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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Man And Machine

When man is sent to clean up his shed, he will easily find the following items within seconds: cowl from an 1890s Holmes stereoscope; two matching 1940s Kodak lens assemblies; copper carb float from Briggs & Stratton engine; old Bell and Howell Super-8 camera-grip; trombone bits; poem written years ago about dogs and stuff; brass parts off an irrigation control box.

Suddenly, the items link up in man's mind and his tidying chore changes. Where he expected junk, was determined and ruthless against junk and dedicated to its abolition, man is now awed and hypnotized by possibility, by collocation. Collocation is junk that assumes character and purpose in the presence of man --cool junk.

Oddments emerge from three centuries to combine on a bench. Man builds a machine. He names it Hoots. It will do cool stuff: function (function is stuff man is no good at) will follow form. In this case, the machine is a demonstrably remarkable public speaker.

Hoots recites its little poem with all the finesse of its maker --delayed, jerky gestures and sporadic mouth-paralysis. It has equalled man and relieved him from suffering these particulars in public. But, most importantly, it has distracted man from any further silly ideas about cleaning his shed.


{Clip: Hoots On Dogs And Humans}

22 comments:

  1. Very neat... was he/her/it at your door to welcome kids trick-or-treating?

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    1. Hoots prefers the shed and his perch over the workbench.

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  2. Replies
    1. Most kind. I'll relay your compliment to Hoots

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  3. How marvelously inventive. Hoots can be a source of companionship and amusement for a long time as long as he is maintained.

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    1. I named my 1st hand puppet Hoots when I was little, and he returns in one incarnation of himself or another.

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  4. Hoots is wonderful! A fine speaker too.

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    1. Thanks Tom. I'm sure Hoots will appear again some day.

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  5. I like Hoots...he/she/it has such a kind understanding face and a wonderful style of delivery.

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    1. Hoots is trying to get his mouth synchronized right now but I like his face too.

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    1. Most kind Arleen, but sometimes he literally goes to pieces in mid-recitation.

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  7. I was hoping for something more 'Deus ex Machina', but then again I'm currently far from home and saying 'Buon Girono' to people in a few minutes when I go down to the hotel lobby to find nothing is open yet.....awake far too early.

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    1. Ha! Buongiorno (Good morning) is so close to Buon Girono (Happy Haunting) that I consider it a perfect close to Halloween weekend. Are you in an Italian hotel or a coffee shop by that name in the Bay Area? Have fun!

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  8. Dear Geo.,
    do I understand it right: did you build this wonderful lively machine? It looks marvellous - and I am sure it will clean not only the shed, but also the house.
    As to mimicking his master : I am convinced that it is not necessary to create an alter ego, Geo, - no suffering in public, though we all do - forgetting that people are much kinder than we think, and able to see the whole person, not only appearances. (That coming from a woman who is addicted to "Keeping Up Appearances", the TV series).

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    1. Dear Brigitta,

      Yes, Hoots was built on my workbench, not intentionally as alter-ego even though he resembles me. Admittedly, I have done some public speaking but it always gives me the jumps. I too delight in the TV series, "Keeping Up Appearances"!

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  9. Hoots is a hoot! Love his poem, too.

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  10. Hoots has more soul than most machines. Our sheds seem underpopulated now. Perhaps if I paint a face on the old deep freeze and name some more spiders...

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    1. Thanks Lisa! Deep freeze face sounds fun. I think all my spiders prefer to be called by their family name, Webber.

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  11. This is so very profound. From a shed of collections, of odds and ends of a man's life, Hoots has captured his own soul and heart. Could he reappear and astound us again?

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    1. I have no doubt we'll see Hoots again, but must wait until my son visits and uploads clips for me --I don't know how.

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