What are you doing right now? Sitting in front of a computer? Staring at a screen? These screens are not your friend’s people. They do not bring us together. They set us apart. Like a bridge that stops two sides meeting, what was once a solution to separation is now its main cause.
‘I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.’
Yes we are separated, whilst we all stare at the same things, read the same things, absorb the same information and flitting news and culture, we are not united, we do not relate, we are together only as we relate only through the mediated nature of our reality.
“The status of celebrity offers the promise of being showered with ‘all good things’ that capitalism has to offer. The grotesque display of celebrity lives (and deaths) is the contemporary form of the cult of personality; those ‘famous for being famous’ hold out the spectacular promise of the complete erosion of a autonomously lived life in return for an apotheosis as an image. The ideological function of celebrity (and lottery systems) is clear – like a modern ‘wheel of fortune’ the message is ‘all is luck; some are rich, some are poor, that is the way the world is…it could be you!” Guy Debord
And in this world of distance and separation we try to clamour back through the solitude with ever more cartoonish and false gasps for collective experience. Katy Perry destroys our self-esteem and then becomes the only source for validation in a world where happiness can no longer come from within. She is both McDonalds and the Diet Pills. She’s the bully and the therapy. And it’s not her fault.
I was going to put a picture of Katy Perry. But pictures of Katy Perry are kind of part of the problem. So here instead is a picture of earth from the moon, to remind us all how small and insignificant we are.
The world in which we attempt to suck joy from the internet, from the bridges and supports of our atomized, fragmented world, is a world and a life doomed to fail. You have joy inside yourself, or at least the potential for it. Walk and cycle! Walk and Cycle not to get fit and hot so you can catch people’s eyes and Instagram yourself, walk and cycle because they bring you joy, pure and real joy, joy that comes from inside and stays. Joy that doesn’t fade as soon as your tweet stops being read or whatever. Joy that you give yourself.
Cycle! Cycling is fun, and in this part of the world especially it is beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful!! Cycling makes your happy, it makes you strong. Or at least it can, for some. Don’t do it if it doesn’t bring you joy.
Attractive people! Stop allowing people to use your bodies to sell things and make people help themselves. It doesn’t matter how much you totally believe in world piece and vegan climate change organic homemade bread. You’re making the world a worse place by draping yourselves over products like a soulless dead-eyed rug made of disdain.
So go outside. Go and cycle. Go and walk. Go and breathe and talk. Leave your phone at home. Don’t take any pictures. Don’t write about it on Facebook, not even after. Have an experience that exists only as an experience. A real, direct, and shared experience.
Make that experience walking, and cycling in North Devon.