Saturday, 4 May 2013

Bus note 52

        After Warley Woods
the girl sat up back
closes her phone.
        Wash of tears
as if you (you/I)
could dip a hand
into her face:
a bruised pool.
Look about your person
for some piece of pity.
        Now. Now.
        Nothing there.


  1. Never having owned a mobile phone, I wouldn't really know about this, but our initial reaction, here, to this, is summed up in the quite reasonable sentence I have just now heard, not from a slab of plastic which can be snapped open and shut at will, but from another flesh and blood person:

    "That's the good thing about land lines, at least they're private, you have to wait till you get home."

  2. This is right. That there's no corner of the world where you're on your own is a horrible thought.

  3. Quite apart from the implications concerning the decline of the species which must be drawn from the fact that no one can live without continuously pouring their heads, in the form of pointless chatter, into those insidious plastic slabs, there is the further issue of the increasing encouragement of this phenomenon by the corporate shilling of the global-communication megafirms... and too the question of whether indeed all these putatively "private" (dream on!) communications do not serve a larger purpose: ensuring that "surveillance", that trillion-eyed watchdog of the New State, become nothing less than ubiquitous and total.

    The practical reality of this is even more horrible than the thought.

  4. Well, here one doesn't need to be anything so grand as a protestor or union leader to be monitored and have every heartbeat logged, in perpetuity.

    And indeed, contra the wizard adept snooping practised in the teleplay versions, there isn't even the attempt to mask the electronic surveillance. It's right there on the stats. Data stored for eternity, or until it's found useful to employ it to your detriment.

    Every day it's proving truer that the war against "freedom" and its stepchild "privacy" was won decisively in a single battle twelve years ago, though who staged it and by what means will only be known a long time from now, if ever.

    Until then, everybody is afraid to know. And too, they've got another call incoming.

  5. A noiseless bruised pool....
    Here in the metro it is forbidden to talk on the phone. A good thing. Imagine if everyone started having conversations at the same time. One would go crazy. Instead they just silently text and play games or watch TV, all at the same time. Silently.

  6. That silence is very strange. It happens often on the tube in London without any regulations in place. Strangers closer than they ever should be, every inch of will pressing the others to imagined non-personhood.

    One thing has just struck me. On the bus, almost everyone is facing the same way. I know I heard the end of the girl's conversation. I would have had to turn around, look at her and then write. The absence of pity recorded here unsettles me.