Thursday, October 02, 2008

"You only love me for my machine."

"..the most human thing in the universe being a machine because it has more interest in finding out what the point of living is than actual people."
-Filmmaker Will Stanton on Wall-E, link

"You only love me for my machine."

As I was trying to mentally recall lyrics with the word "machine" for this article,
that fleeting snippet of a 1973 Todd Rundgren song ("Why Don't You Love Me?") from a haunting album, came back to me. Google's memory outshines mine; so here is the complete lyric to that racy ("If all you know of Rundgren is the pop standard "Hello, It's Me," he was/is far more complex/bixarre than that) song, which may make the main point better than any:

We are inveterate worshippers of machines.

And all machines are sex machines.

That is no shocking theological thesis; it has been well established...see Len's post on Frost and Hirsch: "Stages in Organizational Life: from Movement to Machine."

Len also quotes McLaren: "the organization (church, ministry) is a machine, and the leader knows how to tweak and maintain it. People become objects, and he's the subject."

Moody and others have been called "Evangelists to the Machine Age";
but we are still living in the fallout of the machine age, even as we are in the "new" age (Machine Age>Information Age...or however you break it down)

I'll never forget the time I realized I could "do church" as a pastor...without God. The program/machine had a life of its own! The amazing pastor/Toyoya owner J. Scott Allred (pictured here leaning on one of his mean machines) once said something like "There are two ways to grow a church." Either way "works."


My prayer is that I rage against the machines;
another pastor has convinced me that they hate me:

"The real weapons that bring wholeness and peace are not machines but words, as small and feeble as they may seem. And all we have to do is mutter them. Chris Erdman, "Countdown to Sunday," pp 71-73.

Here are some of my own heteroclite posts on the topic:

And to soundtrack your reading (since you are reading this on a machine), some videos (some music...some otherwise) on the theme as well, before we move onto the good loopy stuff.

Beginning of course with Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine":

Sixpence's "My Dear Machine":

Web 2.0: The Machine is Using US:

We'd be remiss without any reference to the Machines in the Matrix:

Inevitably...James Brown as "Sex Machine":

On that note, who can forget The Edge's infamous Grammy acceptance speech in 2001, naming a..uh, machine (1:38ff):

The loopy stuff?

The brilliant and Pulitzer-winning Douglas Hofstadter
(on my list on people to meet),
in "I Am a Strange Loop" suggests that
consciousness arises and "if you don’t mind the term, a soul" emerges out of a "loopiness" of self-referentialism in the physical brain...or something like that. He marvels at "the miraculous appearance of selves and souls in substrates consisting of inanimate matter."

Machines create soul.

Check out his questions about machines having free will (p.110).

Calls to mind Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines": machines are becoming "spiritual."
Of course, the worse (?) scenario is the spiritual can become a machine.

"Bow down in the platinum maze
Twilight cathedrals spread the system plague
Forging sacred thrones in the void unseen
Merciless judgement in the church of the machine"
-lyrics to "Church of the Machine" by Symphony X

"There is cause and effect..

All the lies, all the truth,
All the things that I offer you..

Why don't you love me?
It is my name?

You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my machine.
You only love me for my ma....................."
-Todd Rundgren

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!