It has rained an awful lot. The chook run is an unpleasant smelling swamp; the gravel-eating monster has risen from the depths so that it is becoming tenuous to get the car from garage to street; leather articles go mouldy, but at least the roof is holding out. In the past, a week of violent weather would be followed by a trinity of beautiful days, but this time, divine justice is absent – the squalls keep blowing in and it can feel as if the planet has had enough of us. The Middle East is so hot you can fry an egg on the footpath. The forest fires in California have a new psychotic energy. There is a phenomenon where people still at home experience home-sickness because their home is becoming uninhabitable.
But this morning there is a brief respite which tempts me into the bush, to climb the hill and take the track to the old mine site, to savour the intimacy and intricacy of the land, to see where bushes have fallen and new trees are growing with a virgin colour which sparkles. Mud and grace.
But as I traverse the ridge I think how senseless it would be to have my phone out searching for Pokemon. Unlikely that Google would find this particular spot anyway. Probably unlikely to find Pokemon in Kiribati or Gaza. Some places are safe.
I read an essay which talked of the digital penetration of our physical world that is occurring – different from the creating of a digital world which we then watch. This is digital aspects physically invading the everyday. As with all of these tech developments, the military has been the catalyst – perfect training to digitally place the enemy in a real landscape. It is a phenomenon controlled by monopolies: Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft. Monopolies are the main characteristic of the digital world. Forget about competition. If something new pops up it will be bought. Silicon Valley start ups are largely a con, associated with outlandish developments like Bangladeshi click farms: the poor and sinking are paid a pittance to spend all day clicking on websites which can then display the number of visits they’ve received in order to attract investors.
I prefer rain and mud to that madness.
Not a great gift to our kids though: a real world that is becoming toxic penetrated by toxic digital colonisers controlled by monopolies.
But this morning there’s snow on the Paparoa, the weka seem happy enough, I can go and get a trailer load of gravel for the drive and the hens can be let out.
Roll on the revolution.