I have a presence online, I have a third of a gazillion followers, I post something new every 31.54 minutes, I have a bachelor’s degree in socio eco dynamism, I have a certain look and a presence that onlookers feel an inexplicable draw towards..So you see I am an expert.............on fish
The problem with fish is that there are a lot of them. If you stand in the shallows and start counting them you will quickly lose count and need to start over, and over, and over.
So in the case of fish it is probably better simply to concur that there are fish, that those fish live in the sea (and other H2O derivatives), and that there are various types and many of them.
This seems easy enough unless you have been given that fish counting job you always dreamed of.
The internet, and by association it’s outreach program colloquially known as social media, presents us with a wide array of fish, mostly of the human variety.
Though for a truly rounded view a few caricature inhuman fishy fish are thrown in for good measure.
Not many years ago I grew up in a world where television went off at 11.00 p.m. No I don’t mean I turned it off, there was no TV available to watch after 11.00 p.m. It was gone, kaput until 06.59 a.m. the next morning.
Although that now seems intrinsically preposterous, during all the years to that point we had nonetheless managed to stumble upon things like agriculture, the wheel, fire, penicillin and one or two other handy tools.
To be fair we had been obliged to survive without Nike trainers, mobile phones, the internet and social media the sheer horror of which is to many almost incomprehensible
Now I am not a return to Edenist, nor am I ungrateful to have an eternal supply of box sets with which to drown the weary winter nights. Nevertheless I have recently proposed to a number of people in my world the idea of promoting an SIO day (switch it off..... For just twelve hours).
My theory is that if you want to show a heroin addict, alcoholic, or smoker their addiction in its true light simply remove their fix then stand back and light the touch paper.
Now dear reader, mindful that I am an expert, and as such I need only the probity of my words with which to evince your belief and unwavering future attendance.
I sense I must now advise you that the result of my even suggesting a brief respite from mobile connectivity ranged between farcical and frightening.
Of around one hundred people I asked NOT ONE offered an unequivocal ‘sure David, why not, sign me up.’
It seems to me a case may therefore be made that in the simplest terms people numbering billions are now existing in a reality where the concept that something might happen outside of them that they are not instantly able to be aware of or to make others aware of is so terrifying as to obligate keeping a watch every second of every day.
At first that sounded dangerously like never going to sleep, but actually upon some consideration to me at least it sounds more like never waking up ..... it sounds like addiction.
I read somewhere that the human tripartite brain manages trauma memory via a mental filing system that logs and then decreases the headline size of events as time passes. This allows the amygdala at the base of the brain to manage some semblance of real time threat management, although that myopic old toad that protects you against threat does have a vivid imagination.
But just consider if you will a system where event timing ceases to exist.
A system where you can watch the external world (real or imagined) unfolding as your reality now..And any now can be now... I think perhaps this is what we have, and it is teaching our children, nursing our broken hearts, curing our loneliness, caring for our elderly as they sit discarded in their evensong.
Moreover it is pricking that highly imaginative amygdala without respite
So here is a thought.
If we are all watching ourselves, watching each other, WHO is driving?
Somewhere along the way of Nietzsche, Jung, Freud, Hicks and Stanhope it surfaced that the idea of good and evil being stable existential ‘facts’ hampered a vast majority of the people (fish).
There was a time past when we simply existed and stuff happened.
The fish folk of that time would prepare against the stuff that they could, and either enjoy or endure the stuff that came their way for which they could not..
Then seems to me we started labelling
Good and bad, followed soon after by right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable, and so on and so forth.
Sometime after it appears I think that master-talk took over the world.
Top down statements of fact that in reality are statements of opinion.
Nobody bothers to say ‘I think that is bad’. It is so much easier to commend an audience to your wisdom by merely stating ‘That is bad’. And in a parody of the ‘likes and followers’ culture that is exploding, if you manage to get a few likes to your imposed wisdom, well Bob’s yer uncle, bad is bad and good is good simply because you said so.
Or even worse because you saw someone else say so and were sufficiently bowed or dazzled that you just passed it on.
So now it seems to me we have a whole shoal of fish, millions and millions all watching each other through the dim light of the endless deep sea, constantly twenty four hours a day.
Each whispering to the fish to their right the latest interpretation of good and bad.
Once labelled the fish may swim once in a circle in order to return and repeat.
Of course there are many species of fish. Several types of fish are very smart and so they get a private tank and a loudspeaker, they get to swim in a sanitised circle where there are not so many other fish.
Though they can always see them, packed and staring through the glass awaiting the next utterance. One particular species of fish are called sharks, to pass the time they have taken to eating the other fish, they got tired of eating shit and found a taste for fish
A good number of these ‘smarter’ fish like to advise lesser fish on the value of equality.
These smarter fish appear to have more time on their hands and so periodically they leave their sanitized tanks, thence they swim in wider circles preaching as they paddle, about the benefits of giving, and of not giving up the important job of swimming in circles; whilst busily swimming in circles.
In what seems yet another parody, I think this one of Pavlovian conditioning, these smarter fish whilst out preaching have taken most of the shit away from Jack and Jill regular fish, the staple diet that they used to eat.
Now when they scratch around and find even the smallest morsel of shit J and J fish seem particularly grateful. Much of the time even though they are hungry they still tear a sizeable morsel off and pop it back in to the smart fish’s tank.
Now you may remember how a page or two ago I extolled the virtue of my own expertise, how you could rely upon me to guide you through this nugetty topic and out the other side to an awaiting Eden..
Sadly as previously suggested I am not an Edenist I am simply a watcher of the water
Therefore most of my expertise is confined to circular swimming.
So you are probably going to need to think about this one yourself
As Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha spoke to his best friend Govinda......
“The world is not imperfect or slowly evolving along a long path to perfection. No, it is perfect at every moment. Every sin already carries grace within it, all small children are potential old men, all sucklings have death within them, all dying people -- eternal life. It is not possible for one person to see how far another is along the way. Atman exists in the robber and the robber exists in the Brahmin.”