11 March 2007

speed

I mentored a senior thesis when I was at Redlands--a time when I mentored a whole range of things completely unrelated to my research, and so this thesis was on the Futurists. I learned a lot about these speed-loving Modernists: pro-war, excitement, strength, and masculinity.

Upon my groggy return from the US this past week, I taught Gandhi's Hind Swaraj. He argues among other things, that railways are bad. Humanity should not be able to move that quickly between places. It destroys what binds us together. It destroys community and a link to one's past.

Obviously as an Australian-born naturalised US citizen of Scottish-Austrian descent now indefinitely residing in Wales (sut mae!), and with family and friends currently living in Ulaan Bataar, Brisbane, Beirut, Delhi, Portland ME and OR, New Jersey, Denver, LA, Taipei and etc., the whole transcontinental flight revolution was pretty cool. Facilitating these far-flung travels, worldliness and global network of family and friends is a good thing.

But having spent less than 10 hours in the air in order to travel from LAX to LHR, I have to say: it's too quick. How slow should it be? Not the 3-6 month era of slow cruises across the Atlantic or Pacific, sure. But a good 3 weeks. I think that's entirely fair and reasonable. This is how much time it should take for the universe to be, well, in tune with the body's movement in some small way. Now that I'm old and all, it's taking me a long time to recover from these little jaunts. But mostly I find it Wrong that I wander around reading Welsh roadsigns thinking: 16 hours ago I was driving to LAX on the 105 listening to Mexicana music. Wrong.

2 comments:

Marinetti said...

We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. A racing automobile with its bonnet adorned with great tubes like serpents with explosive breath ... a roaring motor car which seems to run on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.

We want to sing the man at the wheel, the ideal axis of which crosses the earth, itself hurled along its orbit.

Jack said...

Go! Go! Go Speed Racer!

-Devo

(I much preferred Racer X.)