Saturday, March 16, 2019
Serial killer's basement
I used to think that the large black obelisk in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 was a darkened cinema screen, that being the popular explanation with those in the know. Now I think it's a mobile phone, a disproportionately smooth lump of black plastic and electronic trickery that somehow controls humans and, as in the movie, steps in at the most convenient time to register and signify a change. It marks each evolutionary step, usually with a plaintive notification "ting!" sound being heard nearby. Anyway, I'm suffering from new phone syndrome today. The new one, complete with an unpronounceable Chinese name is pictured above...a large black screen and as anonymous as modern life allows. Like some threatening friend it sits there, summoning up those psychic spies, with their 24 hour malevolent observations and note taking or just listening quietly, which is the more sinister option ... like it's brooding stablemate Alexia. Phones are the new bullies in the 'hood.
Perhaps it was boredom or desperation, I don't know but I stumbled from the rain into the phone shop yesterday, maybe in search of human contact and rather than go on line and do it with few "simple" clicks and comments, I began the phone contract renewal dialogue in real life. This was unprecedented and uncomfortable but speedy. Nothing was spectacular, all the phones look the same to the uninitiated but the shop guy knew their relative ages, capacities and weaknesses. He also knew which one he had to push this week to meet whatever sales target was looming. And so it was that my new phone and I came together, no romance, no love, just an cold sales option. Call me Mr Putty. I walked away with a 5p bag containing a gleaming phone in white box.
My old phone, two years, some minutes and few seconds since it arrived, isn't even a museum piece, nobody is interested anymore. It's been phone-cloned now by the deadly app, an empty husk, a cadaver, a still and lifeless zombie. It'll occupy some drawer bottom, feebly dream of a new life on eBay but ultimately will become a tech fossil. Like all the others, the connectors and the cables. Like in a forgotten serial killer's basement, the phones just keep arriving and then they die.
Other than that there was a minor flurry of snow this morning, so I leapt up to the window with Chinese phone, (it has two camera lenses set in tandem, on the front you know, to help improve depth and something else), so I took a picture.