Sunday, 3 May 2009

What I love about the internet is ... its desultory predictability

"Scores to settle. Paying back for any wrongs done to me. Debits and credits. Double entry, the Damon approved method of account keeping. I am extended a whole heap of head butts for lavishing my asperity upon. George. Lawrence. The Fuzz. Whichever spotty herberts passed on their STDs. Another unknown, whose credit card I pilfered, which itself turned out to have been hooky. Oh yes, plenteous and condign, but can any disperse my rage ? A rage against myself. For I dwell without any hope of ever leaving this archipelago. I endure the prospect of forever having no love. Forced to subsist without lust even. So to fill in the yawning time on Death Row here, I have to wrest some modicum of control back for myself. Seemingly, that only comes from revenge, so enervated am I. My body is scarcely alive to me, until it is profaned. So is it any surprise I oblige my one carnal passion, that of vengeance ? The one that still sparks my sentience, the one that antiphons any endocrinal despatches. The goal that gets me out of a strange bed in the morning. Reprisal is next to reprise in the dictionary.

You know what I love about the internet ? No, indulge me a little. It’s worth staying with this one I promise. Good. Well, would you not agree that it’s a free-for-all tabula rasa that wraps itself around the circumference of the earth ? Anyone can create and contribute and etch their initials on to it. But not like some sad old patchwork quilt of remembrance. This has all the vigour of grafitti artists spooring their signature. Ooh, get you, their ‘tags’ ! Though for self-preservation purposes, I can’t leave any obvious brume of self, still it’s finally possible for me to flame on undimmed. I am alive and kicking. Although at several removes, so that I do not invite disclosure and death. The Net amplifies me sufficiently, to cast off the shackles from my mind, even if my body remains earthbound. It respires me some breath. I can partake once again of civilisation. In the great debate.

You want learned knowledge on arcana, you can, albeit unreliably and often unattributed, study it on the Web. It’s a bit hit or miss, but hey as I discovered back in college, further reinforced by Corfu’s infuriatingly patchwork library, that’s how modern epistemology shakes out. Though to be honest with you, I still favour the solidity of the bound tome for the purposes of culling knowledge. There is no such thing as an achingly beautiful website. Just the arterial red and blue of venous hypertext. But really I’m well beyond being forged in a crucible of knowledge. I only now require to be informed, rather than instructed. Intelligence not as a faculty, but as data. I seek after a full quiver of missiles. So to that end, I relish the delights of blogs and message boards. Where I can eavesdrop undetected, on what taxes the mind of my countryfolk and keep in touch with my hearth. The Net as my home from home if you will. Yet what is even more familiar and reassuring to me, are people’s personal homepages. It feels like visiting neighbours and friends, only without the burden of reciprocation. I often feel like I’m Santa plopping down through their chimneys, helping myself to the milk and digestives left out for me, without compunction to leave them any gifts in return. All of this should facilitate me remission. Of being with the grown ups for the brief, glorious interim of my sojourn. Yet lamentably, I discern the increasing infantilizing of all my race back home. These charter ticketed kids are apt emissaries for their elders. With full undiplomatic immunity from consequence.

Forgive me, all that might betoken an antagonism on my part towards the virtual beast. Far from it, what I most cherish is that this autonomous space for our minds to be writ large, this great collective consciousness, has evidenced a return to form. A reversion to type. A newly conquered universe now awash with our detritus and refuse. To wit, for all our contortions of higher aspirations, we soon corkscrew and gravitate around the twin pillars of commerce and sex. These remain our obsession. The largest ever, ongoing worldwide poll demonstrates it to be so. A secondary control test poll, that of the camera phone backs this up. So stick two fleshy digits up to the Classical Greeks and their paeans to the higher human spirit.

In regard of sex, all our experiences and feelings, such as they persist, are as if mediated for us by a silicon membrane anyway. We are all wraiths wondering spectrally through some sort of ectoplasmic dreamscape. Copulation, despite it supposedly being the most involved, physically-centred activity, is now vaporous and insensate. Nothing is present in actuality, on which to hang one’s emotions on to. Relationship is a mere bump, a pedestrian road rage not even meriting the term ‘impact’. More just a diffusing wake. If we danced, if we oscillated, so as to light up our beings with excited sparks or vapour trails, I might settle for that. But we don’t. We are inert. This is how we approach each other. This is what we have reduced ourselves to. This is why the internet is so right. The unsustainable economy of sex in real life, now pays off in spades in the virtual. A realigned love triune, of camera, fingered keyboard and fibre optics. We are each sat alone in front of our mousepads, but at least my isolation is elevated by having the sun beating down on me, quaffing cocktails poolside. How is your dreary fantasy backgrounded ?

Same thing commerce too. Convenience shopping from the convenience of your own home. Hunting down rapacious desires like big game, serves to indulge the predatory in people. And getting involved in on-line auctions renders them combatants in a virtual joust. Or a poker game of who blinks first. For we are all traffickers, recycling our superfluous lives on e-Bay. Piqued by absurd jealousy if they are outbid by an anonymous stranger. See, that’s what I also love about the internet. It tilts the market balance. Right off its unhinged axis ! Now any buyer can just search online for exactly what it is they’re after. No matter how intricate or particular their tastes. My husband and his ilk always supplied anything and everything you could want, in that they knew where to lay their big, hot hands on it. But their customers were limited, cos their purlieu was beyond most people’s taste radar. But now everyone has satellite navigation at their fingertips. Every wanton attachment, which has always been procurable, if not exactly on tap, can be tracked down for ready purchase by the consumer. No more is there such a thing as an illict pleasure. Only one that may not yet have an online community, dedicated to discussing its zesty delights. Plus the chances are, it’s not even being touted by a professional criminal, but by some devotee in his attic or bedroom. My husband’s losing market share. Caveat vendor. Emptorially empty-handed. Not only are people locating merchandise themselves, but they’re also becoming producers too. Again circumventing my husband’s wares. Observe the kids out here with their camera phones and videos. Downloading and sending back their own material online. Don’t tell me they’re charging their mates for their shared kicks ? Home-made pornography. On location out here. Coarsened violence on ‘YouTube’. Happy slap rather than slapstick. Thus the depravity has become so mundanely accessible, it loses its risk factor that makes it cost inelastic. The behemoth has reared up and swished its long, spiky tail across the knuckles of Damon’s talons and swiped the whip hand from him. Though uncentred, this particular exchange maven also knows which end to hold a crop by.

As for me, I celebrate the fact that I can partake of a little of my own revenge online. Not ordered off the peg. Rather one I can fashion for myself. I’m finally back in the Forum. Shopping around in order to manufacture and distribute my own brand of retribution. I may have previously vouched for revenge being up close and personal, in best order to dish it up cold. But the marvel of modern connectivity has caused me to revise my opinion. It no longer requires my thumbprint. What could be colder than not even appending your name, your colophon to the deed ? This way I can run amok on the whole tiny-minded world ! Like everything else, it’s acquisitive and venal and therefore fundamentally a numbers game. For once in my life I have full access. Now I am imbued in my own right, with the meddling powers of the immortals. All thanks to t’internet (as one of my Northern conquests insisted on calling it)."

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