Marnova – of and from a wandering mind…

Marnova's musings on life, media and Mongolia

[Chip off the old blog] Sagacious Solomon?

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Bugger.  Was in London for much of last week and did a photographic blog of one of the days when, amongst other things, I met up with an American guy I hadn’t seen since I met him at a party 10 years ago.  Shooting-from-the-hip on the South Bank, the grime and grit north of Clapham Junction.  But the memory card has corrupted.  Damn.

Instead, there is this.  Is the internet making the world a cheaper place? ask AOL in promotion of their discussion forums.  (if that’s not asking for some babble, I don’t know what is) Single-handedly, no.  Perhaps in bed with competition and globalisation.  A significant part for sure, not least establishing a common language.  So much for academics and their Esperanto.  A truly dead language.  Power to the real people.  We shop, live, eat and drink on the internet, but are we really getting the bargain that we perceive when we look around us and see an ever fragmented society and strangers for a family?  In our culture of materialism, we value a discount, but would you have bought that CD if it weren’t on offer and what human has paid the price for the clothing on your back to be available for a song?

But getting back on track, the internet has devalued communication, relationships and when it comes down to it, human beings.  No one makes the effort anymore.  It’s ALL too convenient.  The world is a hyperlink away.  No one even makes real arrangements to meet, “txt me when ur there  I’ll c if I can join u” = “I’ll see if I get a better offer”, we catch up via annual round robin e-mails and don’t even know the last names of those we call our friends.  Friendships end on e-mails incorrectly identified as spam, relationship start and end with txt msgs.  Our worldly desires wait for us on the world wide spider web, with us ensnared at its heart.  But where is the traditional cornershop?  The pub where everyone knows your name?  The quest for a rare record made all the more savourable by the insane odds stacked against its discovery?  Even academic concepts are devalued by the collective wealth, when really they have taken just as much effort, observations and calculations to arrive at as in the past.  It’s not just about love for le object, but the experiences that make our lives.  I don’t care for collections or grand shows…I crave real people, real experiences, real touch.  Forget communication, we live in a disposable age.  Who cares to maintain a friendship when we can always find new ones in an instant (message)?  But can they be there when you need a shoulder to cry on and theres a power cut?  Can they give you a real hug when you need it or get out of bed to pay for your petrol at 4am in the morning when you’ve forgotten your credit cards?  Who can’t just block you or ignore you with the click of a mouse?  Whose circle of friends does not involved a list onscreen?  Don’t undervalue these acts and people.  And when you find them (via whatever means), hold on to them…they are what life is made of.  Read your Little Prince (Antoine de St Exupery) and understand that those close to us are special and precious because, just as they have left their marks on us, we make them who they are.  That and our world is an markedly ephemeral one.  I look back and remember a letter I wrote to a stranger and somehow, some magic was carried in those words for him.  He carried it in his pocket for two months and unwittingly it changed his life.  The power of physically written words.  And yet, I haven’t sent a personal letter in the past two years.Are we so scared of engaging with life that we can’t talk to each other anymore?  What are we scared of finding out about our world and ourselves?  What has the world come to if we can’t talk to each other, can’t greet each other on the street, ask questions when we’re curious and when we only feel safe communicating at a distance?  I’m not saying that our pursuit for friendship should be restricted solely to those who are physically close to us, nor those who remain virtual.  Good people are hard to find whatever the means.  But effort needs to be invested into making, and keeping, them real.  That means honesty and integrity, not perfection we all have our own lives to lead and the mere word human is synonymous with fallibility.  But flakiness does breed upset and paranoia.  Would Earl need his lists and Buddhists look to karma (apologies if I blaspheme) if we weren’t so bound by expectation?I don’t want to cocoon myself in remote safety, I want to go through the highs and lows, share the laughter and tears, veer between disappointment and elation, lean on my friends, be the rock.  Yes, humans are fickle, but we need to stay close (at least at heart) – remoteness breeds distrust.  Throughout, we need to maintain trust or die alone.  We build our barriers ever higher but who are we trying to keep out?  Is the reality that we are furiously bricking ourselves in (and indeed, bricking it!)  If only we would peek over these walls of our towering Babels, we would see that in the faces of our neighbours, our own fears are mirrored.  None of us are so different.  A man, Tenzin Gyatso, once said that all can appreciate compassion (http://www.worldmind.com/Cannon/Culture/Interviews/borges.html).  It is the one thing that unites us.  Levels us.  Humbles us.  We can’t live as islands, a network of trust must exist.Yes,  you can indeed buy everything on the internet – a schoolgirl’s virginity…even humans.  At what price?  I certainly wouldnt call it cheap.

BTW you should know me well enough to know that I’ve been plugged right into the net since Year Zero. On my terms, I’d like to think.  It’s not a way of life.  And that, I hope, can make all the difference. 

Song thing ain’t working – I’m listening to Mr E’s Beautiful Blues by The Eels

**************************************************************************Star Wars-esque conversation from last week:

“If there is this bigger entity, you shouldnt be trying to butt heads with it.”

“I’m not trying to.”

“It will destroy you.”

“I’m not trying to.”“You should divert the energy and move with it.”“Errrrr…”

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Written by marnova

April 19, 2006 at 1:12 am

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