Oct 20 2010

Clocks- They’re Taking Over

Published by at 12:28 am under Uncategorized

Although this image doesn’t exactly show a clock, per se, its message was too poignant to pass over. In this depiction, a woman encounters some sort of law enforcement officer, and in what she expected (if not trusted) to be a routine “good day,” she finds a most frightening sight. The man she knew as the friendly neighborhood policeman is actually a machine! His smiles, advice, familiarity, and comfort were all a ruse; there was nobody home all along. He was simply a ticking compilation of cogs and pulleys, designed to (literally) put on a face that would keep people at bay.

While this cartoon is clearly a severe exaggeration, the point it makes is an important one. Technology can perhaps put on a good show– it can don a mask that allows it to keep people feeling happy and safe… but only for a time. Inevitably, the fact that it was simply an amalgamation of short and long hands will become apparent, at which point the sense of security will be replaced by a pervasive sense of panic, not unlike the sensation that the floor is falling away from underneath you.

This shock effect that technology has the potential to wield does not, of course, apply only to societies where policemen are really, in fact, machines (don’t look so incredulous, they’ll probably be here before you know it). ¬†Technology throughout the ages, of which the clock is a particularly apt example, ironically, because of its ostensibly simple mechanics, has been and often still is scary. When a previously human capability is infused into a pile of nuts and bolts, the loss of control and predictability can be debilitating (see googly-eyed woman in cartoon above).

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One Response to “Clocks- They’re Taking Over”

  1.   lostforwordson 20 Oct 2010 at 8:07 am

    Haha, great find! Great discussion, too. What starts so (seemingly) innocently & joyously in turns out to be very disturbing. Obviously, your post points ahed to Ubik, which expresses this shifting of appearances so powerfully, what with all the modern technology, designed to be perfectly & consistently functional, serving (in half life) spoiled food or providing communication to the (supposed) dead.

    This is universal stuff, and really beginning to come to a head in our time, I think. Just remember, after all, the undying words of Kanye West: “I don’t want no RoboCop.”

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