Instead I am in a library reading drivel:
Dear Bill Gates,
I swam past your dream house the other day, but didn’t stop to knock. Frankly, your
underwater sensors had me worried. I would have liked to take a look at Winslow Homer’s
Lost on the Grand Banks. It’s a great painting, but, speaking as a friend and fellow
citizen, at $30 million you paid too much.
HIGHEST PRICE EVER PAID FOR AN AMERICAN PAINTING!!!
So why are you so interested in a picture of two poor lost dory fishermen, momentarily
high on a swell, peering into a wall of fog? They are about as high as they’re ever going to be,
unless the sea gets uglier. They are going to die, you know, and it won’t be a pretty death.
And as for you, Bill, when you’re on the Net, are you lost? Or found?
And the rest of us—lost or found—are we on it, or in it?
This is a letter Allan Sekula sent to Bill Gates. I have no idea why. It’s from a seemingly drug-addled essay which supposedly relates to ‘Photography and the Internet’. I didn’t have the strength. I made it a fifth of the way through this sort of thing:
In an age that denies the very existence of society, to insist on the scandal of the world’s increasingly grotesque “connectedness,” the hidden merciless grinding away beneath the slick superficial liquidity of markets, is akin to putting oneself in the position of the ocean swimmer, timing one’s strokes to the swell, turning one’s submerged ear with every breath to the deep rumble of stones rolling on the bottom far below. To insist on the social is simply to practice purposeful immersion.
The resort to tear gas serves not only to “control the crowd,” that is, to prevent the radical redefinition of the use-value of city streets, but also to produce through chemical means the exaggerated liquid symptoms of human empathy and grief. This chemically induced parody of extreme human emotion is in itself an assertion of robotic power. The harsh discipline of tears, mucus, sudden asthma leads the citizenry back to the dry regimen of the everyday. Only the markets are allowed to be fluid.
before giving up. I admit this is a failure. Maybe the next section says ‘hey, for those of you still reading, here is the juicy info; what a lark!’. Maybe it’s just beyond me. Maybe refusing to insight-mine garbled guff means I’m missing deep thoughts. I think it’s worth the risk.
At some point I will stop complaining about bullshit reading material. Maybe in a couple of years.