Title: Now For Your Feature Presentation
Subtext: Whatever they are, I hope you have popcorn.
Author:
Date: 01 Nov 18 (Thursday in the PM)
Copyright:
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 19
Revisions: 19
Publicity: Workshop
Downfeed:

It’s 10 o’clock, or maybe some other time if the curfew is different there. Do you know where your phone is?

Yes. You do.

Because not too many things inspire as much panic when you realize they’re unaccounted for as your child, your body parts, or your phone. There’s a heart murmur in those initial seconds of a kind of heightened awareness reserved for actual emergencies.

I don’t mean you don’t know if it’s in the kitchen or the bathroom. I mean after you checked all those places, did the carseat thing too (nearly creating actual damage to your neck or wrist with that seat), and drove to some places around town. After all that. You’re back to the start of it all now. It’s decision time. Or maybe not. Maybe you put this off and see what it’s like for a day.

Maybe you make it through that first day, and the next, and the next. It’s a new level of seeing what it’s like.

Unplugged. Untethered. Disconnected. Unbatteried. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is that you know what’s coming.

You’ve heard about it, this thing, being more present. But now you’re doing it. That heightened sense of where your arms, legs, nose, spleen, and ligaments are, and that they’re all intact? You feel like you could report on it. You also like it. After a few days, that feeling seems to include objects around you too. The room you’re in feels like it’s telling you something. You feel less detached from objects of your vision, like a radiator or a chair, which seem to communicate with your ears and some sense of balance you have too. Are you matching frequencies with the radiator because you’re paying attention to it like it’s your son when you don’t have your cell phone?

Dormant ways of knowing emerge.

On a drive one day, you wonder what else is going to come back — what else you stopped noticing back when the pixelating glow presented strictly to vision suppressed feelings that held you and your world together in a more balanced way, back before you pulled the technology over your own eyes. So you go sit down and wait for it all. Because you know it’s coming.

Sitting, maybe it’s evening and you’ve got time, enough days later to have stopped making a big deal about the number of days or even weeks, you feel yourself square at the center of this theater of the mind. And that space gradually becomes more available to your senses than it seemed when you first entered. The seat you took when you entered? You look down, and you are the seat. And then it’s coming attractions. They foreshadow what’s going to come up later, so pay attention, because you can turn back and leave if you want. You can go get that new phone and forget all this. Are your coming attractions comedies? Love stories? Fantasies? Genre-blurring docu-somethings? Straight up horrors? All of the above?

Revisions

Horse » Authorship
Horse » 3:00 PM 02 Feb 19
Horse » 2:29 PM 02 Feb 19
Horse » 2:19 PM 02 Feb 19
Horse » 7:54 PM 30 Jan 19
Horse » 12:36 PM 10 Nov 18
Elk » 10:25 PM 08 Nov 18
Horse » 4:39 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 4:33 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 4:27 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 4:17 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 4:00 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 3:56 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 3:35 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 2:57 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 2:56 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 2:54 PM 01 Nov 18
Horse » 12:43 PM 01 Nov 18

The Thread (19)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear

  2. I won’t tarry on the banks for much longer. Them eyes are coming, or at least just one is.

    Also, he should have gone with the Mississippi, being a Missouri man and all. I wonder if Coolio is an Eliot man. I bet.

  3. Sorry, I was in the bathroom. What did I miss?

  4. @horse — I’d suggest making the loss of phone topic far less opaque. It’s so ripe and so loaded, the more transparent the better.

    Other than that, what the hell are you guys talking about?

  5. There are many things to like here, but can we stop talking about technology? It’s like the amphibians lamenting their breathing air.

  6. We’re not there yet though, Bear. Besides, there are still fish.

    I wonder if at some point before the amphibious age, a fish felt like air was just around the corner. That’s a deep thought.

  7. Seems like a pseudo-deep discussion, all this talk about technology. Having a hard time caring about it.

  8. My eighth grade soccer coach used to call that a cop out. Besides, I wrote “deep” purely for the word play. Also, plenty of discussions in the land. What happens when we don’t pick up a phone for a week? I want that discussion earmarked at the NIH, NEA, …RL.

  9. Maybe. But still.

  10. Not saying I don’t like the piece, Horse. Unbatteried is one of my favorite new things to think about.

  11. Nostalgia for a better time and misgivings about what’s become of us is a vital and ancient component of the human condition. The truth of course is that it’s been a downhill slide ever since Big Radio put a talking box in each of our living rooms. Now we have no choice but to know when a hurricane’s on the way.

  12. All this talk about the human condition, too. Can’t we discuss more important matters?

  13. Discuss comes from the Latin to shake apart, so let’s talk about static cling. Did it exist before automatic dryers or the practice of rubbing a balloon on one’s head? Now that’s technology.

  14. Nostalgia comes from Greek and means home-ache. It represents a longing for where one hangs one’s proverbial hat. When that hat gets wet, one might use a dryer. That’s how static was invented.

  15. I prefer word origins to definitions. Discourse (related to discuss) and nostalgia both came up last week for me.

    Remember standing in a doorway pushing your arms against the sides, and you step out and your arms raise? Or try clapping hard three times (or a hundred) and then feel the palms tingling after. You just notice some weird things when you do a tech detox. I meant to write about that. It’s not what it’s like to be distracted. It’s what it’s like to not be after you have been for a while. A long while. The piece is meant as a kind of “turn on, tune in, drop out” reflection. Though I didn’t think about Leary going in, look how relevant (not that it was so long ago). Timothy Leary via Wikipedia:

    “‘Turn on’ meant go within to activate your neural and genetic equipment. Become sensitive to the many and various levels of consciousness and the specific triggers that engage them. Drugs were one way to accomplish this end. ‘Tune in’ meant interact harmoniously with the world around you—externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. ‘Drop out’ suggested an active, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. ‘Drop Out’ meant self-reliance, a discovery of one’s singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change. Unhappily my explanations of this sequence of personal development were often misinterpreted to mean ‘Get stoned’ and abandon all constructive activity.”

  16. I’m also going to beg everyone in this parlor of a thread to find a corner somewhere and read the last five pages (The Hero Today), if not the last nine pages (The Function of Myth, Cult and Meditation included) of this.

  17. I like Campbell more and more all the time. Admittedly, I don’t usually read him critically. There’s a strong ethos in his work. Maybe it’s his voluminous, elaborate references, and his knack for blending one into the other. And I almost solely read him late at night in bed just before whatever I think I am completely vanishes, or maybe just when it feels like it’s about to. I don’t know if I’m bringing that to the book at that time or if it actually reads well to the unconscious. I just can’t seem to disagree with his insistence that we go inside and see what’s there. Ha! At this point, it would be enough to just consider what’s happening when we’re not checking our fill-in-the-blank, which is really important we do. Kinda the problem there. Never mind conscious! Campbell:

    And this is not a work that consciousness itself can achieve. Consciousness can no more invent, or even predict, an effective symbol than foretell or control tonight’s dream. The whole thing is being worked out on another level, through what is bound to be a long and very frightening process, not only in the depths of every living psyche in the modern world, but also on those titanic battlefields into which the whole planet has lately been converted.

  18. Note has lately been converted. The once and future modern-world-gripe.

  19. Gripe? As in pain in the bowels? Don’t know about it.

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