In 1996, the Canadian prog rock and Rock Hall power trio better known as Rush released their 16th studio album Test For Echo (or T4E for short). Anyone who really knows me knows that I've been a huge fan of the musical creations of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart all of my life. T4E is not my favorite Rush album - not by a long shot - but it does possess a few gems that I frequent on my favorite songs list. Besides the title track, "Half The World", and "Driven", their fourth single released from T4E was called "Virtuality". It's a song that describes how the Internet (which was relatively new at the time) influenced people and their relationships.
Personally, I really enjoy "Virtuality", but it's a love/hate song among Rush fans alike. One of the greatest things about the music of Rush is their lyrical compositions. "Virtuality" is a timeless piece that possesses some very relative lyrical meaning in today's world. The second verse of the chorus strikes a chord with me that I'd like to delve into here:
Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse ’round the world
Put your message in a modem
And throw it in the Cyber Sea
Peart takes the old "message in a bottle" and weaves some Internet magic and turns it into a message delivered by modem. Very cool! It got me to thinking, though. Let's say that you were on a beach and decided to get a wild hair and write up a message in a bottle, then cork it and throw it into the sea and see where it goes! I'm very curious to know what your letter would say, and who would you hope would find your message? Well, as usual, I'm willing to share my take on this. My take would be a bit more philosophical in nature, but nonetheless I'm curious to know what others would say.
If you are reading this message, then you've opened up the bottle that you've found washed ashore and have been put on a blind date with someone in all likelihood you've never met before. The note you are reading was written by a complete stranger who lives somewhere in this world where you are NOT right now. There's something strangely fascinating about meeting new people out of random circumstance. We live in a world today where one can get on a computer, go on the Internet, and in just a few brief seconds be talking to someone who lives clear on the other side of the globe! It's a random encounter - yes - but nowhere near as random as the old 'message in a bottle'. The chance of YOU receiving this note that I wrote, dropped in a bottle, corked it, tossed into the ocean, and rode the currents of the almighty ocean, only to wash ashore and randomly fall into your hands goes beyond astronomical odds reaching googleplex-like odds!
That sort of completely random encounter should be more than enough to warrant making the effort to reach out and find the person whose bottle you found! Wouldn't you like to know who wrote this? What that person looks like? When they wrote it? Where that person lives? How old they are? How much you have in common? Thinking deeper, I'd be curious to know about the life of the person who received it, and compare it to the life of the person who sent it. Was this just random chance, or was fate on our side? All of these questions and more need answers, and I'd really enjoy taking the time to learn about them and more!
So with that said, we are no longer strangers but rather good acquaintances. Perhaps if you can take it a step further, we could become friends! I would like that very much, so here is my address for you to use to reach out to find me. I hope to hear from you very soon!
Best wishes! - D.B.
And that would be my message in a bottle. Never actually done it, but now I have a certain incentive to actually do it. What would yours say? I never mentioned who I'd like to get the bottle because I actually don't care who receives it; I'm more interested in just learning who would be so lucky as to get MY bottle from the ocean.