While transphobes got more hateful, I became more freckly
Written weeks after the conference Transgender: Intersectional/International
There's nothing good to say, even the films I enjoyed watching this past week, Midsommar and Apollo 11, I've lost the Sunday will to write. Perhaps Brexit Britain will become like the village cult in Midsommar, burning living effigies while everyone's on drugs. Maybe the E.U. is the Apollo space project. Those Apollo words: We come in peace, for all Mankind. The E.U. was built on the ruins of a devastated post-war Europe. Let's build something beautiful together. Let's remember what's important, come together, and build.
I walked in sunshine this past week and got freckly. In the evenings, I sometimes made the mistake of looking on my twitter feed and then got sad. The sadness went away, the freckles stayed. I've decided to stay away from Twitter for a while, just a decade or two. Walking in the sun leaves a much healthier legacy.
I increasingly don't want to look at emails or twitter. I would love to get in a car and drive far away. These are strange sentiments for a cold cyborg. Can cyborgs have freckles? Do they feel the warmth of the sun against their skin? Do cyborgs want to climb into a car and head off far away? I wonder if cyborgs look at social media with indifference. We'll know a cyborg's truly alive when it looks up from social media and wants to kill itself.
I've been reading about cyberpunk, the genre but also the philosophy that spawned from it (or did the philosophy spawn the genre, I'm not sure). For the uninitiated, cyberpunk includes productions like Blade Runner, the anime film Ghost in the Shell, and The Matrix, dealing with imaginings about clones, cyborgs, cyberspace and virtual reality. As someone running away from social media like Twitter, I have developed feelings about what the technology does to people. Kevin Robins says we submerge ourselves on social media and the Internet as if we could simply transcend the frustrating and disappointing imperfection of the here and now. Robins goes on to say that the Techno-community is an anti-political ideal, because a social system is only viable if it can create a certain disorder, if it can admit a certain level of uncertainty, if it can tolerate a certain level of fear. I think, based on recent experience, that I agree. I want to live in a world where people can disagree with each other and more importantly get things wrong, as long as it's respectful. I'm not talking tolerating Trump, Farage, or Boris. But to each other, strangers in a room, on a street, a train platform maybe. Of course this privileges those already occupying positions of power and normality, but there's something exhausting about walking on eggshells, suffering a constant paranoia you might say or do the wrong thing and be accused of bad intentions. This isn't to say that we're not all capable of growth and evolution, but as a teacher, I believe the first rule of pedagogy is that people only learn when they've made mistakes.
Anyway, last night I lay on my bed reading, while listening to bootlegs of Pink Floyd at their late-sixties, early-seventies peak. Their words, Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you, and what you see is me. With the world seemingly falling apart around me in a love affair with enmity and selfishness, and me staying away from social media and too much news, it's like I'm in a trance, in a cosmic, pastoral Pink Floyd song, startle me and I might just disappear.