Saturday, August 08, 2009

The World Goes On and Away

We're more seasonal at the moment then any time I remember since school. August should be a full stop, yet I'm still working away, for another week. Yet everyone's shutting up shop, heading off. That's the thing with our current "always available" status. Maybe, Thursday's Twitter failure, like when Google made the whole internet "unavailable", is a reminder of the limits of these new tools. And, yes, since we don't actually pay for these services, perhaps the business models will have to come along that ensure these vital channels stay open. They are, of course, just built on the internet itself, and just as the Victorian house stays up without foundations, maybe these will as well, or, some new internet building regulations will come into place which means that we could more easily switch from Twitter to Twitter2 or whatever. My browser of choice, Firefox, is proving a little temperamental as well, and again its a free product for which I've never paid a penny. I don't think Rupert Murdoch will be able to successfully charge for content (The Sun? The Times? The Sunday Times? News of the World? They seem properties that are all so built into the physical world, with the websites only as add-ons, that a radical (and expensive) investment programme would be needed to even get them up to the level of the Guardian) yet maybe we'll all be willing to pay for mobile services/clients etc. in return for some service guarantees. I can see a whole business being built around portability of data/service for freelancers for instance. Someone more technical than me just needs to draw the diagram.

Yet we seem overly frantic still. There was yet another digital event (TedX) in Liverpool last week. It seems that the fast-moving world of technology requires this constant reiteration. It's perhaps the same for art as well; there's a brief sojourn whilst we take breath, but half of the artistic world will be heading up to Edinburgh, as players or audience, the other half, probably sat on the beach planning their September consumptions. It's why, in certain areas at least, the recession seems to have had a limited effect. The speed of modern life is like the replicating soldiers in that Dr. Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter", with, on the one hand, generations passing in a blink, and - on the other - a slowness (say, to the passing of the baton between generations), that seems increasingly culpable. Speed on the one hand, and delay and resistance on the other. It is a disastrous combination.

I'm half way through Helen Carr's "Verse Revolutionaries" and hardly half a dozen "imagist"-like poems have yet been written. The only incomparably great poem that Pound has yet written is his remarkable take on the Anglo-Saxon "The Seafarer." Yet things will speed up, artistic revolution, when it happens, being measured in days, weeks and months, not years and decades.

All thoughts of the moment, and I need to find time to relax and get away, contemplating a trip to Norfolk/Suffolk next week, since I'm already down in London; and at the same time, a desire not to let the year's most languid month slip away unheralded. I had a dense, doleful dream last night which seemed to be a little bit of a warning to get my house in order. Like the world, I've got the everyday actions, as well as the longer term plans. What get's broken is something in the middle.

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