Have you ever seen that little box George Orwell left behind? Just a little grey box, I think. I saw it on some television show in Germany one day many years ago. The content of the box was less than what Andy Warhol would swipe off his desk into “time capsules” in a day. It was a compact little thing, a shoe box containing the essentials. Maybe I should see if there is a picture of it online. (I just tried, and I could not find it.)
It would be interesting to have a conversation with George Orwell today; maybe a drink or two. Would he find it amusing to see where things are, in general and in particular? What would his “year on Facebook” look like? How about his Instagram feed? How would he feel about the way certain ideas or observations of his became reality and yet in a way that obviously avoids certain sets of words?
Humanity is a clever organism. It embraces certain ideas, condemns them on the surface, and yet gives them a different shape and a different set of names, just so they seem fresh to some. Maybe all organisms do that? Is that the intelligence of trees and grasses too? Does the tree that swallows up a temple crush it and disassemble it, or does it use the surfaes as something to hold on to? Is a blade of grass sweet by accident? How has corn managed to push aside entire forests, and employed generations of scientists to ensure its survival as a species?
Saw the windows of George Orwell’s apartment on the way to the tube, after some very pleasant meetings in a club in Notting Hill. An unassuming set of windows, a simple little tree in front of them. A birch tree. Was it there when he looked out? How small was it then? Or were there no trees? We had so few trees in cities at some point.
Just passing by, and not posting my status to any of the location social networks. Just passing by, the iPhone in my pocket making me trackable to almost anybody anyway. Just passing by, though I might have been able to just call an Uber.
No singular Big Brother in sight. But an army of little brothers and sisters an friends and blades of sweet grass eagerly anticipating every move of “someone like me”. The little screen in my pocket eagerly awaiting my fingerprint. A friendly voice “inside” that wants me to ask any question that is then can “process” on a server somewhere in North Carolina. (So well actually, that iPhone holders at IBM are not suppsed to use the feature for much.) And that’s not even the surface. Is there even a way to reduce oneself to a small shoe box of things? What is the significance of things and places actually? Did I hear that Scotland Yard was just sold?
Greetings from Caton Towers, in Kensington.