Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chapter 2: Today

"Alan had proved that there was no 'miraculous machine' that could solve all mathematical problems, but in the process he had discovered something almost equally miraculous, the idea of a universal machine that could take over the work of any machine. And he had argued that anything performed by a human computer could be done by a machine. So there could be a single machine which, by reading the descriptions of other machines played upon its 'tape', could perform the equivalent of human mental activity: a single machine, to replace the human computer! An electric brain."
Andrew Hodges. Alan Turning: The Enigma.

“There's definitely no logic to human behavior.”
Bjork. Human behavior.
The Autobiography of Ben & Bob
Chapter 2: Today

At what point in life is it okay to admit to yourself that you suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

I say this as I sit here, having just finished listening to my Bob Dylan collection - all 148 albums - chronologically. And I’m about to start on my Van Morrison journey – all 56 of them.

You have to realize that such a journey requires multiple months of dedication and planning. You can’t really absorb more than one Dylan album in a single session so, right there, we’re talking about a five month contract with yourself – assuming you get to do this every day. Of course, there is work and travel and family as well. So I get at best two days per week to enjoy this particular obsession. Now we’re talking about an eighteen month package deal: a deal with yourself to not listen to any other artist for a year and a half. Now that takes dedication. I mean, you'd have to be nuts to do that. Which is exactly my point.

Alphabetical. Chronological. By artist. By genre. By recording date (as opposed to release date). Yup, I've got an OCD problem.

Have I lost it? Almost definitely.

Am I worried? Not really.

Interestingly, the OCD behavior seems to affect only some of my activities - the enjoyable ones: watching Seinfeld, from the first episode to the last. Woody Allen, first movie to last. George Carlin – chronological, of course. Miles Davis, beginning to end. Dave Matthews Band - by concert date. You get the idea. Thankfully, I have a "mild" case of OCD - Which means I don't spend hours every day ironing my shirts or fixing the bed. In fact, I am a complete slob.

I even got into it with books for a while. I’d pick an author and read every one of his or her books in chronological order, but the time requirements were just too high. Even I am not crazy enough to continue on that journey to hell.

So, back to music: The way I see it. the sixteen different versions of Desolation Row in my collection are all so unique and different from each other that I obsess over giving them individual identity, treating them each like a separate song – because, in a sense, they are.

No one said OCD was going to be fun. By concentrating my OCD behavior on my favorite activities, at least I get to enjoy the journey.

1 comment:

  1. Now you have to listen to your entire Neil Sedaka collection.