Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Orlando... I mean Melbourne ahoy, campers

So............. as benbarren has already mentioned, he and I met F2F today to thrash out further details of the event which for its initial run will go under the name of Melbourne Long Tail Camp. This conversation lasted even longer than our Skype-off, running to around 2½ hours by my watch. I felt it had to run that long to wait for ben to tire so I could get a word in edgeways past the torrent of packets streaming out of his prolific brain. I wish we had had a recording of the conversation as it would have made a sensational podcast, if a little blue (although only a foretaste of Friday, of course). It made me think of John Williamson's song Dad's Flowers, which in one of the verses details a domestic comprising drunken Dad arguing with designated driver Mum:
The language was unreal
Then Dad said: 'Carn, move over Mum, whodja think's gunna take the wheel?'
On the hour-long drive back to Geelong, I had a chance to mull over exactly what it is that we're building here. The best analogy I could come up with was the rise of cyberpunk, which would make BB and I a kind of Gibbo/Sterlo double act (bonus NRL ref for you sports nuts). Ben's certainly got the Sterlo mullet happening, and we share the same ambivalence towards the buzzword that will define the new movement. The Cameron/Cameron duopoly suggested by that analogy is pleasing, at least.

That would mean someone has to come up with Neuromancer, which is certainly a tall order. I'd be happy with something as powerful as The Gernsback Continuum - Cluetrain Manifesto notwithstanding, I'd prefer something local. These are the people whose world I want to destroy.

They were blond. They were standing beside their car, an aluminum avocado with a central shark-fin rudder jutting up from its spine and smooth black tires like a child's toy. He had his arm around her waist and was gesturing toward the city. They were both in white: loose clothing, bare legs, spotless white sun shoes. Neither of them seemed aware of the beams of my headlights. He was saying something wise and strong, and she was nodding, and suddenly I was frightened, frightened in an entirely different way. Sanity had ceased to be an issue; I knew, somehow, that the city behind me was Tucson - a dream Tucson thrown up out of the collective yearning of an era. That it was real, entirely real. But the couple in front of me lived in it, and they frightened me.

They were the children of Dialta Downes's '80- that-wasn't; they were Heirs to the Dream. They were white, blond, and they probably had blue eyes. They were American. Dialta had said that the Future had come to America first, but had finally passed it by. But not here, in the heart of the Dream. Here, we'd gone on and on, in a dream logic that knew nothing of pollution, the finite bounds of fossil fuel, or foreign wars it was possible to lose. They were smug, happy, and utterly content with themselves and their world. And in the Dream, it was their world.

Anyone like that turns up at MLTC, they get the shit kicked out of them.


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