I used to hate this song. It made me think of the slightly mechanical way that we were told to make love in the early Seventies: if someone was told to do it, you did it. This (of course) was if you were female, males (we were told) couldn't do it if not in the mood, not ever!

Nowadays, I like this song. It seems as if it were written by someone who knew and loved machines, and was a little bit Asimovian as well. Think of the auto workers in Detroit, how their assembly lines also inspired great music...

I think of a robot in love with a lady. They work together on the assembly line, day in and day out. He cannot, of course, speak with her; this would mean not doing his job, and what robot would not do his job? So he waits and watches, and waits. And watches. He sees men and women, and what they do at quitting time. He sees a man and a woman, he gives her flowers, this makes a great difference. He sees what men do, and women do, when they desire each other. But he cannot act. Every opportunity he has, however, he upgrades his hardware to please her. He orders roses for her every Friday; learning that they are dead come Monday, he discards them. He reads about female sexuality, and purchases vibrators and dildos for her. At her word, he will buy the finest clothing, the most wonderful foods and drinks, the most wonderful luxuries in the world (for machines speak with other machines, and machines are what indeed rule this world) but he cannot act.

At last, he gets his opportunity. She's the last off the line. Maybe (since this is Detroit, and Midwestern winters are cruel) she stays to put on her scarf, to bundle up a little more securely against the cold. Her husband has left her long ago, her children are now fractious teenagers, and she's old and fat and unwanted.

He cannot know this. He knows only that men do this, and women love it. And he sings this song. And things are set in motion...

Ok, so it's cliched SF. But for a 70's funk/disco song, it's downright Hugo material. It sounds like someone knew machines, and liked them enough (what kind of love song would Woz make up?) to make a song about machines and sex that was charming, not cold. And that's why I like it!

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