Song Of The Day 8/5/2015: Styx – “Mr. Roboto”

Week of Lies – Screw Mr. Roboto. Screw him and his mealy, piddly, unprincipled, petty, stupid slop-bucket head. His lack of manners, his bargain ashram philosophies, his ill-timed jokes, his oxidized breath, his taste in clothes. He double-parks in handicapped spaces because he’s “rusty.” Then he goes and cannonballs into swimming pools. Jackass thinks he’s getting away with it with that stupid shrug of his. “What’s that you fleshies say – carpe diem? Yeah! Carpe diem, ha ha ha ha.” Then he pukes up a Duracell and thinks he’s all cute.

I mean, in quiet reflective moments, when it’s just the two of us hashing it out over beer and whatever the hell that shit he drinks is called, I can tell he’s more self-aware than he wants to admit. That’s what makes his whole gig so annoying. It’s not like he doesn’t know he doesn’t have to “act out the part” anymore. I know he knows. It’s just embarrassing – none of us are getting any younger. You can’t do the same shit you used to do when you were twenty-one.

He just dismisses me. But not without a couple of parting shots. “What crept up your crankshaft? You’re always trying to turn this into a tribunal. Based on chronological constructs that you completely know are bullshit, man! I can read right past that, you know. It’s not as if I don’t know enough about you to know we have a couple of ideas in common. We got a lot of tenets in common. We just don’t talk about it ’cause I live my dream, and you dream about living!”

Okay, he’s right. I’ll admit it. But then he bellows something out like “So BACK THAT AZZ UP, BIIIITCH!” and it kills the learning moment. It contradicts everything I thought he stood for in the ’80s, that whole “I need control” bushwhack.

Roboto just laughs when I bring that time up. Sucks on his cigar. “Well, Christ, don’t you remember the ’80s at all? Barbarians at the gate? Cocaine in the boardroom? You know that jive about all the people from the ’60s being huge burnouts when it was all done? I personally know twice as many people who crashed out after the ’80s. Remember Merlin? You remember Merlin. One-dimensional fart. Thought binary minimalism was going to be around forever - ‘Oh, it’ll never go out of style, it’s the foundation for all the movements that came from…’ psssssht, whatever, dude. Go ahead and spit out your binary crap. All it’s gonna take is one dopamine hippie twerp and everybody’s going to ejaculate rainbows again. It’s cyclical, don’t you guys realize that? It’s just gonna take one 10-year-old girl in a bee costume singing about no rain, and everybody’s gonna start basketweaving in 31 flavors. Cyclical. Back then we needed control. Everyone who had nothing – Merlin – when batshit crazy. The rest of us who knew we had something, we just had to bide our time, regulate our systems. Patience was a real virtue back then.”

See, then, why can’t he just maintain that feel nowadays? I can deal with that. But now it’s like Roboto’s on constant spring break, and he plays dubstep all the time. He’s got all these plastic promotional cups lying around the place. He’s in these stupid gym shorts. Then he snorts, “Do I tell you how to live your life? Isn’t that what you mouth-breathers complained about? All those stupid prog rock records about us controlling too much of your lives? And then what’d you do? Bought more of our shit! Bitch, please. I dare you guys to go one whole day without using anything that requires a battery or an AC plug. In the meantime –” he drags on his spliff, because he calls it a “spliff,” and it’s dumb – “give me my space, man.”

It’s not the attitude, really. It’s not even the contrarianism. It’s just the maddening way he overhauls his entire life structure, changes everything up, without changing who he really is. And what’s worse is that he actually has the data to back it up, because he’s actually nothing but fucking data.

“Great,” he says, while he flips to another reality show. “I really love how you regard your friends as commodities. Makes you so unattractive. Jesus, is there any piece of you that isn’t built from parts of others that they throw away? You’re such a piece of patchwork. Hey: Dorothy called. She just bumped off another witch and she’ll pick you up later. Don’t forget your new brain!”

Screw him. I’ve just now decided: screw him. I’m exhausted. I don’t want to be challenged again. He thinks it’s cute. How he challenges me. I don’t want to go through this anymore. I see twilight coming up in the distance – not that distant – and for Christ’s sake, I just want to go with it. It’s time for me to start summing things up. Let him jump into the Grand Canyon, or ski down Everest, or eat spicy food, or have a one-night stand with a carburetor. My day of rest is coming. He’s not going anywhere and he knows it. Can I just have one night’s peace without him answering me back?

Well, what did I expect? He’s a modren man.

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