Sunday, 23 March 2014

An Odyssey

What would the Ancient Greeks have made of dreams? These turbulent mash-ups of time and space, those spectral confrontations, the tumbling and sinking, the flying and the wading? Certainly the mystery of dreams, our subconscious experience, must be felt mirrored in the Cyclopes, the sirens, the rising of the dead in Homer's Odyssey, just as we might recognise Odysseus's marital bed as built around a tree, somehow earthed.
I said to Julie when I went out to Houston, I wanted it to be an Odyssey, a personal challenge, even if only for five days rather than the ten years Odysseus struggled to get home. Of course it was a physically comfortable ride all the way, but judging by my dreams it was not, not at all. During the day I realise how horrified I was inside, even in the bubble of security, but during the night it becomes a real nightmare.
It's not surprising, if you have to put your faith in various megastreams of information to get you around  the world, or even to breakfast, that you will give continuous coverage on CNN to the plight of M370, since on a daily basis, your computer at home plays up, usually at the precise moment when you need to print, or need to save, or need to transfer data, at some moment of urgency, you know it's going to fail. So it is no surprise that we might make a film like Gravity especially to play at 30,000 ft, and certainly no surprise that every TV drama will focus on juvenile hackers, threatening your inheritance.
It makes you wonder that those fully connected in the digital world, or those busy traversing it continually, are not suffering from a huge failure in imagination, that only the really dull could become truly global business people, the rest of us are cowering behind the sofa just as we used to during Dr Who.
Late capitalism is, of course, a total failure in the imagination, it is the equivalent of blinkers, shut your eyes and keep going, wish everybody a nice day, go out and make some more money. America runs on this creed. Frack the world. However it would be better perhaps that we took some lessons from the Ancient world, and, like Achilles for a large portion of the Illiad, just sat on the beach under our boats (our 777s) and wondered just what the hell we were doing and what the correct thing to do might be.

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