Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Silly hurricane season

Well my short break in Ireland is over, but for all manner of reasons it failed to contain nearly as much cliff-top tranquility as I'd hoped.

There's always next time.

Mind you, with the exception of a few hours of Irish talk-radio (which was excellent) I managed to completely avoid the media for the best part of a week. That alone is tranquility of a sort. And it only took the briefest of glances at the world headlines upon my return to tell me that a few hours of local talk-radio per week is a far saner media-lens through which to view the world.

The global media covers the habits of Kate Moss with disarming thoroughness

... and the decision of the editors is final.

There's more writing being done about the fact that a supermodel is a bit of a cokehead, than is being done about Sony slashing it's workforce by 10,000; and about the extradition of one of the failed London bombers; and about a new study on tobacco; and about a copyright dispute with potentially massive repercussions; combined.

To repeat: A supermodel is taking cocaine.

I could easily add to the sorry clamour over this story of staggering obviousness. My tactic naturally, would be to get all meta about it. Justify my own involvement in the spectacle with claims of objectivity. Why not delve into that pop-psychoanalytical goldmine, get all riled-up about mediation and use a phrase like "the inevitability of self-destruction within a fundamentally mediated personality"? I might even get to cite Irigaray...
The use, consumption, and circulation of the sexualised bodies [of women] underwrite the organisation and the reproduction of the social order, in which they have never taken part as 'subjects'.
- Luce Irigaray
The Power of Discourse and the Subordination of the Feminine
And it's not often you get an opportunity to do that.

But while I find the whole thing eerie in scale, I find the actual details of supermodel drug-binges to be like most cokeheads... tedious and a bit crap. So onto something a tad more important

It was very strange to arrive back from a week or so of media-blackout and discover that the US Gulf Coast was about to be hit by a hurricane even more powerful than Katrina. I'm not going to bang on about global warming and the possibilities that these events may be becoming more severe as a result of human activity. But I would say this... even if we're not going to do anything about it (as Tony Blair pointed out when he said "if we put forward, as a solution to climate change, something which involves drastic cuts in growth or standards of living, it matters not how justified it is, it simply won’t be agreed to"), we're complete idiots if we don't at least take onboard the very real possibility that this is occurring and start factoring it into our planning.

As an example: New Orleans should not be rebuilt.

Imagine the psychological significance of a live televised speech by Dubya Bush announcing that as great a land as America is, even we must accept the limits of nature's bounty and help protect that which has been given into our care by God. The natural world is ever-changing. Some say this change is being wrought by human hands. Others disagree. One thing we all agree upon however is that a change is indeed underway. The resources to reclaim, rebuild and then protect New Orleans on an ongoing basis can be far better spent by constructing new housing for the inhabitants elsewhere and recompensing those who have lost their livelihoods. We can no longer guarantee levees against ever more powerful storms, so it makes little sense to expend time and resources building homes in the shadows of those levees...

Hell, the speech practically writes itself!

Why don't I think it'll be delivered though? While I was away, the news that the London bombers carried out a so-called self-styled "dry run" before they actually committed the horrific murders also broke. It's a story with all the obviousness of "Supermodel indulges in recreational drug use" and apparently worthy of almost as much coverage.

My particular fascination, however, is with "anti-terrorist police chief Peter Clarke" and his use of language. He explains that the idea of "conducting a reconnaissance" is "part of terrorist mythology". What a curious choice of words. And I can't make up my mind whether it's predominantly "curious strange" or "curious sinister". With evil ideologies and terrorist mythologies abounding, you just can't be too careful these days.


Anonymous Matt said...

"part of terrorist mythology"

Right, so, that's a use of the word "mythology" in a sense not normally seen, given that my dictionary gives me:

myth n. ... 3) A fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of an ideology.

I suppose Clarke's usage is perhaps to similar to: "It's part of hill-walking mythology that rain makes you wet", or "It's part of religious mythology that the Pope is indeed a Catholic".

23/9/05 11:33  
Blogger L said...

MY GOD! It takes forever to get this comment thing to work lately!

and now I've forgotten what I was going to say!

5/10/05 23:52  

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