Prior to last night, the previous laser show I remember going to was at Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, with Jen, probably in 1988. I’m pretty sure it was set to the music of Pink Floyd and I’m relatively certain we both found it fairly underwhelming.
Before that, I attended one at a museum in Golden Gate Park with an Italian girl I met on the streetcar earlier that day; we prepared for the event in what would be considered the stereotypical way for such an occasion circa 1975 and I recall the entire evening—again set to a Pink Floyd soundtrack—as one of the era's transcendent events.
Although last night’s expedition to the Pacific Science Center to catch the midnight showing of Laser “The Wall” wasn’t quite as marvelous as the latter above, it undeniably whelmed me; as I lay back in my chair, staring at the planetarium ceiling which was bursting with kaleidoscopic flowers and shimmering with cascaded tesseracts, I had several moments of real levitation, once again to songs from the Floyd oeuvre.
Of course, the whole thing was suburban mall rat cheesiness, through and through; I coulda been a guest on Wayne’s World for all the serious culture I was imbibing, (while, of course, movies at the Seattle International Film Festival screened just a few doors away), but there was also something rather heartwarming and old school about the whole thing; I’m pretty sure, for instance, that the laser operator is essentially responsible for what’s being shown and that he considers himself some kind of artist, even if that’s only within the confines and technical limitations of his chosen field.
This was the second experience I’ve had this week with psychedelic overtones. On Wednesday, I saw a film called “The Substance,” which is a Swiss documentary about the invention of LSD and its use as a psychiatric tool in the late 1950s and early 60s.
Mind-blowing, just like those kaleidoscope flowers.