Friday, July 18, 2008

A week of Voices from the Past

What is it about this week? Is there some outrageous astrological influence? I get three phone calls in one week, from people I have not heard from in ages, and in one case, years.

There is something about voices from the past, when they ring you up. They seem to expect to pick up where they left off. But where have they been? Perhaps I needed them before now. Clearly they only think they need me now. I resent it.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. These distant friends are not available, and so they are not there when I need them. So they cannot be friends.

In our globalized world, this delusion that the telephone is a substitute for being nearby, is like a virus in the software of society. I would rather have one good friend at my side than to have 10 "friends" on the telephone, or 100 "friends" on Facebook. This has become difficult, because 90% of people are busy believing in their Facebook "friends", and the other 10% of people believe in their telephone "friends".

You don't have to be a Catholic priest to understand that this is a recipe for unhappiness and social disaster.

No, you just have to be starved and tortured by being dumped onto a desert island for a whole week with only just enough water, and absolutely no food, and no electricity, and hence no telephone or the internet. And no guarantee that someone will rescue you at the end of the week. Then you will understand.. You? Whomever I mean by YOU.

Oh, by the way, you don't even get to take any Desert Island Discs with you, because there is no wind-up or solar-powered record player. And no, you don't even get a copy of the Bible, but you can still write in the sand, and read what you write.

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