Monday, November 05, 2012

A Rake's Progress, or Richard Thompson: Cyborg Cartoonist

Nick Galifianakis was with Richard Thompson today (November 5 2012) as the electricity began to flow:
Hello, everyone. Well, here's another (rare) divergence from my usual postings:

I'm in the room with Richard Thompson at what is the first of several sessions to calibrate and then fine-tune the electrodes in his brain.

To quote a friend: "I had no idea they could fine tune the stimulation. I figured they threw a switch, and dialed a knob back if they started to smell meat cooking."

They're right now sending varied electricity into his brain putting him though a variety of tests and movements, big and very, very small, as well as constantly repeating the phrases that make me think I'm actually in the play "My Fair Lady."

The process is quite nuanced and requires tremendous patience to achieve the right balance (Richard has never complained, not once)

Too much juice here or not enough there, might fix the targeted area but it also may mean it negatively affects another area - at this moment, Richard no longer trembles in his right hand - but he's suddenly fluent in Korean. Only Korean.

(I'm I really have to write that?)

Truly remarkable to watch, again, a very, very refined process. My friend's patience and good-naturdeness during the session is extraordinary as each switching on and off of a section and each re-calibration instantly brings a new physicality, increased or diminished, and even a new emotional state, up or down. This will take a while to get right - it's the ultimate borrowing from Peter to pay Paul situation.

Oops, gotta go..., I'll have more later. Right now I want to watch Richard finish his needlepoint...while figure skating.

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