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A little less reality, a little more hologram

June 8, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Until this year if I?had been asked, as I often am, 'who is your favorite hologram' I would have had to say Al from "Quantum Leap."

Al was a great holo-sidekick. Snappy one-liners, crazy clothes and he had Ziggy, the all knowing handheld computer reference guide that today we would call Wikipedia on a smartphone.

And I had always assumed that Al would retain the title of Best Hologram Ever. I mean, who would even be a close second? Arnold Rimmer from "Red Dwarf?" That guy was awful! Jem's backup band "The Holograms?" I don't think those gals even played their own instruments ... also I?don't think they were really holograms.

So when I received an link for a video from the Coachella Festival I assumed that it was going to be a video of either a hippie getting tazed or some hot girl with one of those light-up hula hoops. Either way I was more than happy to click the link.

What I found was a video of what appeared to be the late Tupac Shakur, performing live at Coachella.

I knew it! He faked the whole thing!

Well, upon reviewing the comments section I learned that this was in fact a hologram of Tupac performing to a screaming crowd at Coachella.

Of course, I was surprised to find that other people could see him, as I had assumed that only I could see and hear him so that he can help me put right what once went wrong, and hoping that the next leap will be the leap home.

Turns out other people could see him as well, and that I was the only one that remembered "Quantum Leap."

Ok, so if Tupac is a hologram can he ever hope to replace the irascible Al?

Of course he can. We're talking about Tupac Shakur, here. Sure, Al was funny and everything, but did Dean Stockwell ever make "California Love?" I don't think so.

People immediately started wondering when the Holo-Pac would go on tour. These voices were quickly shouted down when Dr. Dre released a statement that he, Holo-Pac's owner, would not be sending it out on tour. Unless he did.

Dre, who apparently has learned quite a bit about sci-fi level technology after being in those "Beats by Dre" commercials, also mentioned he might be making holograms of Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye.

Sensing that a new trend in music was about to become popular the people that own Elvis, the suspiciously anonymous sounding Core Media Group, decided that they would do what Elvis would have done, and steal the idea.

Where Dre was intentionally vague regarding the future role of his holo-buddy, the Elvis people were more than happy to say they were interested in using the hologram in a new television series.

What happens when 11 strangers are picked to live in an apartment with an elaborate series of projectors used to create the illusion of a dead singer and have their lives filmed? The Un-Real World!

Next on the list has to be holo-Reagan opening up the GOP convention this year, if not then its holo-Schwarzenegger teaming up with real Schwarzenegger for a high concept buddy comedy/tragic love story that would still be better than "Terminator 3."

You know what? I want a hologram. I want a holo-Burns to sit around and watch all these other holograms remind me that even death doesn't provide a reprieve from cheap marketing gimmicks. That way I could stay focused... on finally leaping home.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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