There was always magic in the air when we went to the drive-in as kids, an experience not many children have the opportunity to enjoy any longer. There is, however, still quite a bit of magic to be found in the world, especially in the vast expanse of the heavens, even if they happen to be virtual. In this scene, Chrome and Juliette share a sense of the immense power and mystery of the universe while parked (hovering?) in his vintage Porsche roadster. The setting is also vintage… vintage Samuel Beckett, ala Waiting for Godot; except that in this case it appears that Godot actually showed up.
There are such things as mermaids, I am sure. How do I know? I’ve seen them in my dreams. Here, Chrome drifts off to sleep on the rolling ocean of his mind and encounters a magnificent specimen, a bewitching siren from the deep and, just as he is about to taste her saltwater taffy lips……. he senses the presence of the reader, and the wondrous creature evaporates. He has such strong feelings for her, though, I expect he just might encounter her again one of these days.
“Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am; or I am thinking, therefore I exist), words which reverberated around the world in the 17th century. They were spoken by Rene Descartes (1596-1650), the French philosopher who came to be known as the Father of Modern Philosophy. Three and a half centuries later, we find ourselves in this strange position of redefining the very nature of reality and identity by morphing into multiple beings and wandering a new kind of inner and outer space.
There are moments, I must admit, when I actually find myself wondering just who is dreaming who…. or, as the Zen philosopher Chuang Tzu once said, “Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” Whatever it turns out to be, it sure is fun to fly while we’re here, wouldn’t you say?
Life, of course, is never simple; but it is also true that we make things much more complicated than they need be. Common sense as practiced by someone possessed of self-knowledge is often more profound than the most abstruse philosophical theory, and in its purest form it could even be considered a form of “enlightenment”; for who could be more enlightened than someone who sees things as they really are, with no interference from a self-protective mind? When we have nothing to gain and nothing to lose, reality suddenly becomes much less threatening.
Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!
- Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, Canto vi. Stanza 17
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
- Shakespeare, A Midsummer Nights Dream Act 3, scene 2
It can be said with some certainty that the tangled webs once woven by mere mortals have grown even more complex in the age of the emortal. What was once only possible within the confines of a town or village, and with one’s human counterparts, can now occur on a global scale encompassing not only multiple worlds, but multiple beings with often indefinable identities. Here, the identities of those involved in this “love quadrangle” all happen to be the same person!! How’s that for a tangled web?
The last bit of news I’ve heard about this situation was that all parties were seen sitting around a box of kleenex in a pleasantly decorated office somewhere in Second Life, with a baffled therapist attempting to mediate some sort of solution between the real and the virtual. It wasn’t pretty. I wish them all well, though; they’re all good people. Of course, some might say I have a biased opinion, since I’ve been intimately involved with each of them for quite some time…. wait…. wait.. that didn’t sound right… I mean… ahh, what the hell; let’s just say it’s complicated, huh?
I have a feeling that this story doesn’t end here, though; here’s hoping that all of these complications are sorted out eventually, preferably on these pages. Wonder who gets the skybox….
Nothing like reminiscing about the future; especially in front of an old Wurlitzer jukebox, where memories spin before the mind’s eye like cotton candy. Drifting back over the light years, I find myself in the sandbox at Help Island Public reliving a battle I once witnessed there, when I was a young gypsy and this was my home landing zone. A dazzling cyber-warrior performs a ritual war dance before engaging the enemy, in this case a giant metallic spider. The spider won, as I recall; but the light and magic was all over this guy. I was rootin’ for him all the way.
In the next panel, Dizzy Banjo is about to have his pocket picked by that merry prankster, Harper Beresford, high atop the launch tower at Dizzy’s build, IO, at Burning Life 2008. Just below them is Camille Topaz, in her first appearance with Cherrybomb the new virtual rock band which debuted in SL this year, along with Botgirl Questi and yours truly. Below left is Urban Spectre, the magical build by DB Bailey, also from the 2008 Burning Life Festival.
Segue to the right, a shot of Patch Thibaud’s latest project, the magnificent Ciudad De Mexico, where Celine Fairport and I stand in awe upon arrival at the central plaza. Lower left, Zil Jewell and the Chromester at Burning Life, and finally, a shot which captures the endless magic of the metaverse: a completely unexpected light show in an underground parking lot somewhere in the heart of this wonderland; never expected to see the aurora borealis in a concrete bunker. Ya gotta love it. The future is the only game in town.
Excuse me, but it does get warm in here from time to time… so warm, in fact, that I had to go out and buy a cooling pad for my laptop. The point is, avatars are people too, and have the same needs, drives and desires that you and I have; but in some ways it feels more like humanity in overdrive, given the perfect bodies, the choice of identities, gender – and, of course, complete anonymity if you choose to remain silent. As a result, the technology gets warmer and warmer – sometimes to the point of overheating.
ever been lost in space? world weariness? virtual burnout? data overload? been kinda that way myself lately. can’t exactly suss it out yet, but I just keep on chuggin; figger I’ll get there eventually.