(translated from Terra Selvaggio)
This great invention isn’t necessary to support a part of the body, but, if anything, a part of the mind. The mobile or cellular phone (this ill-omened name hits the mark so well), this indispensable tool linked to individuals in such a blatantly unhealthy manner, is not just electromagnetic toxicity, nor just a revolution in interpersonal relationships, nor even just a stupid consumerist gadget that fattens the usual pocketbooks as always.
Above all, it is the replacement of that bit of the unknown that this world still reserves for us, the very small wonders of a sought after solitude, of a journey with oneself, of a time away from known and unknown human beings. The terrifying unknown, inconceivable and unimaginable for those who are afraid of their own life, for those who don’t want to cut themselves of from the cord that links them to the other puppets of this little sham theater even for a moment, for those who want to know and inform others about their life, or more accurately about their own and other people’s physical presence.
Dread of the dark zones where a black line on the display indicates death, fear of death when another line is the foreboding omen of silence. The inability to connect induces states of panic in the frenzied search for a “zone of light” or an energetic fountain where the dead can rise again.
Mechanical gestures draw the prosthesis out by its appendages at nearly perfect development, controlling the conditions of one’s connection, of one’s life. The fear is that of being outside, of not knowing how to live outside of a vocal presence that is much too often reduced to an exchange of embarrassing banalities, “Love, I have a five minute delay; darling, I’ve left; dear, I’m in Bologna; sweetest, have you eaten yet; love, I don’t know why I called, but I called you just the same…”
Now and in the future, everything must be in its place. Wonder would break a frantically desired monotony, sorry excuse for life, where the daily humdrum is broken by the ceaseless melodies that resound everywhere (from delirious concerts in non-places like the subway, to the solitary symphonies in the most unexpected places like at night at the top of Stromboli). The desire is to know everything – place, time, activities – in order to cry: I am here, I am there, no problem, no worry, nothing unknown; the buried desire for the unknown is utterly dead, replaced by security.
Because waiting is no longer part of this life, capital urgently needs space and time to be occupied, and no squandering is allowed, no elaboration of fantasy is tolerated except that of accumulating more, no misunderstanding, no anticipation lived with passion, determined by desire, sought after in itself for the satisfaction it brings.
From the most innocent matters to the sadly professional necessities, it is probably the moments by ourselves that most bear witness to the depressing dependence on this prosthesis, from the day trip in the hills to the passage through the desert, the ocean or the mountains, a little red ball on some computer screen indicates the exact point of presence; like an electronic bracelet that transforms the world into the prison it is. Besides, there are challenges here to be sought, but calculated challenges, with a thread of confidence to prevent surprises, whims of the sort in which the only contest is with oneself, as in a virtual game where there is no space for solitary respite, where one is never outside and with a touch one returns to the friendly word, happy and smiling.
I hope that those who attack the high speed train do so not only because of the horrible disfigurement perpetrated against the earth, not only, in short, for the obvious consequences to the planet, but also because of what buying time, paying dearly for it, in order to spend it later growing increasingly fat, means, because of what is no longer a journey, but a displacement between identical places with no sensation of approaching. The journey is dead; capital requires something else.
I hope that those who attack telephone antennae do so not just because of the waves in which we are submerged, that infiltrate into the bodies and minds of individuals, but also in order to be done with the globalization of communications that pursues us everywhere and destroys even the smallest bit of wonder in this world, so dull, so determined, so staidly comfortable.