it’s just past 8pm. i’m still in my office, eating a piece of birthday cake & typing this. we just ran some local grant assessments & i’m pleased, i think. this is not a picture of what it looks like right now. but if you drive down that road a bit you’ll get to my house. you can do that if you want.
last year we toyed with idea of doing up a poster to advertise my grant writing workshops. it was to feature famous ‘grants’. grant denyer of course was going to be front & centre. but there were a lot of other grants suggested, some historical, some contemporary, some even local (such as stan grant). the workshops would have been branded as ‘secure your grant!’ and the posters would have been a photoshop set-piece with all of the human grants literally secured in some way – tied down, chained up, etc etc. just enough to hint at inappropriate sadomasochism, but also subtle enough to be funny. in the end it never happened. it was probably for the best.
(the cake though is not one of my best. it was made from a packet mix, & the icing was also pre-made, even though i usually hate doing that. i needed to produce a cake with limited time & equipment. don’t judge me. it is strawberry flavoured though, with toffee apple flavoured m&ms adorning, & it is totally over-the-top sweet. i can feel the short-lived energy filling me now. ask me anything! but quickly, i’ll fade.)
last night i watched black mirror (episode 3 series 1). in this particular dystopia most people have implants that record everything they see & hear. people are continually rewinding & reviewing moments, either in their eyes or displayed on screens for group viewing. the real topic becomes obsession. with these capabilities & information do people gain anything? does limitless review lead to further certainty? or conversely further uncertainty?
i’ve been thinking about this notion of review a bit, probably mostly because of facebook. the morning of zadie’s birthday as i still lay in bed: here, says facebook, would you like to share this memory? & it’s a picture of her hours after being born 5 years before. so algorithmically apt but also not something i chose to share. i’m not sure why. i like people seeing my photos, my memories. later that day i share a photo of a friend adjusting a mic stand from 2012. then that evening i delete it, wondering why i had done it in the first place. i felt vaguely ridiculous.
i know i spend too much time thinking about these sorts of things. which is probably why the black mirror episode worked on me (i was genuinely surprised at one of the twists, and then had an almost physical reaction to the graphic way the ending was filmed). it felt a little too real. if i was in that situation, with the capacity to replay every moment of my life in HD, what would i do with that?
(close to 9pm now & that cat is going to hate me. she’ll be stressed, roaming the house, thinking i’ve left her forever.)
well i know i’d start by replaying some recent interactions, looking for cues that might guide me. i guess i’m on the autism spectrum. i’m pretty functional but this thought process isn’t particularly normal either.. so what do i do next? was there a slight but yet earnest smile on your face? was there at any point a hushed quality to your voice? when i said some of the things did you reply out of politeness or out of genuine common feeling? did your eyes give anything away as i looked back? i could zoom in. i’d totally make use of the technology to review it all. but would it give me further certainty? this is such a stupid sideways approach. do you want me closer? or more distant. or just nothing. i have to write these things. all the rest of you who are reading this / it’s not about you.