“Well, are they?”
Gary Numan (and Tubeway Army) posed that question in 1979. These days it has more relevance that ever before.
“It's cold outside, and the paint's peeling offa my walls.”
As winter approaches in the Southern Hemisphere (winter is coming) my thoughts naturally turn a little maudlin. The temperature is dropping. Flu season is approaching. The Dodgers are playing again, but it's Vin Scully's final season commentating, and their bullpen sucks. (Yes, I follow North American sports.)
“Now the light fades out, and I wonder what I'm doing.”
The mornings are lighter, but the evenings are darker. The days seem longer somehow. Lonelier. There's more time to ponder life's imponderables.
“So now I'm alone. Now I can think for myself.”
One of the things that get me though the dark winter is … Drunk Duck. Is that silly? How real are my electric friends? How real am I to them?
“You know I hate to ask, but are ‘friends’ electric?”
If I disappeared tomorrow would anyone care?
For me it's not a light question. I was minutes from death last year. I was in an ambulance with a paramedic trying and failing to get a line into my arm, looking increasingly worried as I faded. When I was wheeled on a gurney into the ER they announced me as a code 2. Code 1 is saved for those basically dead on arrival. And my wife an thought I just had man flu. I didn't feel that sick.
“And I missed you tonight. It must be time to leave. You see it meant everything to me.”
Family got me through. Well, that and expert medical care. All, in all DD was low on the list of things that were important in the hours I was under constant observation in a high risk unit. Yet, a day or so later … I thought of my electric friends. I thought of you all a lot.
This is a wonderful community.
It is more that a collection of comics.
It is more that a collection of comic-making people.
We share intimate bits of our lives with each other. Our jobs. Our musical tastes. The movies and TV shows we watch. Our hopes. Our worries. Our dreams. Our love of late 1970s synthesizer songs.
I know intimate details about the lives of many of you. I know your fears and your dreams. I know your real names.
Yet at the same time there a distance created by the internet. I've had one Facebook friend, a fellow comic creator, die of cancer a couple of years ago. I had never met her. I have no idea what she looked like. I never even bought her comics. Yet I cannot help but think of her from time to time.
I fear our lives are becoming binary. Ones and zeros. Off and on. And I don't want to be off. And I don't want any of you to be off, either. I want us all to remain on.
Are friends electric?
Well, are they?
Thank you so much to Gunwallace for writing this newspost! Not only because it helped to save my sanity this week as I work on the final essay of my degree(!), but because it truly is a lovely piece of writing. :) I hope all you electric pals know how much you mean to me too!
Have a comic milestone, a community project or some comic-related news that you'd like to see here? Do you have original art for our newspost image database? Send it to me via PQ or at hippievannews(at)gmail.com, or leave a comment below!
HippieVan at 12:00AM, April 29, 2016
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