Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Happy New Year! Coda

I write now on chrome, and it gives me little charge of excitement that there still is something better out there.  Technologically, I am thrilled by its snickety-snick improvement over the bloatware which diminishes the bored-out raw power of whatever machine I get new and ever more cheaply. 

And now I'm excited about the cordwood pile of superannuated laptops which I can resurrect when chrome is loadable straight on top of an OS-less hypervisor. Even Mom will be able to surf and email.  What else is there to the digital wii innering of tactical and physically nausea-transcending excitement?  It's about communication, man, and the emotional content which has to come from someone, somewhere, even though at a remove from the actual physical touch which technological progress yuchs us against.

Driving behind the endangered Hummer species a while ago, I did wake up to realize that my moral superiority for sucking not quite so much gas (I sure do blow a lot!) was, like, totally misplaced, and even said so over the phone to a friend while thinking it.  The distinction, after all, between the grotesquely massive Hummer and even the diminutive Smart Car is non-existent symbolically.  (or perhaps it's only symbolically that there is any significance to the difference?)

A car is a car, and it's about the mobility of personal space, ultimately to the point of abstraction from any pavement, or alternatively oneness with the road, as with the Biker or RVer.  This misplaced lust, in whatever politically correct form, is grotesquely destructive of mother earth, and demonstrably immisserating to the bulk of the logoshpere demonstrably indentured to its service. (I declare!)

The solution, of course, is to lose the lust, not to tweak the car.  Restricting the lust, as all the prim right wingers among us surely know, only forces it out in worse expressions;  less savory gaseous emissions!

I am, as you have already well imagined, gentle reader, something of a crank in my interpersonal intellectualizations.  (this I distinguish, perhaps obtusely, from interpersonal communications more generally)  I work up a cranky head of steam over the idiocy of four wheel drive (it costs gas and repairs and I live up high in snow country having driven near 300,000 miles without significant repair at 31 mpg in a big station wagon (insert VW advert here) and without even having felt a glimmer of need for either off road or 4 wheel drive which only gets you going and likely teases you into gully smashed and ditch-turtled belief that you can stop better because I'm so damn smart!)  I would be nearly insufferable if I didn't - oh yes it's true - censor myself so often.  OK, so I am actually insufferable.

Interpersonally, I am nothing but empathy for why having a four wheeler feels so much better, and why there is no moral content to ones gaseous consumption or expulsion for that matter, since, as I well know who would rather never drive, that's how the world is organized and there isn't much that I as a lone individual can do about it, for chrissakes!  Nice jeans too!

But my inner crank needs displacement onto something rather more productive, and likely to be heard as sympathetically as those mild pronouncements of mine get made.

I confess to plenty of optimistic glee at reportings of scientific advancements.  Hell, just the other day there was piece on the news about something like "artificial biology" whereby new organisms would be engineered to do cool things like deliver vaccines or cancer killers right on the spot. Or gobble up oil spills. I get way Kurtzweil optimistic that really we need not nurse all this global warming anxiety about our footprint. That we truly are less significant than the orders of magnitude huger fluctuations of the global climactic cycles.

. . . that the post-historical global capitalistic marketplace will right itself now and forever more.

But I think my optimism will have to move in a different direction, ultimately.  I am optimistic that this technolust will be, and is now being, digitally displaced internally to where geographic removes for the pleasures of landscape, imagined cultural distinction, or better opportunities to market our inner authenticity so that it can be outered again with ostentatious splendor; to where these removes no longer have to be mediated by oil and gas powered launchings over roads and through airy space so that we can feel and touch again those tight relations, if only for Christmases and other funerals.  (I enjoyed a truly wonderful jet-age Christmas this year, where I played joyous part-host, and never did have to endure anxious cattle-prodded germ sharing sleepless and therefore mania-inducing stuttering trajectories across the continental divide)

There is, quite sensibly, a cosyness projected from stylish houses.  We want, naturally, in to places built on a view, having well-tuned paint and manicured gardens.  Inside, there is the tele-view, which should but somehow never does render all these spaces identical.  Womb with a view (c).

I think this is not much different from the wanting in to a beautiful woman, as though carnal sameness (there's ample proof all over the internet, if you care to be disgusted) were truly and finally not subject to the sex organ of the imagination.

Through this map (apologies David Foster Wallace) to the individual we truly do crave closeness to some other whose very brightness belies something like what we know ourselves to possess. The subjective me which is arcing it's starshot trace through lives and gaseous fields, but which alone blinks out without so much as a wish to make it real.

Now I am trying to talk myself out from moving away from the Queen City, presumably toward Seattle, where all the women are beautiful and the inner craving for a creative life is not so Buffalo-style winged and clipped.  Where I won't need to drive so much, tracing my geographic mandala, and coming closer only to old age and clogged passages across my own arterial map.

The car grows old, as do I, and I lose hope that there is a single soul out there who isn't questing still after the perfect pair (of blue jeans), pairing (of souls), or quantum hadron which will confirm that we, collectively me, really do deserve to inherit this earth, which by the time it's ours will already be old and haggard herself, true soul.

Is it already too late?

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