Dancing with the Dead

Life can be measured in many ways – chronological time is but one.

Using the biblical allotment of three score and ten as a benchmark and allowing eight hours of sleep to prevent going completely mad; we measure out our waking lives in hours:

Three Score and Ten = 70 Years
A nominal lifetime – ⅓ for Sleep = 46.66666666666667 Waking Years
(70 Years – 23.33333333333333 Years = 46.66666666666667 Years)
46.66666666666667 Years x 365.25 Days = 17,045.00000000000001 Waking Days
17,045.00000000000001 x 24 = 409,080.0000000003 Waking Hours
409,080.0000000003 Waking Hours ÷ 2 Waking Hours = (allows for) 204,540.0000000001 two-hour movies. It is estimated that there are over half a million movies out there.

If thy name be Spud, and you spent all of your waking hours just watching movies and doing nothing else, there are so many movies already in existence, already on film, that it would take more than two of your life-times to watch them all only once.

We were warned long ago about graven images – that is, after all, what they really are; still photographs, graven images flickering sequentially before your eyes and creating the illusion of life in motion.

Never mind the money – If one million people watch a two-hour movie, that is two million waking hours; or about four or five life-times. The numbers stagger the imagination.

A Hollywood film crew may spend a few hours making a movie; they make their money and spend it; they build houses never quite big enough to hold their ever-expanding egos; they enjoy their Malibu sunsets and all the other good things in life. But they too grow old, and the stars, the great movie stars, are now dead; the producers, directors, cameramen, best boys and all. Dead.

What is the ratio? For one hour of the egomaniacal star’s life he collects millions of dollars, but what of the time? How many life-times is one star’s life worth?

But the film is in the can (as they say), the graven images, now immortal, live on – sucking and sucking and sucking more lives out of still more people long after the stars have burned themselves out. The stars, though dead, continue to suck up more life.

You, hypnotized as you are by this flickering technology, this cinematic illusion of the dead come to life; paralyzed, frozen in place by your own instinctive curiosity; manipulated, beaten, mesmerized and enslaved by the ravenous Svengali that is Hollywood – with every tick of the clock your life slowly leaves your body.

Some say that when we die we stand before the creator, Almighty God, and must give an accounting of our lives. What say you then, when he says:

“I gave you life. What did you do with it?”

I was a watcher. I watched the dead come to life and laughed with them and cried with them and loved them and felt for them and sometimes I even hated them. I watched the dead come to life. But mostly I just watched; and sometimes in my imagination I even danced with the dead.


About The Twentieth Man

Age 68
This entry was posted in Capitalism, Expository Writing, Mass Media, Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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