Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Hiding in a Mountain

"On the entry for the 8th of March, on his Tumblr feed, Momus reproduces his article about comebacks. He argues there against comebacks – that one should simply never go away. It’s an interesting read, but, for myself, I think ‘going away’, or “hiding in a mountain”, as Momus calls it, is essential. Partly, this is probably, anyway, something that is different between making music or films, and writing books. Books are generally written in solitude and read in solitude – a message in a bottle from one solitude to another.
I also think, however, there is a general value in the whole “hiding in a mountain” thing, and a value that is even perhaps more important now than it has been for some time.
You might also call “hiding in a mountain”, “going offline”. The internet, among many things, is a kind of consensus machine – you can see this, for instance, in the feature of the ‘like’ button on Facebook. This aspect of the internet is like a non-stop talent show, the kind with a ‘clap-o-meter’, where the applause is measured second by second, and if your tap-dancing lets up in entertainment value for a moment, you are, as they say ‘nowhere’. There’s a kind of closed circuit that is created by this – a feedback loop, I think it might be called. And I don’t think that’s conducive to originality, to innovation, to deep reflection, to genuine morality. Recently, when I think of the internet, various ominous analogies come to mind. One of them is the feast that Vlad Tepes laid on for the poor and sick in Targoviste. They were ushered into a great banquet hall, and the doors were bolted behind them, and then the hall was set on fire. I suspect that we are being encouraged to invest everything – our hopes, our way of life, our souls, if we still believe in them – in technologies that will ultimately be disastrous. At the very least, I want to keep a little back. And to that end, and other ends, I intend to spend some time hiding in the abovementioned mountain."

No comments :

Post a Comment