Kitty Said

(for Kitty Sterling)

Kitty said
Leonard said
That thing about
Cracks and light
Getting in.

Kitty said
That modern society’s problem
Is that the cracks
Have been filled in
And papered over
In the name of
Convenience
And Progress

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Zombie Screen Face

I’m going to sound like a proper Luddite – or maybe because it’s because I live in a part of the country that appears not to be considered in such initiatives – but I’m going to rail against free wifi. Free wifi on trains is great for busy commercialists who need to get things done super-pronto, but for your average commuter is it really necessary? It’ll just encourage us to read more news/propaganda, buy more crap/consume and stop us thinking about the big issues that matter today.

Personally I love the dead time, the non-net time. It encourages us to read real books and do real stuff instead of pulling that zombie screen face the whole time.

I think I said it better here: https://revolutionfrommybed.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/anti-quantic/ and here: https://revolutionfrommybed.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/dont-go-digital/

#SwitchOff

Twitter Is Killing Me

Time was
When
My mind was free
To roam
To choose delights
Upon which to settle
Free to contemplate
Deepest mysteries
Of philosophy
And our world

That is
Because she had
Time.
She was the
Mistress of her own
Delectation

She might spend hours
Pondering the meaning
Of a single word
Or a fleeting instant
Dismissing the collected
Works of Immanuel Kant

I lament.

For now, in each moment
Where she begins
To ponder
Where she settles down
To contemplation,
As if on a sofa
Before a fire
Alone
With a good book,
She is interrupted
By the persistent
Whine of social media
For attention
For her attention.

Causes!
Products!
Outrage!
Humour!
The noble
The trivial
The mundane.

Ironic therefore,
That she has chosen to use
This medium
To share this rare
Example of considered
Thought

But she’s only trying
To warn
Those of you
Who use it most
Before it is too
Late

Twitter-You-Bore-Me

Just like the internet
In general
Social media fails to fulfil
Its original promise

When we first leapt
Naively onto this bandwagon –
Eyes wide shut to the
Dystopian possibilities –
We found
Love, friendship
Laughs, self-expression.
We found humanity
Evolved.

And we loved it.

Now that potential
Lies wasted on the floor
Ink-stained silk.
We can hardly remember
The joy which brought
Us here in the first place

It’s become a platform as a platform
A springboard for marketers
Politicos, journos
Nomarks and shysters

Yes there are good people too
But their voices are being
Sumberged under tides of
Incessant noise

It’s noise that I don’t need
A two-point-four kilohertz whine
That hurts my head

So that’s it. I’m switching off
Running away
Looking for more organic
And soulful places in which
To play

Strange Deliberations of the Fates

If you were to have entered that room you would certainly have been taken aback. In fact, it was much less a room, more a cavernous space. Within, there was an unfathomable number of little beings rushing around, busily engaged in various tasks. They – the beings – were odd-looking. All were naked, although the concept meant less to them as they didn’t have any private parts to hide or expose. Their skin was a pleasant grey-brown colour and their heads were small and oval (wider than they were high). A pair of attractive almond eyes – like a cat’s – were set in each head.

The frenetic activity was taking place on a dizzying variety of horizontal levels in the space. The majority of the creatures were working at floor level, but there were also others who were busy on multiple mezzanine levels. Some were even suspended in mid-air from harnesses, gliding like trapeeze artists between levels and workstations. Lights, dials and screens entirely covered the walls and desks and this equipment was the focus of the beings’ attention. The centrepiece of everything was an enormous table set on the ground floor, upon which was a miniature landscape. The model was covered in thousands (or maybe, millions or billions) of small figures, which reminded me of plastic toy soldiers. A cluster of the alien beings surrounded the table and were engaged in what seemed like heated discussion.

I couldn’t understand their burbling, high-pitched language, however I later learned what they were talking about. Apparently, it was along the lines of the following. Continue reading

TV Gotcha Now

Educated one.

You of refinement
And know-how.
Cultured
Erudite.
Or should I say
Savoir-faire.

I ran with you
In the nineties
From Woodstock Road
To The Strand
And in the lovely Lanes.

Oh, how you despised
Television.

TV.
The – what was it –
Opiate of the masses?
You – we –
Were so much better
We didn’t have
TVs.

OK
If we did
It was a tiny
Portable thing
Maybe even
Black and white
And stored in a cupboard
In case of events
Of significant magnitude

Books
You said.
Broadsheets.
Cafés and culture
Theatre, cinema
And nightclubs

TV?
You laughed
Plebsville
A life wasted.

But brother,
My sister
Ain’t it the truth that
TV Gotcha Now.

It changed
It
Outsmarted
You
It did a little side shimmy
and changed its form
Tablet
Mobile
Social.

Ah.

TV’s gotcha hooked like drugs
Now.
Everywhere you go
You got TV
The channels have
Morphed
Shape-shifted;
FaceboodTwitterYouTubeInstagramVine
New Channels
New TV
And you can’t escape

In your cosy little cafés
You’ve got TV
In your bookshops.
In your theatres and cinemas
You must be told
To turn off your TV

Yes my friend
TV gotcha now
TV gotcha bad.

The Shelter

Here, have some free entertainmentshelter01

If you’ve 30 minutes or so to spare, you could do much worse than watch this classic episode of The Twilight Zone (link below). For unfamiliar readers Twilight Zone was a sci-fi (well, sort of) series that was originally aired between 1959 and 1964 in the United States. Since then it has been both revived and re-run across the globe (see wiki) and has become something of a classic.

I promise you that if you watch this episode you’ll be entertained, despite the fact much of the language and ideas may seem a little dated to contemporary viewers. For me that’s part of the charm. Watching episodes of this programme is a little like perusing historical documents which detail the social constructions of the middle of the last century.

Anyway, when you’re done watching, you might like to return to the text below, because I believe that the scriptwriter (none other than Rod Serling himself) makes a point that far exceeds his intended context and reaches out to an unexpected aspect of our lives today.

Continue reading