I used to think what a marvel the Ipod and other new technology was. Here I could have all my music, my books, my TV shows, my movies and all my writing all in this tiny device where I could access it instantly.
But now I realize the other edge of the sword.
Whereas once you left behind books and records and cd’s and letters — parts of you behind. Now it all can be deleted and forgotten in the blink of an eye forever.
There may be a trace of you left behind in the back recesses of some social media server, but that too is made infinitely small by the morass of everything else. All the infinity that you radiate still overwhelmed by how small how infinitely small we are in the big picture.
Big Sky – The Kinks
“Someday, we’ll be free/ We won’t care just you wait and see.”
Ray Davies takes on our insignificance and God and nails it in just under three minutes. There’s a great scene in The Third Man between Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles. Welles has faked his own death to avoid being arrested after selling watered down black market morphine that has been leaving patients deformed if not dead. Welles and Cotton are on a Ferris wheel and there is the danger that the desperate Welles might toss Cotton to his death. As the wheel gets to the top, Welles points out all the suddenly ant sized people walking about below. Welles compares them to dots.
“Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax – the only way you can save money nowadays.”
I saw a quote from Ray that addressed the same issue; how we were all so small in the grand scheme of things, but how he saw the vast hugeness of humanity within each and every one of those dots. Ray should have been on the wheel with Orson, he might have felt some humanity.
By the way, here’s one of the coolest self rationalizations for evil straight from Welles after he gets off the Ferris wheel.
“Don’t be so gloomy. After all it’s not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love – they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.”
If you’re gonna be a villain you might as well have a cool rap.