FWIW, I entered this ‘hobby’ either slightly before, or parallel with, the introduction of the early Infocus DLP (X-1??). I started with an LCD panel hooked to a computer (with a TV tuner card) and an overhead projector!! My first screen was the side of my house. Monday Nite Football was still on ABC.
Hi all, my name is Tim and I’m a beamer:
My computer/overhead projector/LCD panel fulfilled me for awhile.
It was homegrown video dope, a little fuzzy (and chock full of cables and wires), but it would still give me a buzz. I probably would have been ok if I had just stopped with that, but I quickly moved up to the hard stuff……DLP, often referred to as visual PCP by those of us in the video-social underground. You start out by thinking you’ll limit your beaming to the weekends, late at night and after the sun goes down. Yeah.
After all, you know there’s a possibility of “burn out” from the moment you first “turn-on”, so you try to limit yourself. One evening I was watching Dark Side of Oz at 120 inches and 120 decibels and couldn’t help but spot the insanely serendipitous parallel between the opening lyrics to The Great Gig in The Sky* and the fact that my “bright star” might also give out at any time. The profundity moved me to abandon all caution. Carpe Diem and full beam ahead.
In time I was mainlining, beaming about on any surface I could find and using any video input I could scrounge up, a low resolution ticket to disaster. I plugged so much junk up to my equipment there’s hardly any free space to hook up anymore. Worse, I don’t exactly know where most of that crap has been before I got it!! Even when I’m not totally beamed out, I spend my time immersed in the jargon of the beamer junkies where we hang out and laugh at people who don’t know their asses from their aspect ratios.
Sure I’ve got it bad, but if you want to know how bad it can get consider that the worst of the beamer fiends scheme and dream of daytime beaming! You even see a bit of it around here from time to time. If the circus were still around, maybe these freaks could find an honest place of employment. Ah, the good ole days.
I’ve tried to hide my addiction, but the evidence is all about. It became such an overwhelming issue in my life that I began avoiding friends, once going on a three week screen design binge. My grasp of time was becoming distorted by my ongoing beaming sessions. One day my friends dropped in unexpectedly to check up on me. I vainly tried to mask the scent of the last batch of stuff I cooked up in my Paragon by spraying a can of Glade (while commenting on the weird new Popcorn and Potpourri scent they just released). I was so beamed out that I guess I figured nobody would notice the obvious paraphernalia of a commercial popcorn machine sitting in plain view. About this time, my friends were staring at me like some hillbilly heroin maker, much too eager to cook up the next batch.
Now that I’m outted, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the whole issue of the beaming habit and how to make it more socially acceptable. In an attempt to lessen the social stigma I’ve changed my focus from recreation beaming to medical beaming. It’s a grass roots effort.