Coded green.

Saturday 2 June 2001

Me with magazine

Pic of the day: ...unless you generally consider psychology "weird science" ... (The photo shows Psychology Today.)

Slider moments

Have you sometimes felt as if you had somehow left your original universe? And slid sideways to another timeline, similar yet subtly different from your own?

I once wrote a fairly lenghty story on this concept, under the working title "slide rulers". Eventually I had the good idea to look on the Web and found that there was a huge TV series called "Sliders" based on exactly that concept. (I don't have a TV, and I doubt it has been shown in Norway anyway.) I am kind of getting used to this, that the good ideas are already taken, whether I know it or not. Still, it was kind of funny that they had even coined the "slide" term.

I felt like an enormous slide had happened in 1989, when the Soviet hegemony was suddenly dismantled and the Cold War ended just like that. It just seemed so unreal - I was grown up under the shadow of the nuclear mushroom, so to speak. (The feeling of despair is fairly well caught in "Watchmen", a subtle parody of superhero comics. Recommended for younger readers who don't remember the cold war.) The fear of an irrational world-ending war was always there, and then suddenly it was gone. But of course, nothing really ends ...


Today I had one of those slider experiences, but a very small one. I picked up my MiniDisc player and clipped it on my vest. I had loaded it with one of my favorite music collections of a couple years ago. Lately it has been MP3, MP3 and more MP3. All of them legal, of course. (*Polishes halo.*) I walked out the door on my way to the small grocer's, and started the player. Along came the slider moment.

I recognized the song. It was a country song... Sorry, but there is a logic to this: the MD starts with cry-in-the-beer country songs and gets gradually more upbeat until ecstatically overjoyous trance-dance music. Anyway, it sounded strange. The ambience was totally off track. The equalizing was way weird, and I could barely hear the lyrics. (Which was not a big loss, it was about missing his true love who was across the deep waters oh so far away. As if I needed to think of that.) Now the funny thing was there was a second voice on the chorus, and it was quite distinct. For some reason it was not blurred out like the other. And I had not even noticed it originally. It was as if I listened to a wholly different recording.

I realized pretty soon that it must be the player that is aging less than gracefully and somehow distorts the signal. Still, I had my little slider moment there.


I am sure most of you have had these slider moments. Like someone mentioned on a forum I visited: Suddenly two of your friends are together, and the switch is directly from "How can I turn him down without hurting his feelings" to "We have to cut down on all this rough sex!" (Of course there may theoretically be some people who have rough sex while wondering how to turn him down without hurting his feelings. But somehow I think it is not very common. Or at least I hope so.)

I know I had some slider experiences with people who left The Christlike Church where I used to go. You saw these people at the meetings and in their homes, struggling to improve their heavenly bonus by steady purification of the soul and racking up good deeds. Then the next time you met them they were dressed provocatively, doing really worldly things that had disgusted them even to see, and pitying the poor fools who still were trapped in that brainwashed sect.

Yeah, I know this is not supernatural in any way. Or even weird science, unless you generally consider psychology "weird science". (Not too far off, I guess.) It seems that many people have a kind of "shadow cabinet" as they call it in Britain: An alternative to the current government, ready to take its place should the ruling party fail. Luckily this seems to be true for sinners just as well as for saints.

But few if any places are these slides so remarkable as in matters of the heart ... hot love stuff, you know. Somehow it seems that the more arrogantly people deny any interest in mushy stuff, the more insanely hyperactive touchy-feely huggly in love they will be before you know what hit them.

The obvious exception being my humble self, of course.

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