The Null Device
And here are some more photos of yesterday's Fringe parade. Ta, Richard.
An Argentine man has tied himself to his sheep, in protest against systematic discrimination by landlords who won't let him keep the sheep in a flat. The man, who had moved from the country to Buenos Aires, is also carrying a sign declaring "down with the discrimination" to highlight his cause.
"I don't really see why I shouldn't be allowed to live with my sheep, as I did for all of my life. She's very tranquil, the ideal companion to share a flat," he said.
Read: Bruce Sterling on the end of the Belle Epoque: Very much worth a read.
You have likely already seen a lot of earnest commentary consigning the period 1989-2001 to history. We are suddenly in a turbulent and violent time, and in a burst of harsh martial virtue, our immediate past is being written off as squalid, and overindulged, and pampered, and fatally innocent, and possibly somewhat effeminate. This is exactly what happened the last time a Belle Epoque collapsed.
The Net looks bad. The status quo ante is not going to cut it. Unless I miss my guess, the Net will be moving away from the flaky amateurism and sordid tragedy-of-the- commons that was its pride and joy, right past that totally imaginary commercial nirvana, and straight into a paramilitarized, ARPANET-friendly, Nervous System of the Coalition phase. We Viridians may be rather squeezed for room and oxygen in there.
Money, toys, and time may get tighter. We Viridians will no longer look much like What Happens Next (because we're not), and our abiding interests are likely to look a bit flaky and antiquarian for a while, like some guy leafing through Beardsley's YELLOW BOOK as the zeppelins hum above the searchlights.
Like Where's Wally, only much more violent: Looks like Osama Bin Liner has buggered off, and may not even be in 'Stan. Which may be just as well, judging by this article on the pitfalls of war in Afghanistan, from Soviet veterans:
"When I hear people talk about terrorist 'bases' I have to laugh," said Vyacheslav Izmailov, who commanded a battalion in Afghanistan. "Terrorists don't sit in bases waiting for bombs to drop. They live in houses. They live with families. . . . If America begins to drop bombs, all they will do is convince the anti-Taliban population that the United States is their enemy."
The weekend was quite relaxing; Saturday was a beautiful spring day, with a gorgeous sunset, the sky a riot of colour (it's amazing what can be done with some water vapour); and Sunday was the Fringe street party in Brunswick Street. Spending the weekend offline, one can almost forget about the bad things happening in the world outside; but to no avail, when you log in, the rest of the world is still there, and still going to hell. And so continues my grim duty as recorder of the apocalypse...