Monday, July 31, 2006

Bringing People Up To Speed

I just got the TV series "The 4400" seasons 1 & 2 on DVD and watched it this weekend.
It's a pretty good show, actually.
The basic premise of the story is that suddenly a ball of light appears over a lake near Seattle, and when it is finished, it has deposited 4,400 people that had been abducted over the past 60 years. People assumed it was aliens, but it turns out they were not aliens, but rather people - from the future. They had chosen these people specifically for certain innate abilities, and then re-seeded them back into our time enhanced such that they have special powers/abilities.
For the 440 themselves, they are people out of their own time. For them, there was no passage of time. So they missed a lot of the changes that have happened in and to the world over the past 60 years.
While I was watching the show I was wondering how I would bring someone up to speed who was missing 50 or 60 years. How I would present the facts, and how, for instance I might get them up to speed with musical tastes. I think about trying to bring one person up to the present by playing Elvis music from the 50's, then the Beatles from the 60's, then Hendrix, The Who, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Genesis, Rush, Pink Floyd, Toto, Steely Dan, Al DiMeola, Level 42, Billy Joel, Eric Johnson, Vertical Horizon, Dada, Green Day, Hoobastank, All American Rejects, Billy Talent, etc.. I wonder how I could give him an education that spans decades to give an appreciation of where we are today. Interesting to see the expressions on the face as he is exposed to each new vista of sound.

Ever since I was a kid, I always had the fantasy of going back in time to an earlier time before all the knowledge and inventions of the present day world. I would love to show them to people. I often wondered what it would be like to be the chef for the King of England a few hundred years ago, and see what he thinks of french fries. Or onion rings. Or potato chips. Or chocolate. Or a milk shake, or different flavored ice creams, funnel cakes, hamburgers, poutine, fried chicken, and a host of other food that have addictive tastes, but no one had ever seen yet in those times.

Maybe I could give them ideas about inventions. Like flying machines, or tanks, or a bunch of things. Of course the new world would not yet be developed enough, so it would have to be Europe. Perhaps, Italy? I could call myself Leonardo Da Vinci...


At 8/03/2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous lauren said...

Mmmmm Toto.... I heart them. Just saw them in Milwaukee this summer. They are so hard to see in this country!

At 8/03/2006 5:00 PM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

You saw them in Milwaukee this summer??
Wow - I thought they weren't touring the US anymore at all. They tour constantly in Europe and Asia and well, everywhere in the world EXCEPT the US.
I Would LOVE to see them
They have a DVD /CD combo out and I just bought it. Great concert from Amsterdam. You can get it at Sam's Club for only $15.99. Excellent value.

At 8/04/2006 12:17 AM, Anonymous RobertG said...

I've wondered about what it would be like to live in centuries ago when knowing all there is to know was much more feasible. I thought it would make a great novel. Well, it couldn't be squeezed into just one book. Neal Stephenson needed three books to tell the story in his Baroque Cycle; Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World. I have only read the first one so far.

I wonder what someone like Leibnitz would thing of the world we live in.

At 8/04/2006 9:47 AM, Anonymous lauren said...

Oh I have the Toto live in Amsterdam thing. Have had it for awhile. It's ok - I'm pretty sure I read that Luke is not super pleased with it as he wasn't...totally together for it. I think he was kinda abusing prescription meds at the time...but anyway.

I'm insane about Toto and Steve Lukather...he's just amazing. I saw Toto do two shows in one night at BB Kings in NYC in May 2005. That night was amazing. It's a great club and I was seated right against the stage with him soloing in my face. Wow. Then I saw them in Milwaukee at Summerfest this year. We were as close to the stage as you could get. They were wonderful. Some of the guys came out after the show and I shook Luke's hand. What a guy. ;)

Funny story - I was in the Portland airport in 2001 leaving the Pacific Northwest after seeing my favorite singer in the world with his old band (the guy is Bill Champlin and the band is the Sons of Champlin.) So after spening the weekend seeing my fave singer in the world do a show in Seattle and a show in Portland, I'm in the PDX airport and I see someone walk by and I whisper, "Luuuuke?" My friend turns and manages to yell out, "Mr. Lukather!!!" Well we got to meet him and got our pic with him. So awesome. ;)

At 8/06/2006 12:33 PM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

I really like Toto too. They have always been one of my favorite bands.

Cool stories about your encounters, Lauren.

Robert, I think I read once that the last person to have all the collected knowledge of the world was the librarian at the great library of Alexandria. One of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. I forget the name, now. I thought it was Aristophanes, but no, he was a Greek comic writer and a poet in the 5th century BCE.

At 8/07/2006 2:35 PM, Anonymous lauren said...

If you don't have it, I suggest you give a listen to the latest Toto album - Falling in Between. I really dig it.

At 8/07/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger Val Serrie said...

Oh I have it. Absolutely. I bought it online the day it was released. Didn't want to wait for it to show up in the stores - if it ever did!

And yes, it's an excellent album!
The first song sounds a little like Tot mixed with Dream Theater and King's X. The rest of the album is more pure Toto sound.

I really really like this album. When I first heard it I was thinking it was one of the best albums by anyone ever.

I highly recommend it.


At 8/08/2006 9:05 AM, Anonymous lauren said...

I remember getting to hear the really heavy tune on some internet webcast well before the album came out and I about died. I love Dream Theater and I couldn't believe Toto did a tune that sounded like them. I loved it!


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