Chronicle of the Ongoing Ruins

colony collapse disorder hives

[The image is of bee ‘colony collapse disorder’. The items below have been taken from Australian newspapers and magazines I ‘ve read, unchanged except for some minor punctuation changes and re-arranged into poetic lines].

Chronicle of the Ongoing Ruins

I’m against
he replied

now kids have so many options
why would they ever go outside

if we colonise other solar systems
we could survive longer than our sun,
perhaps another 100 trillion years
when all stars begin burning out

the goal for a robot scientist
is to combine these technologies
to automate the entire scientific
process: forming hypotheses,
devising & carrying out experiments
to test those hypotheses
interpreting the results
& repeating the cycle until
new knowledge is found

forget ‘I spy’ and hand-held video games,
a team of developers is working on technology
that will entertain little ones in the back seat
with holograms controlled by motion sensors

the system can teach young passengers
about their surroundings as they drive along
it can project an image of a train
as the vehicle passes a railway station

she makes
the valid point
that it’s even harder
to become famous
for nothing

Australia abounds
with informed enthusiasts
who can replay
with commentary
the battles of Kapyong or Long Tan

whenever she came over
she’d be like, where are the cameras?
you guys are a reality show

I read all their comments
on Twitter, Facebook & my blog…
they are so devoted & loyal
I think of myself as a brand
for them

was Sabrina Harman really smiling
over the dead body in Abu Ghraib
or was it a ‘just say cheese’ smile?

for social anthropologists
& ornithologists alike,
it’s worth noting that a pet parrot
named PingPongHurley
first tweeted her way
into our collective consciousness
last February, after her ‘keeper’ –
actor, model, bikini designer
& organic farmer Elizabeth Hurley –
opened up a Twitter account for her

young drone operators will have been raised
on a diet of video games & may –
due to the vast geographical
& psychological distance
between the operator & the target –
find it hard to distinguish
between the reality of killing
flesh-&-blood human beings
& targeting mere pixels
on a screen

what we conceive of
as ‘time’
might one day

posthumans might consist
of artificial intelligences
based on the thoughts & memories
of ancient humans who uploaded
themselves into a computer
& exist only as digital information
on superfast computer networks

this makes her one of the true legends
of reality TV, spanning both ends
of the genre, from the ‘real’
who become famous for being real,
to the famous who become more famous
for being ‘real’

we should embrace history but
we will not have a truly Australian brand
until we allow ourselves to produce
our own head of state

when Charli Meldrum, 3, gets bored
she tunes into ABC iView
on her wireless internet TV
when that gets old
Charli flicks on an iPhone,
iPad, laptop, Wii, Android smartphone
or Nintendo DS she’s fluent
across multiple platforms
said her father, Paul,
a Catholic school teacher

in radical changes to the way
mental health conditions are diagnosed
what was once considered
an unruly child’s temper tantrum
could soon be labelled disruptive
mood dysregulation disorder

Australia is a breeding ground
for bikini-ready DJs
of, um, indeterminate talent

you can only know that the world can pop out
of existence in a bout of vacuum decay
& be wiped out in a blink if you know
about quantum particles & the evolution
of the universe since the big bang

do they simply enjoy
having easily recognised
big-brand name pictures,
bought ostentatiously
in auction rooms at eye-catching
prices, to decorate
their several homes,
floating & otherwise,
in an instant demonstration
of drop-dead coolth & wealth

now kids have so many options
why would they ever go outside

one can only wonder
if the entire caboodle
of our universe is not
the outburst of some
gigantic extra-cosmic
writerly imagination

how can we possibly be expected
to keep track of all these people
& their exact position on the spectrum
from ‘real’ to ‘celebrity’

besides Students for Concealed Carry on Campus
there are the Pink Pistols, Mother Arms, Jews
for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership,
the Second Amendment Sisters, the Women’s
Firearm Network & the International
Defensive Pistol Association, among others

so whether you’re a Californian
high-school kid, a keen amateur cook,
a small-scale property developer,
a future entrepreneur, a wannabe
pop idol or a minor celeb
who wants to be more major,
here’s the reality check:
even with legs as marvellous
as Ms Cavallari’s, the only colour
you can wear head to toe
with any success is black

thousands of migratory birds
died after apparently mistaking
a car park & other areas
of southern Utah for water

I’m against
he replied

a ball of light streaking across the night
sky in northern Europe on Saturday
at a time when many imagined
Father Christmas was doing his rounds
was Soyuz rocket debris

it also enables the person to believe
they are making a difference/
reversing global warming/
saving the whales when
all they are doing is
eating a salad sandwich

where would Ray-Ban sunglasses
Kresta blinds, Banana Boat &
the paintings of Claude Monet
be without sunlight

now kids have so many options
why would they ever go outside

I’m against
he replied

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on February 9, 2014.

11 Responses to “Chronicle of the Ongoing Ruins”

  1. i’m speechless….

  2. Who is up for a little de-construction? Here is Franco Berardi on Baudrillard’s chain: Simulation- Disappearance-Implosion; “Simulation is the creation of ghosts without a prototype. An algorithm produces endless chains of information. The effect of semiotic inflation activates the progressive colonization of increasingly larger portions of reality by informational emulsion. Reality disappears like the Amazonian forest, or a territory devoured by the desert, until the entire context that used to guarantee the living continuity of the community ends up being eliminated by this effect of de-realization and the organism implodes.”

    So, “ghosts without a prototype”, here we can think of the move from analogue film to the creation of synthetic images ( the hyper-real figures of the video game)
    “An algorithm produces endless chains of information” – Digital technology makes possible a process of infinite replication of the sign (semiotic inflation) .The sign becomes a virus eating the reality of its referent. ( use value gives way to exchange value, end of money value based on gold standard, material labor becomes cognitive labor, etc) Welcome to the desert of the real.

    And the resulting catastrophic implosion: “The masses […] haven’t waited for future revolutions nor theories which claim to ‘liberate’ them by a dialectical movement. They know there is no liberation, and that a system is abolished only by pushing it into hyperlogic, by forcing it into an excessive practice which is equivalent to a brutal amortization. You want us to consume- OK., let’s consume always more, and anything whatsoever; for any useless and absurd purpose.”

    Unfortunate that our current “amortization” is Co2 in the atmosphere!

    • Thanks for this Dave, very stimulating to get a different perspective via Baudrillard/Berardi. The French semiotic, sign-referent perspective on digitalisation and the so-called information society is one I’ll now think about a bit more. I like: ‘The sign becomes a virus eating the reality of its referent’ and the connection made to Marx’ base antagonism of exchange value versus use value. Fecund.

  3. I think I’ll sleepwalk instead thanks.

    From the Bard of Salford:

    I can wriggle out of arrangements
    You can’t pin me down
    I tend to dodge engagements
    I’ll see you around

    Am I ok?,
    Not really, no
    I seem to stop and start
    Anything I can do let me know
    I think I’ll sleepwalk out of my heart

    Sleepwalk in the daytime
    Access to all fours
    Sleepwalk in a straight line
    Leading out of the door

    Shop through city on a world of eyes
    Marvelously dead
    These friends of mine need exercise
    They sleepwalk instead

    No guardian angel intercepts the
    Sleepwalkin’ kid
    Who sleepwalks the fractured steps
    To the sleepwalking skids

    The way the private eye goes
    About his ancient art.
    I can do it with me eyes closed,
    Sleepwalk out of my heart

    Stop, look, listen to the zombie
    The hoochie coochie blues
    Black slacks and a crombie
    Gucci shoes

    A psycho stud and his steady girl
    Are heading right this way
    When all the footsteps in the world
    Sleepwalk away

    A victim of ambition
    Loitering with intent
    The human condition
    But who knows what percent

    Goodbye from me till now
    I never really care
    Sleepwalk anyhow

    Sleepwalk, talk
    Faster and faster
    One of these talking birds
    Sleepwalk away from disasters
    Like they never occured

    Too much devotion
    Keeps me apart
    Sleepwalk in slow motion
    Out of my heart

    In the creepy zilch of subways
    The sub pedestrian plod
    Sleepwalk on Sunday
    Beneath the domes of God

    Such a hazardous pastime
    I’m gonna be smart
    Sleepwalk for the last time
    Out of my heart

    Sleepwalk on duty
    See myself in a pool
    A sleepwalking cutie
    Sleepwalking fool

    Stuck in the afternoon
    They do go on
    When normal service is resumed
    I’ll be sleepwalking young

    I’m starting to feel strongly about this subject- somethings been upstirrred in myself- perhaps by yourself “Art as Obscenity” etc
    Lots of things stirred up here and by this whole issue.
    It may be the timing specifically but as far as appreciating “Art” and “Humanity” I noticed the PoW and His son talking about the poaching issue, thousands of creatures being slaughtered vaingloriously… and two of the P’s were off to Spain to slaughter some boars. I suddenly realised how immense the suffering of all these billions of worldwide farmed creatures being kept merely as foodstuff material, apart from them on “Estates” of the Wealthy to be shot (deer, grouse, boar, etc) and them they “own” of course so are quite within their rights to do with as they choose to with no Cheeky Comebacks from various uninvited outsiders…not to mention those contained within Zoos however ‘natural’ their surroundings purport to be, and many don’t even bother to try very hard…
    I’d not been struck by the disparity between appreciating the variety and the beauty of Life on this poor benighted planet until I realised how much of all that modern humans do is bound up with satisfying their seemingly limitless variety of appetites… not even ‘needs’ anymore, sheer utter waste of limited resources- and I wondered, do any of these creatures have any awareness of their being exploited by “Our” system for containment/Farming? If so morally we should be campaigning for a New World Order without such widespread and wholesale inhumane treatment of sentient beings. Even bees I wonder in their hives…powerless to resist Humankind (not)
    Thanks Peter I’ve moved along in my understanding of this vast subject…
    Nick Weech

  5. I have been tempted to buy a subscription to the online Herald, but your mind-blowing poem reminds me that on this planet it’s saner to walk outside, feel the drizzle on my skin, feed the goldfish and listen for that frog with the strange croak. Thanks for the wake-up call. Brendan

    • Yep, and this is a considerably shortened version, camerado. I’ve given up collecting all this surreal crap, there’s just too much of it. le spectacle acheve (think aigu over the last e), at last, almost no escape from the screens now, the life of the commodity form almost total with the new ‘digital natives’ generations…

  6. that’s weird…i just heard a tree frog…and it’s poring rain outside…again…
    what’s weird is, it’s still “winter” here in south florida…
    and that usually doesn’t happen until the spring/summer rains start up after the dry winter…
    trees have started their new growth already too…
    and our bee colony has disappeared…

    • Hmm, that sounds ominous Kristi, that last line in particular…I have two hives myself. I imagine the colony that disappeared was in a hive? Or was it a feral colony in some tree? If the former, and it wasn’t a very early swarming, which would have left a remnant colony with the new queen, it sounds like ‘colony collapse disorder’, no? If the latter, they may have just moved on to a better spot, or died out for some reason, which happens…And, yep, climate chaos means everything is also a few weeks earlier these days, here too. These new timings are of course going to wreak great confusion down the food chains, with some critters starving, not reproducing at the right time etc I note when I harvest what fruit in my calendar, and then compare the years to see how much earlier something is flowering or ripe…We ain’t seen nothing yet, have we…?

  7. i think it’s a little of both peter…for years we’ve watched a colony, that took over our purple martin house, do what you described…swarm away with a queen (an absolute amazing thing to watch) and then build up the numbers in their house and do it again…
    but there are also feral colonies in trees around the hammock…where they spend a fair amount of time before moving on to somewhere else….
    last month, a swarm was trying to set up shop in our attic…i thot my husband was crazy as he went up the ladder in the midst of the swarming bees and stuck a rag in the hole they were entering…but they never attacked him and went away…(later he took the rag out for the guys trapped inside…)

    outside our island hammock, we’re surrounded by farms and ornamental plant nurseries, subdivisions, etc…i watch the workers…(minorities, people of color, of course)…dressed in white jumpsuits and headgear, spraying pesticides…crop dusting planes do the same…and all the bee boxes, set up along the fence lines…are empty…go figure, right ?
    so i hope the bees from “our” hammock sanctuary are staying safe somewhere and come back soon…and unfortunately, i agree…we ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

    so why is it, given all we know, the masses are content to let it happen…rather than unite…?
    is it becuz there’s nothing “viable” to unite around…is a parsoc just too complicated to understand?
    i get why coordinators aren’t doing anything…they, (we) got their piece of the pie and denial is seductive…these are my peeps, so to speak…but they have completely tuned me out…i’m a communist as far as they’re concerned…they won’t even listen to the difference…
    i see the people of color bussed in to pick the crops…makes me feel like an ass…but not sure what to do…who the fuck am i…some white woman talkin’ shit and fucking with their jobs…?
    don’t speak creole or spanish either…
    i just watched some msm news about the ukraine and venezuela…what lies !
    ok…i’ve vented…now i’ll compartmentalize again, live my double life and keep learning from my iops peeps…one of the only things that keeps me sane…

    • Yep, those bee nuptial flights are really something else, aren’t they, Kristi? The pesticide situation around you does sound ominous, I must say…It’s a wonder there have been any bees left at all… Ah, the why don’t the masses question…The big one. A question only the masses can answer I guess, but it’s not question they seem to be posing right now… Take care, Peter

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