Earlier this week, I was approached by a jellyfish. Not just any jellyfish, mind you. This particular jellyfish donned human clothes and, apparently, had developed the ability to speak English in a fashion concurrent with that spoken in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Peculiar as it seemed, I found myself incapable of avoiding a conversation with this astonishing sideshow attraction. “Yo, you see that YouTube video of Dre an’ Snoop rappin’ wit’ a hologram o’ Pac?” it gurgled at me. I stood there for a moment, deciphering what I believed to be fortuitous babble. “Nah, man…how is it?” I ultimately replied. “Shit’s crazy, yo! Look’s like dat nigga’s really there!” it spit back at me. Briefly, I reasoned whether or not to suggest that it shouldn’t go around dropping the “N-bomb” so haphazardly, but came to my senses (being that it was just a jellyfish and I wasn’t completely sure if the slave-ship taboo of the word applied to it in any way whatsoever). “Hmpf,” I muttered…”guess I’ll have to check it out.” The jellyfish didn’t say anything after that. It just stood there looking at me, as if I were going to break out into some dauntless song and dance routine at any second. I had no intention of performing such a gleeful task (Ha! Get it?). Then, after what seemed like a championship staring contest, it finally turned its glutinous back to me, slowly crept away and let off a dim glow that lit its path the entire way before, at long last, diving into a sewer duct and, I imagine, returning from whence it came. “I like that guys style” I mused to myself.
Later that evening, I found myself online, sifting through the balderdash, claptrap and poppycock contained within my email inbox. I read notifications of local job opportunities, skimmed over the rundowns of injustices worldwide (compliments of Amnesty International) and immediately trashed “Cease and Desist” warnings sent to me by the attorneys of certain celebrities that don’t understand my rare form of fan-boy admiration. Despite having all of this electrifying edification laid plainly in front of me, I began to grow bored with the monotony of the process and soon found my mind wandering impulsively towards the jellyfish’s advice. Before my mouth could even spout the words “thug life,” my finger-bangers had already boarded the YouTube train and I was expressly viewing Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and what appeared to be a holographic image of Makaveli himself, performing “Hail Mary,” Shakur’s classic introspective on the duality of a young black man’s axiom in the face of his supposed “Maker,” while also trying to survive within his given environment. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with, what I believed to be at the time, the flawless use and direction of light and lasers to project one of hip-hop’s greatest and most influential artists onto the Coachella stage. The 10-year-old science fiction dork inside of me had a raging 3-inch boner (not a far cry short of what I dangle on the outside as an adult these days).
Hologram Tupac hypes up the Coachella crowd with his signature holo-graphic language.
While watching the dead shimmy across the festival’s stage, I began to fantasize about the various ways in which this scientific breakthrough could be used for mischief here at the offices of A New Low. Surely, given the rapid rate of advancement in its territory, the technology would soon be available to us (the general public) within the next year or so as a downloadable app for any of the various Apple iProducts. In no time at all, I schemed, we would be capable of mustering up a sequel to the cosmically-acclaimed Cal vs Dog Poo, starring none other than a holographic doppleganger of our long-absent budding star, Mr. Cal Biddle. Shit, we could even pull Joe Lentini out of the grimy bowels of Holy Matrimony and have his holo-clone give the skatepark another try! Even better, was the idea that we could save countless driving hours and gas expenses by relinquishing the need to go to NYC in order to film with Holden. If only we were able to procure the city’s culture, shopping, events and atmosphere here at home…we’d never have to set foot in that Rotten Apple again!! Certainly, I was on to something with these delusions of holo-grandeur.
It was at this point that my thoughts began to take a despondent turn. My inherent fascination with death (spawned by, I firmly believe, the demise of basically my entire immediate family throughout my own infancy on this planet) began to conquer my fairyland figments of special effect-laden, cyberspace dominance. What if I were to go and kick Mr. Bucket square in his jolly fucking face sometime next week? Would my friend since 7th grade, Eric Thomas Craven, use my holographic image for some post-humous editions of Toby n’ Deric? And, if so, would I be portrayed in a manner consistent with my own will? For all I know, he could forget to include the brownish-green glimmer of my teeth that, to some patrons of this website, have become my signature characteristic! What if my holo-twin was given a topless scene in a future skit? Would my asymmetrical chest hair patch be accurately reproduced? What about the winding trail of sporadic, cilium strands pouring down my back, leading into the brown, diamond-shaped thicket that grows where my “tramp stamp” should be? Would they be invited to the party? Furthermore, what if my double were to lose his pants in such hypothetical treasures as Son of a Bitch X: Sock Monkey in Space? Would he rock the “full bush” look popularized by frat-house staple, College Dudes or would he get an updated, clean-shaven schwantz for the world to enjoy??
Deliberating these questions, I soon found myself feeling less than enthusiastic regarding the use of laser light shows to accomplish anything except eye surgery and entertaining drugged-out Pink Floyd fans. Not only did it seem a bit creepy, it came across as moderately disrespectful, given that the person wasn’t around to approve (or disapprove) of the way they’d be depicted. Everyone, alive or dead, should be entitled to choose what they do or don’t affiliate themselves with, even if the audience is aware that it’s merely a projected likeness of that person. Am I wrong? Possibly. Or maybe I’m just a big sack of pussy-puss that is mildly spooked by the notion of dead celebrities parading around a venue, holo-lip-synching to their earthly chart-toppers while audiences hand over their hard-earned bankroll to cheer on thin air and listen to songs being played off the same iPod that most of ’em have in their own pocket! And I thought Stones tickets were a ridiculous waste of money!! At least those legendary zombies are really there, in the FLESH!!! Not to mention, who gets all of that filthy lucre being brought in by these famous apparitions? The family of the deceased? Doubtful. I’m willing to bet that 9 times out of 10, their former record label is the fat cat raking in the foolishly spent greenbacks of these unfortunate fans (unless proper legal arrangements were made prior to the stars’ demise). If so, that would mean Suge Knight possibly received a generous donation towards his hefty legal debts directly after Tupac’s ghostly Coachella performance. I have no proof of this…just a few million pennies for your thoughts.
Before I bring this ripened rant to a close, I would like to point out something that was brought to my attention later in my research on this unsettling form of modern entertainment. These supposed holograms are indeed NOT HOLOGRAMS AT ALL!!! Real holograms utilize light or laser placement and direction to convey a 3-dimensional image that you could put your hand right through. These shams, that are currently on the edge of Trendtown, are merely reels of film projected into a mirror, which are then reflected onto a transparent screen, which the audience can’t see, creating an illusion of the celebrity just feet in front of the fools! It’s a parlour trick used by magicians and con-men since the 1800’s!
In the old days, mirrors were used for more than just peeking up skirts n' cocaine spill trays. They helped trick people into believing anything!!
Apparently, the world is still just as gullible. Since I began typing this, I’ve come across numerous articles suggesting TLC do a reunion tour utilizing a Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes hologram, amongst a bombardment of other equally doltish proposals. I whole-heartedly endorse a boycott against this entire debacle. As much as I would cherish a performance from the likes of such cadavers as Joey Ramone, Layne Staley, GG Allin or Elliot Smith, I cannot logically or morally hand over even a cent of my limited scratch in exchange for any of these fraudulent concoctions. I’d suggest you, the reader, join me in this quest against musical psuedo-immortality. Together, we can put an end to this disgusting charade, wiping it from the face of the Earth, collectively. We can call it…The Holo-caust!