Thoughts on the internet, the Future, and Dinosaurs.
On cold, damp weeknights when I hear repetitive stomping somewhere between my bedroom window and the convenience store on the corner I imagine a giant of a man with unlaced boots marching toward some sad place. It is clear from his facebook profile picture that his eyes are glassy on his grey skin and his black hair is cut unevenly. His marching orders are known only by him. Each and every blue and white page has the same form. Decisions that are already made can suffice during this, the time we have.
Each time a person is forgotten we can set up a brand new profile that looks identical to the last one. That is what each refugee does. Years are spent marching from desert city to desert city, rebooting their profiles as they go so long as they survive the march from Darfur and the lock up at the end of the tunnel. The content of the internet provides a mirror to hold up to ourselves, more like a brain than a face, it allows us to know where we are going. Mostly we don’t care.
What is it about a marching order that is so embraceable? From a bird’s-eye-view the human capacity for kindness might have been ever-present once-upon-a-time, but at this very moment the atmosphere is so full with the grey of indifference. Indifference to incursions occurring directly in front of you and to the possibility that the next war might be a war or it might be the war: The war to start all wars. The path of least resistance demands that we take orders from human beings that we have never met before, like a waiter, waiting for marching orders.
The pragmatic cynic, when viewing the future with sharpened binoculars must eventually come to the same conclusion that utopian nerds have seen in the view screens of the starships that we ride. Freedom’s footprint is big enough for each and every collective to fit within. If it is not, it is probably a false print; a case of mistaken identity. Perhaps it was a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Self-determination is not equivalent to any state institution. It is a state of being. Liberalism demands freedom for the individual, which is essential, but as some sort of goal on its own it is cold. Jewish self-determination, the core of the collectivist ideology known as Zionism, demands equity for all human kind and exists in sync with socialist ideas and visions for the kind of utopia that ensures care, housing, and food for each and every member of the community who sit together celebrating the ancient harvest holiday with song, dance, and soda.
When I have the rare opportunity to sit in the cool grass on a hot night I imagine a space that is Jewish in essence, revolutionary in content, and collective in nature. Sometimes the image has robots and personal aircrafts flying through green and silver cityscapes and sometimes it is a green and blue landscape. It is always drawn in crayon, though, and the crawl of the clock on a Saturday can turn into a march at any moment.