I was at the gym after midnight (where, allegedly, folk like to let it all hang out) listening to my iPod, which is a nifty device for shuffling through dozens of songs until you find the right dandy to get you through that next segment on the abominable elliptical contraption, which allows high-tech fitness to mold you into Form (though it pales in comparison to the Jetsons device in which George J. lies down comfortably while a whiz-bang machine does all the work for him, and was this not the technological myth and folly of our parent's sunnier generation?).
However, I wasn't shuffling through songs this evening. I was listening to a radio program by the name of Love Line that I had earlier, with Careful Precision, downloaded from a magical file-sharing service that shall remain unnamed, and could therefore listen to at my leisure (or Torture).
I listen to this program on occasion as it is entertaining and forthcoming of Life Philosophy. And it's about love and sex and it's funny, too.
This very evening -- though the program was recorded several months back -- a particular call struck me. A young woman called in to discuss her relational troubles, which was responded to with a joke and then more serious advice: Standard Fare, go to commercial break. Except it wasn't; not really. This young woman told a story of how she had lied to two previous boyfriends about being pregnant. She later told the fellows she visited the doctor and was informed it was a False Alarm. She then broke up with the two Almost Fathers. The question centered around her efforts to win back the affections of one of these AFs.
That was not yet the Remarkable part. The show hosts, Adam Corolla and Dr. Drew Pinsky (who Toils, it is alleged, in the same workplace as my wife) sighed resigned sighs, as even they were taken back at the callousness of the caller. They discussed the lack of Moral Core, Moral Center in this young woman and went on to speculate what it must be like to walk Soulless (for this was the very word they used, Soulless) in this world.
Now we reach the Remarkable Part: the young lady, as though in agreement with the show hosts' assessment, trampled on to the next part of her question, which related to whether or not it was worth it to seek out, once again, AF #1. Her voice was bright and airy and filled with excitement.
Now to me this was Remarkable. To be called Soulless before the ears of Countless Thousands and to Cheerfully push on with one's thoughts. Was it the mere fact of having one's voice on the air? I thought. Was it that your life -- even a Soulless Life -- was being discussed by the Borderline Famous?
This small disturbing moment was for me an indictment of a modern society blasé and content in its own ignorant narcissism. A nation of plaything toddlers who lead hollow lives unless slapped in the ass with an Old Fashioned paddle and told, that's not what big boys and big girls are supposed to do.
Or maybe I was just in a Funk, or should have been listening to Funkier Accompaniment.
I finished my workout and drove home.