering Friends with Robotic Companions Code of Conduct:

  1. Don’t categorize your friend’s sexuality, but if you must, refer to them as Androidosexual.
  2. Prepare yourself for the Uncanny Valley. Don’t freak out on sight of the robotic companion; that would be rude.
  3. If your car needs a tune-up, do not assume your friend’s robot is a programmed mechanic. Even if you know the sex-bot doubles as a gear-head, your friend did not bring their robo-lover over to fix your car. Unless they did.
  4. Don’t ask if you can get the robot companion something to drink. Because rust.
  5. Similarly, set a place at the table, but do not serve the machine food.
  6. Don’t refer to the entity as “the machine”. Your friend likely has a name for it, so use it.
  7. If your friend did not pre-emptively tell you he/she was bringing their sex-bot over for dinner/game-night/whatever then you have the right to tell them “hold on while I compose myself and tell my other guests you like to fuck machines and you thought it appropriate to bring the bi-pedal fucking-machine over to this event tonight”. Because such shit ain’t à propos and you should have a chance to warn the unexpectant.
  8. Do not assume that just because the companion is a machine, it is available for you to take for “a test spin around the parking lot”. I mean come-on, you wouldn’t use your friend’s dildo just because it is an inanimate object without feelings? Would you?
  9. Don’t get all fucking existential. Okay, yay! you read Camus in college and smoke French Gauloises. Get over yourself. Asshole. Keep the Sartre quotes to a minimum unless you are addressing the pâté.
  10. It is acceptable to have off-the-record conversations. If you need to tell your friend to go fuck his/her self, but without their robotic companion recording the event for all posterity, you have the absolute right to ask for the machine to leave the room or power down.
  11. photo by Franz Steiner

    photo by Franz Steiner

    Invite the robot to play billiards, but do not gamble. Yeah, you might have been a pool-shark during your Vo-Tech days, but robots have a profound understanding of geometry and physics far beyond your drunk pluckiness.

  12. If it is “game night”, it is acceptable to insist the robot remains in the garage during Scrabble, Connect-Four, Bridge or Poker. However, Candy Land, Monopoly, Yahtzee and other dice games is totally cool for a robot.
  13. If you find your friend fornicating with their sex-bot on your premises, the same rules would apply to any human-on-human relating going on. If it is a Swingers-Party and they are over eager, then let it slide. If it is your kid’s Bar Mitzvah and the assumption is that no sex should be occurring for any reason, then absolutely you are in right as scolding your friend and his/her robot for being inappropriate.
  14. Do not attempt to clean the robot with antibacterial liquid or any general soaping agent. If the robot appears to have just emerged from a Somme trench, ask your friend if you can assist in cleaning, but otherwise assume the android is already clean. Exception: If the robot is going to be assisting with food, then inquire your friend on the best manner of ensuring all digits are sanitary.
  15. Yes, we can all acknowledge robots will figure out fellatio long before they ever master cunnilingus, but ultimately with the coming Artificial Intelligence explosion this will become a moot point. End of Conversation.
  16. You have the right to inquire if your friend’s sex-bot has infrared cameras prior to admittance. Or any software that recognizes stress patterns in speech. Or automatically loads images or sound clips to social media. Or records anything, for that matter.
  17. If your friend offers any services of their sex-bot to your spouse (massage, shaving, etc.) you have the right to refuse on their part, unless, you’d like to watch in which case you are equally entitled. In essence, you should consider your friend’s machine an extension of your friend. Would you let your friend shave the nether-regions of your spouse? No? Then do not allow your friend’s machine to do likewise.
  18. If your friend becomes intoxicated and their robot lover is equipped to drive, you have the right to not allow them to stay the night on the premises. Don’t give your friend a chance to soil your sheets again. If they have a robot to attend to them, let the machine do its thing.
  19. If you have children:
    1. Tell them if they come within 2’ of the robot they will be zapped
    2. Tell them “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” spent a lot of money on their friend, so be nice
    3. Tell them “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” was especially naughty and now the Government has a robot following them around to chop their head off upon the next criminal act. Oh, if only “Uncle X” or “Tia Y” had done more of their homework on time.
  20. When a Random Dance Party breaks out, best to keep it to Country Music so the Android is confused on the reason for awkward shuffling and heel-tapping. Otherwise, the Robot will adapt to rhythm, harmony, etc. and own it.
  21. If you must destroy the robot companion of your friend, it is preferable for you to put its parts in the recyclable bin rather than the standard garbage.

NOTE: all these rules are considering the absence of Artificial Intelligence. If android companions possess A.I. then the end is near and you should strategize on how to incur the empathy of the machines you shunned up until now.

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Summer is a strange time. As jouveniles, summer was indoctrinated into us as a time of unlimited freedom – free from our schooling, we ran unencumbered of academia: dirty, feral children sinking our fangs into watermelons and miscellaneous candies. As adults, we understand summer to be something entirely different. Our childlike naiveté has been replaced with pragmatism and sometimes herpes. Summer no longer represents freedom, it represents heat and according to SCIENCE, heat makes people crazy. Lunacy comes from the root of Luna which means moon which wolves howl at which is why crazy people in the summer love music. With that, I present to you the most paranoid song of summer (it is not as scary as it looks): Big Data’s “Dangerous” featuring Joywave.

If there is a more paranoid song this summer than Big Data’s “Dangerous”, I do not know it.

dangerous-feat-joywave-big-dataThe group name “Big Data” obviously conjures thoughts of the NO SUCH AGENCY (NSA)’s love for data of all sorts with even the cover image featuring an anonymous bearded man in specs and as any conspiracy theorist will tell you: we paranoids are all anonymous bearded men in specs (even if the anonymity is just a disguise).

Let us take a look at the lyrics…

The song begins subtly about a narrator peeping through the floor. To be paranoid is to distrust and those who distrust tend to spy on those who they think spy on them. Your paranoid neighbor is probably watching you with his infrared spy-glass right now. Surprise! When the paranoid is caught spying, there is no apology, there is only “How could you know?” Yet, in our tune de la saison the blame of the crime is transferred quickly from the first person to the ever sinister “they”….

How could you know, how could you know?
That those were my eyes
Peepin’ through the floor, it’s like they know
It’s like they know I’m looking from the outside
And creeping to the door, it’s like they know

You will notice in the above, the first mentioning of “they” and their omniscient knowledge. This is very clearly a paranoiac theme. As we delve deeper into the lyrics, you will find “they” are not just knowledgeable, but approaching, creeping even…. Where do “they” come from? “Out of the shadows.” Naturally.

And now they coming, yeah, now they coming
Out from the shadows
To take me to the club because they know
That I shut this down, ’cause they been watching all my windows
They gathered up the wall and listening

For 89% of those who appreciate this song, the only takeaway is the ominous omnipresent bass riff and the chorus, which speaks of danger and love – which is low-hanging fruit for the easily amused, if you ask me, which we will assume you already did ask paragraphs ago. Yes, the chorus is what most resonates on the early palate of the observant listener, but (s)he would be a fool to think this a song merely about surprise danger and love potential.

You understand, they got a plan for us
I bet you didn’t know that I was dangerous
It must be fate, I found a place for us
I bet you didn’t know someone could love you this much

Big Data requires quantitative analysis

Big Data requires quantitative analysis

Now for the legitimate paranoid shit! When you start to believe others know your thoughts, it doesn’t mean there is a robot in your brain sending messages to Big Data. What it means is that you are entirely too entranced with the mythology of anti-chaos. You believe there are no coincidences, you believe everything happens for a reason. This is mathematical nonsense – there are too many variables for everything to be reasonable. Yet the paranoid heart wants what the paranoid heart wants… (monsters under the bed). Our narrator suddenly plunges into madness, thinking his thoughts are not his own:

How could they know, how could they know
What I’ve been thinking?
But they’re right inside my head because they know
Because they know, what I’ve been hidin’
They’re right under my bed, they’re in control

Fight versus flight: our narrator chooses the latter, to sink down, into the dark or to keep running…. Because here “they” come out of the shadows… (another paranoiac theme is all-knowing monsters in the shadows, under the bed, etc.)

Here they come, yeah here they come
Out of the shadows
To take me to the club because they know
That I shut this down, ’cause they been watching all my windows
They gathered up the wall and ’cause they
I’ve gotta get out of here
Sink down, into the dark
Keep on running
And I’ve gotta get out of here (keep on running)
Sink down, into the dark

Back to the chorus, which reads like poetry sent from ex-NSA spook Edward Snowden to his pole-dancing ex-girlfriend:

You understand, they got a plan for us
I bet you didn’t know that I was dangerous
It must be fate, I found a place for us
I bet you didn’t know someone could love you this much

Suddenly, the paranoid narrator gets a bout of confidence. “Nobody’s listening” is an unusual twist in the plot line. When once “they” were inside the narrator’s head, suddenly the narrator is invincible. Invincible, that is, as long as he has his partner participating in the “we” or “us” who are communicating together. Is the plural incorporating Ed Snowden’s love interest? Some Jessica Alba Fantastic Four girlfriend who comes equipped with force-field? I think not. No, I think these lyrics are referring to a different friend… mostly likely one of the chemical variety who can enliven confidence quickly. I speak from experience, of course. The sober paranoid knows he is never alone. Ever. Cheers!

Nobody’s listening when we’re alone
Nobody’s listening, there’s nobody listening,
No one can hear us when we’re alone
No one can hear us, no, no one can hear us

And then true paranoia returns – let’s get the fuck out of here!

And I’ve gotta get out of here
Sink down, into the dark
Keep on running
I’ve gotta get out of here (Keep on running)
Sink down, into the dark

Ahh, but Edward Snowden’s final valentine:

You understand, they got a plan for us
I bet you didn’t know that I was dangerous
It must be fate, I found a place for us
I bet you didn’t know someone could love you this much

Thank you so much songwriters MINEHAN and DAVID JAMES JR for giving me something to entirely mininterpret.

and to steal a quote from one of the video’s marketing stratagems:

think globally, headbutt locally

***See Also***
Paranoia Decoded: the Cryptic Lyrics of BANKS’s “Beggin for Thread”