As many of you know I decided to take a break from my routine of writing everyday (or every waking hour really) – hence my relative radio silence for the past few days. But the good news is that I’m back and boy did I bring stories with me.
Sure I can’t use any of them in my books (because who the hell would read them), but I guess they work in a blog post.
Let’s start with the location – where did I go? Gozo.
Yep you read right – Gozo. Malta’s sister island, sheltered in sea, sun and a shitload of dirt. Maybe it’s just me being cosmopolitan or maybe it’s the forty degree C weather, but I had a less than stellar time.
You see, Malta is technically an archipelago. I live on the mainland, which is really just a rock with a few cables running through and really insane drivers. But Gozo takes the cake – I mean this place is the next best thing to a shit storm. I don’t know how they do it but apparently the people on this island have yet to discover the internet and all it’s wonderful gifts, some of which include kittens hanging from branches, useless pseudo-philosophical advice and porn.
I firmly believe that Gozo is built on a giant underwater Faraday Cage, with enough transmission to let the progress bar get three quarters of the way though before the connection times out. I uploaded a total of 3 pictures while I was there and nearly had a stroke with each one.
And it was during one of these stroke-inducing moments that I realized the root of my problem: I, like many others, have become dependent on technology. Knowledge is power and it is usually at our fingertips, ready to enlighten us on how much calories a tomato has or what does the fox say or how many of our friends that we never really talk to still like us. Our daily lives are now controlled by a series of pings, bloops, bleeps and ringtones that notify us when someone we remotely know is doing something that may (through algorithmic chance) interest us. We are constantly on call for that one email or that one text that might change our lives and once that is taken away from us, we freak.
We no longer have a fear of being alone – we have a fear of radio silence, of being that only lonely dot that is not in the pie chart.
We’ve become terrified of that moment – when we reach for our device, knowing deep down that you’re in for another stroke inducing failure to load the ice cream sundae image that you took, and the only friend you have is one lonely lizard which stares back at you with it’s big curious lizard eyes as if saying
“Hey man, how’s it doing? Take a Chill Pill yo.”
I don’t know why but the lizard sounds lot like Keanu Reeves in the movie Point Break. Perhaps that’s just me.
But sucky actors aside, I do believe that the lizard is right. (The irony is that I’m typing this whilst being online after checking my emails – maybe we can bend the lizard rules a little.) We gotta let go of some of this crap and focus on things at really matter. Listen to the lizard, man.
Just listen to the lizard.