Thursday, 21 March 2013

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES



I found myself at lunchtime watching a fundamentalist preacher on YouTube tie himself in knots trying to answer a sixth-grader's questions on how Noah's Ark could be literally true, given the existence of Mount Everest (the kid's point was that if all the animals were destroyed in the flood, then the floodwaters would have had to have reached the tips of Everest where there were mountain goats) when it dawned on me: I should be doing something else with my time. I mean, if a religion struggles to cope with the silliest of points from a 12-year-old, why on Earth was I wasting my lunch break on it, when there is so much better stuff out there. (Like goats sounding like humans? - ed.)

Like Spike Japan. Only Spike-san has thrown in the virtual towel, darkly hinting at an Orwellian forces (skip to the bottom of this post) snooping on our every move by our traceable online habits and waxing lyrical about the good old analogue days, when writers used to write for money. Well, I hope he writes a good old fashioned paper and ink book with his observations, I'll buy a copy and then we can both be happy. It's easier than ever now with the internet and print on demand, btw. But maybe I'm missing the point.

I'd like to believe there is a happy medium between the infantile optimism of the internet #lifegasm futurists (skewered right here) and the baby-killing drones of that film with Harrison Ford or Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves or somebody. I suspect that the internet is neutral, neither a force for goat  or Evel Knieval.

Anyway, somewhere along the line I came close to making a decision: the time is nigh to stand up and be counted. Er, that is, to emerge from the anonymity of the internet trolls and reveal my identity. The train of thought goes something like this: if the powers that be are watching our every move then they know who Our Man in Abiko is anyway, and always have. Alternatively, if they don't care, then why should I? Or as FDR's adviser (and not the good Dr Seuss) said:

Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.

Just got to clear it with the wife first, who might not mind, but certainly does matter. Like all of my best decisions, I haven't thought it through, but I'm not such an egotist as to assume anyone cares all that much. Also, I have a book of essays that is just about ready to release and then I could call it "The Last of the Abikans" then rather than the rather more tepid "Last Tango in Tokyo" that is the working title.

Anyway, don't expect any plumes of white smoke over the Abikan parish just yet, but there may be a new Papa in town soon.

2 comments:

Jan Moren said...

In a sense nobody cares who we are. And as people continue to live their lives online, the tolerance for behaviour will continue to increase. Nobody will care if they find your intemperate rant against cheese from ten years ago.

At the same time, it will look more and more suspicious to have no online life to find. With nothing online — or a sparse, carefully pruned zen garden of a presence — it just looks like you're hiding a _very_ seedy alternate existence instead.

Our Man in Abiko said...

Much like it used to look suspect to have a web only business, now it looks suspect if you only do biz offline. Is it too late to buy shares in PayPal?