Tuesday, August 2, 2011

GHOSTS

What's the power of ghosts?


Let me begin again. Let me pretend that I hadn't started my first conversation over the Internet in 1984 just after I bought my first modem and plugged it into my Mac. 
Let me pretend that I just stumbled upon this page in Facebook, or was invited by someone I maybe once knew. Maybe I just heard all of the buzz or saw the movie and decided to try it out. 
Pretend that I haven't spent years coming to the realization that all of the people I meet out here are only ghosts. 
Pretend that you and I are real and connected to something in the world. 
Pretend that something is going on in our lives that isn't trivial or merely a function of survival.
Pretend that there is something real that we are working on together.
Pretend that anything we say is of any importance to anyone.
Pretend that you are in Egypt, mobile phone in hand, or in Syria facing down tanks or someplace other than the Land of Rock and Roll and Obama, the Land of Dreams and Lady Gaga, the Land of Eternal Adolescence and Desperate Housewives.
Watch the Goddess returning in force rendering your view of politics almost ridiculous.
In the new world, image is the substance of everything.
Wake up or drown in fear. Embrace the dance or feel the explosive knife.
Revolutions only happen on the ground.
The business of America is business.
The Internet only serves the Hive Mind.
People in South Korea average 6 hours of Internet a day.
North and South, what''s the difference?
White people pray to Jesus, the God of their Race,
Christmas comes but once a year, starting in July when the holiday previews hit the theaters and the catalogs arrive in your mail.
I walk the line between Compassion and Contempt.
Prove to me that you aren't stupid.
We are a world wide web of cyborgs wanting to live forever.  
My friends (mostly) have become ghosts. 
They are 'out there' somewhere. I'm not at all certain if they are real.  
"If I don't 'Tweet' am I real?"
I felt myself vanishing among all the email petitions.
It got so I could hardly bring myself to read own emails.
I longed to fade back into the real world and somehow vanish from the virtual, for conversations, for flesh and blood.
I disconnected myself. I sat and looked at the wall.
A version of me exists somewhere in Second Life sitting in a virtual storage shed waiting for the 'real' me to return. It's likely to be waiting there forever.
We think we are alone, individuals, when actually we are a collection of everything around us, changing, responding, flowing, always becoming something else.
So, here I am again, pretending to be involved.
My questions to you are the same?
"Who are you? What do you think you are doing?
These times are dark, as dark as I've ever seen. Confusion is breeding monsters.
Out near the edges of things you can see an awful lot, and its hard to watch the train heading toward a cliff without some feelings of nagging guilt or responsibility.
I can wave my flag, tell you where I think things are going, pass along accounts of nightmare and hope. I can try to prove how smart or observant or prescient I am.
The world continues to dissolve and transform itself from ecology to technology. 
Perceptions hover and drift, one over the other like an ambient fog. Astral forms continually reshape themselves in response to real events. The integrity of the world is continually challenged by fallout from our dreams.
I feel like Buffalo Bill in a land of digital possibilities. A person who always turns away from the direction of crowds. 
Arriving early, I thought all of this meant freedom.
Tell me who you really are.
See you in the machine.

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