What is unique about the ‘I’ hides itself in what is unimaginable about a person. All we are able to imagine is what makes everyone like everyone else, what people have in common.
I haven’t written here for a while, mainly because I felt like I didn’t really have much to write about. The ideal seems to be generate new posts at least weekly; but how likely is it that something variable will come up in an average week? The only real variability is inside my head which is cool to talk about in my diary and all but doesn’t feel appropriate for here.
So I now have a little more real-world experience to inflate. I went to Melbourne recently with my family and for the first time ever; I fell in wholesome love with the locale which we stayed in for a week.
This (pretty terrible) photo was the awesome view outside a small apartment by St Kilda’s Beach. The place itself had the nifty designs of youthful ergonomics and sly fashion. The kitchen pantry was labeled ‘eat.’ There was various sketches of lavished women like Sophia Loren. Etc. But the view from the windows was really something totalistic. It was a microcosm of life I couldn’t help being a part of – the small figures constantly whizzing around the skateboard park, people walking their dogs/kids on the shoreline in early mornings + afternoons in obvious rapture, joggers and couples on the esplanade, the golden halos of light over the sea and lighthouse and distant ships.. Reminded me of a computer game in a way, being able to see such panoptic views and notice people and activities in detail. Half the time I stayed inside to watch, building strong impressions of a new comfort zone, a new home.
The other set of impressions was similarly engrossing. Several nights, we walked on the trailside of the esplanade. The first time we saw stormy waters and imposingly dark skies and pounding winds making the lights out at sea blink frantically The second night was a more classical, mysterious experience with a crescent moon in a purple sky hanging over the distant city. The last night we went walking felt like an elegy, a totally calm sea and stable glowing lights bidding us a farewell. The contrast/flipside to this was the daytime esplanade – friendly passerby’s speaking an assortment of European languages, happy and relaxed people, windsurfing and sailing everywhere, palm trees, cafes with abundances of icecream, a lot of piers and ships. St Kilda’s became a place I considered part of my ‘poetic memory’. Not just the traveler’s escapist vision of puzzle pieces of total sensory comfort but a full experience of a down-to-earth, piquant kind of place and lifestyle. I was happy staying in its zone and not venturing out to the city much, and very sad when we eventually left. I still don’t know if I buy into the idea of travel as a life-transforming experience yet I really enjoyed constructing a new spiritual home.
“This must be Thursday,” said Arthur musing to himself, sinking low over his beer. “I never could get the hang of Thursdays.”
Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (one of the funniest books/series ever)
My ongoing marathon of Joss Whedon’s show ‘Dollhouse’ has been a thought-provoking experience. Just finished S1! The show is not as well executed as it could be, Eliza Dushku (Echo/Caroline) doesn’t show the charisma or tonalities of a leading actress, and the episodes are erratic to say the least…but the concepts are pretty damn interesting.
The Season 1 finale superficially presents all its characters as emotionally affective with a fitting background track. Typically, this is meant to evoke the viewers’ sympathies, but all it does is show moral greyness. Having finally penetrated the agency, Paul Ballard is shown to have no particular moral qualm with it. He is actually quite comfortable operating within the parameters set by head honcho Adele and therefore becomes tacitly complicit in the Dollhouse’s general ethos of objectifying and commoditizing people to an extreme extent. It seems half of his struggle was getting Caroline; the victimized, help-seeking and vivacious girl he’d been fixating on. And, interestingly, the other half was in a way a satisfaction of his ego – proving the dollhouse exists and either subjugating/being formally recognized as equal by its agents. The latter which he got.
It is repulsive, in a way, but it’s all topical to the show’s larger commentary about people’s various fantasies and how they seek or fulfil them, whether through hiring dolls or going through their own means like Paul. Fantasy is not just a particular emotional entity, either, it’s a form of currency, a trade that seems to comply with a lot of business exchanges. People can (mostly) choose to sign five-year contracts to be dolls. Alternatively, they can be punished and effectively removed through the brain-jelly maker of ‘the attic’ – easy to equate this with defunct or demoted employees. The employees of the Dollhouse themselves– notably Topher, Langton and Adele – are perfectly morally comfortable with using the dolls on occasions to satisfy their own needs. They use them directly through particular imprints or indirectly; through fastidious and self-satisfied little gestures and comments towards the dolls validating them as good, though child-like customers. To them it’s sort of a perk of their jobs as well as an emotional reward. This discourse can be seen as being built up throughout the season as underlying the weekly plots, the slightly stultified characters and the ‘main-concept’ execution. It’s really the thing that draws you in – the concept of such an organization; a sci-fi-tropic agglomeration of all the futuristic visions of how people can participate in the role exploitation of the market through technology…without the full brunt of doomsday prophecies. The viewers are largely left to project their own moral totalizations. Season 2 here we friggin go!