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Alex Baer: Wake Me When We're Star Trek

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star trekEvery once in a while, I want to write a note,  roll it up, and jam it into a old milk bottle.  The scribbling part is easy.  The tough part comes when trying to decide where to deliver it.  There are not many outlets around willing to accept delivery on such a thing, and even fewer staff people able or interested enough to pay much attention to such a note, especially for one beginning this way:

"I see by the clock on the clubhouse wall, and by the full-faced frown on the burly, white-uniformed orderly I can't seem to shake, that it's time for a nice, hot cup of Thorazine and some phosphene therapy, staring off into space, my eyes shut tight..."

Such lightless light shows like this, like life, are sometimes called "prisoner's cinema."  This seems fitting.  I often feel like a prisoner of my era, of this historical cycle in which we are now treading water, waiting for the next chapter to start, the next shoe to drop, the next shot from the starter's pistol, the next tick of the clock...

"Prisoner's Cinema" seems like a fine name for an indie rock band, too, along with a perfectly fine name for this era of human history.  Here's the thinking here:  There's the allusion to the cult British TeeVee show, "The Prisoner," a fine example of 60s sci-fi paranoia and queasy, creeping lack of control by private citizens -- a helpful mindset to already have deployed for all that would come to pass in the increasing losses of years ahead.

The "Cinema" part?  That's easy.  It's a handy metaphor for our sitting in the dark, and our passive, listless, detached, unspoken observations.

Taken together, the two-word tag paints a Grim Reaper future, and a cold, bony hand pointing the way to the Dark Ages.

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