Double Yellow Line, From Realities (Day 169)

Miles Rushmore returns to the stage of The Cutting Edge to perform this song, singing and strutting his bad self while Anna dances and Alex acts as a kind of VR DJ. It’s the debut of Body, Mind and Soul, the collaboration that was dreamed up at the end of Act I, and a group of entertainment industry executives has come to check out the show. 

Miles’s braggadocio is a little cartoonish, but there’s something enviable about his freedom from fear. So many of us – me included – are constrained by fear, and this song is an anthem of fearlessness. Forrest McClendon certainly goes all in on this one, cranking up the attitude to 11; he’s charismatic and a little bit repulsive all at once, evincing a very complex reaction. Hooray for ambivalence!

It’s funny to think about how the technology of virtual reality, which seemed so far-out when Steve and I wrote about in 1994, has quietly continued to develop. Twenty years later, it’s not exactly mainstream yet, but there’s plenty of buzz about the Oculus Rift and how VR is likely tro transform the entertainment industry. What do you think – was Realities ahead of its time? Is the world ready yet for a stage musical about a VR pioneer?

Miles (ominously): Get out of my way!
Slower traffic to the right!
You’ve had your day,
Now welcome to the night.
I don’t need your suits
Or your businessman’s spiel!
Between my legs
There’s half a ton of screaming, smoking steel!

I live my life in the left lane,
Get the hell over to the right.
One hand on the throttle,
One hand on the bottle,
I’m hurtling into the night.
So move aside, ‘cause I live to ride!
I was born ‘neath a wanderin’ sign,
Named for the miles and the double yellow line.

I’m used to traveling solo,
But after ‘while, that can be a bore.
They say it’s a danger
To pick up a stranger,
But that’s never stopped me before.
I’m not afraid of soft shoulders
And those dangerous curves look fine
Hey, what do you say we ride the double yellow line?

(to Anna) Hop on!

Let’s hit the road to adventure!
Are you ready to rock and roll?
We’re gonna travel the fast lane,
Where only the bad have control.
I couldn’t tell you what’s out there,
But I promise that we’ll be fine.
There’s nothing like living on the double yellow line.

I’m in a hurry to get there,
Got no time to be going slow!
When I’m on the highway,
Just stay out of my way —
There’s places I got to go!
Don’t tell me there’s “no passing”
‘Cause, baby, the road is mine!
I’ll never be stopped by a double yellow line!

Rules are for cowards and fools!
Playing it safe doesn’t thrill,
Never has,
Never will!
Give me speed!
Speed is the thing that I need!
Freedom of motion’s the key.
It’s the way life was meant to be.
I got to be free!

(spoken contemptuously) The don in his Lincoln,
The judge in her Benz,
The guy in the Lexus who’s lost,
They all glance over with envy
Before they suck up my exhaust!

A couple cruisers are on our tail
And their bubble-gum lights are on.
But i don’t picture myself in jail
If they (you) think they (you) can catch us, come on!
I’m bearing down on the throttle.
Can’t you hear that 440 whine?
I’m not afraid of trouble
On the double yellow line.

It seems oddly appropriate to be blogging about this song in Sn Francisco, home to Industrial Light and Magic and every high-tech startup known to man. A group of hipster junior execs – if that’s the term for these thirty-somethings in hoodies and expensive running shoes – are planning some sort of event to be staged in this hotel lobby, featuring a silent (!) DJ. I’m feeling a bit of the zeitgeist blowing through this hotel lobby!

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