The Null Device
A beautiful and evocative piece of writing from Suw Charman about the subjective psychogeography of a city (in her case, London):
London is not a city. It's not a place. Not anymore. It's a mosaic of memories, as scattered through time as they are over the landscape. Five years of inhabitation followed by another five of constant visitation. Experience layered upon experience like thick coats of paint on old walls. Chip at it, pick at it, see what colour lies underneath.
Suddenly, a memory of the fish I saw on the pavement in Rotherhithe. There it was, a huge fish, still twitching, gasping, wanting water. It sat on the pavement in it's own little puddle of water in the middle of a hot summer's day, just yards from the Thames. There was no one in sight. When I come out of the corner shop, it's gone. Just a damp patch to show it was ever there. But still no one around.
I wonder if I'll remember that when I am old. I wonder how far into the future my past stretches. How much that is gone forever will be here forever? Where does my past end?
Star Trek paraphernalia has so routinely been found at the homes of the pedophiles they've arrested that it has become a gruesome joke in the squad room. (On the wall, there is a Star Trek poster with the detectives' faces replacing those of the crew members).Several theories are given, including Captain Kirk's inability to hold down adult romantic relationships, a pervasive message that women are toxic (which, presumably, would strike a chord with men rejecting adult heterosexual relationships; incidentally, does Star Trek have a significant gay following?), and "bad" impulses being attributed to external forces (a cop-out familiar to child molesters). But most controversial could be the claim that Star Trek's very utopian basis is fundamentally inclined towards appealing to paedophiles:
In perversion, there is an attempt to obliterate any distinctions that provoke unconscious anxiety. First and foremost, this entails a denial of the difference between the sexes and the difference between the generations. Pedophiles are, at the very least, attempting to deny the difference between the generations. The utopian fantasy here is to normalize sex between adults and children.
According to Dr. Peter Mezan, a psychoanalyst in New York City, "There is an impulse that is common to perversion and to utopian thinking. The wish is to create a world in which differences make no difference. The great utopian thinkers have been immensely inspiring, but there is a reason that utopian communities have never worked out. In the name of equality of every sort and in the attempt to eliminate the tensions that normally divide us, they propose to create a marvelously unnatural world without the usual boundaries. But then it gets all fucked up."
Think of Michael Jackson. He has attempted to eradicate just about every sexual, generational, and racial difference -- and to construct an alternate utopian reality in Neverland. While there is certainly a futuristic quality to his clothing and mask-like facial features, it is unclear whether he watches Star Trek or just looks as if he does.If the utopianism-paedophilia connection holds true, I wonder how many arrested paedophiles are pacifists, anarchists, libertarians, Esperantists or Momus-style emotional communists.