(well everyone else seems to have the right to verbalize a noun, nowadays, firstly “medalling” which sounds like a perverted activity, to “podium”, used recently by an athlete in the context “I hope to podium this year”…) seems to be continuing apace with the recent announcement that, while the Arts, education and health are tightening their belts due to the global lack of money (where have they hidden it?), the coasts of England could soon be patrolled by drones..
Now, I can understand that during the 60’s and 80’s (when even I had more money than sense for a short period, buying cord trousers from a designer store in a fit of mindlessness) that the USA decided to spend quadrillions of dollars boldly going where no man had gone in a life-imitating-art craze but… the current quest to turn over the skies to The Machines is surely more than a little mad. The EU seems to have found a big pile of loot anyway, and keeping people safely ghettoized (hehehe) in the country of their birth seems to be the best way of spending it.
Of course the real reason is the industrial giants who make their money selling guns to poor people have run out of clients and now are aiming to help every Authority in the “civilized” world have a fleet of drones to play with. It means that police officers, and others, coming to work, can spend their day playing computer games in which the General Public are the ones that will (eventually) get zapped.
My local utilities provider has launched a campaign to convince me that “homes are about to get smarter” .. hmmm… the idea being that if they fit a “Smart Meter” in every hovel in the land they can bill you with less hassle.
My previous dwelling had an intelligent heating system, the thermostat was Bluetooth enabled and spoke to the heater and to the radiators. It was pre-programmed to sense when the house was approaching freezing point and turn all the heaters on. Unfortunately it had it’s own intelligent definition of freezing point, it thought it should be around 55 degrees and, being too intelligent to listen to me, it turned everything on exactly when it wanted. It had no “off” button.
I have no idea why my mind has turned to heating, however, as we are enjoying a period of warm weather approaching 90 degrees.
The British have a strange temperature-induced psychosis maybe influenced by elements of Irish story-telling which have seeped into the gene pool (no drones were available to keep them out) wherewith we use Fahrenheit for warm temperatures .. i.e. “omg it’s 90” … but Centigrade for cold as in “omg it was -3”. The Weathersagadrama is thus increased.
Some of my ancestors were Murphys, sheltering in the tunnels dug into the cliffs in Dover during the war, so I may be genetically infected too. Future generations may not be so lucky as “intelligent” drones the size of large moths will be able to chase any suspected miscreants into the air raid shelters that saved the Murphys from Hitler.
Pussy Riot has been well covered in the news recently and I am, unusually, heartened whenever a huge state like Russia is threatened by a few girls singing songs. Art is still (always will be) strong enough to shake the complacency of the Powerful. When Pussy Riot gets jailed you can rest assured that their art has immense strength. The Hirstesque term used in the 60’s by the editor of The Times newspaper [original quote from Alexander Pope], asked “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel? in an editorial on 1 July 1967 about the court case, which resulted in prison sentences for Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.
Luckily there were no drones around acting as judge, jury and executioner.
Nearer home… I’ve been cleaning windows and reading a book [I left My Tent in San Francisco by Emma Kennedy], generally being unproductive and active in alternate measure, still stuck in limbo having sent all my bank statements to the Letting Agent who is still trying to determine if I am rich enough to be robbed by his company.
Too soon to start packing … but it’s on my mind.
Have a great week..