Friday 23 February 2024

Did You Hear The One About Robot Zombie George Carlin.

It's not nearly as funny as the late great king of cuss words, by far. But it is still funny. Not funny haha. Funny that we think jokes from a robot zombie would be worth sullying the memory of our favourite dead guys. Funny the way margarine tastes like butter but is in no way shape or form as good for you as butter. And yes, I know you can't believe that. Faith will always have problems with this kind of sour milk.

If you're still searching for the punchline here. A YouTube channel has produced an hour-long comedy special-style video of an A.I. Geroge Carlin doing jokes using various A.I. tools to give us a bizarre and crude version of the comedy great doing stand-up.
And in so, showed us what being a medium looks like in the cyberpunk era. 

Thankfully Dudesy, the YouTube channel that performed this act of sacrilege, has taken the video down and is being sued for what they did.

What's being done here is the technological equivalent of a person saying they can let you talk to your late dead uncle who taught you all the dirty words back in the day. Just plug in the crystal ball machine and the voice and visage of Uncle George show up to tell us jokes again and make us laugh. But if we're being honest. It's a nervous laughter. Because are we really going to stop with comedians we want to say things? Where's the line here. The one needed between this macabre reanimation of comedy and the technological tyranny that could easily take its place. How much material did Hitler write, after all? Or for that matter any President you may or may not like. Or perhaps we'll stop making the dead speak for us, via A.I., when we get to trying to get prophets to speak again. 

Oh wait we have a Bible verse for that.

‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭28:3‭-‬16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa. And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at En-dor. And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee. And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die? And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing. Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

One of the problems technology presents us is the illusion that we're not just pagans like the kind of people needing redemption in the Old Testament. Since we're part of the unwritten parts of the New Testament, our Acts 29 if you will. We think in our heart of hearts that we won't do the kinds of things pagans did. But the truth is we build our heresies and idols one brick at a time. The same way Babel did. And so do YouTube accounts that grave rob the greats in standup comedy. 

There is a subtle but subversive paganism hidden in the code of modern tech. One that disguises idols as features and hides its sorcery like bugs. Which is only a problem if our leaders don't notice or worse, think they are above the commandments and prohibitions to not act in pagan ways.

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee

Keeping with the butter metaphor from the opening paragraphs, what kind of toast are we cooking? We keep saying it's a hearty whole-grain brown bread filled with all the nutritious ingredients that we once witnessed from Gutenburg's press. But as the edges burn and the bread dries out under history's heat, we're left with a crumbly gluten-free option that we're told is good for us. Because heaven knows we can pronounce the ingredients. Maybe we should just read them backwards?

And just like that concoction of chemicals and compounds would be mistaken for alchemy and potions in the days of yore, we need to know what sorcery, mediums and necromancy look like in the days of YouTube. Solomon was wise to say that there is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps we need to start thinking, reacting and rejecting things in older frames of mind.


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