"I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of nine days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-Eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars."
The sun stops half way through its descent towards the abyss. He wonders where it will go, as he moves his eyes away from the dark horizon. Beyond it, somewhere in the night, his comrades are still rowing through the uncharted sea. By now, if everything had gone according to plan, they should have approached the island... The island... Which island? It was home, long ago, but now he can’t even remember its name. Doulos slips a finger between his belt and the cloth he has around his waist. Carefully, he extracts one soft, fleshy petal. He puts it on his lower lip, and with his tongue he moves it inside his mouth, feeling its smooth surface turning thicker, then slowly dissolving. When he first tried the flowers, the overwhelming sweetness coated his tongue, and it was only out of courtesy for his kind hosts that he had kept on chewing. But now, so many flowers later, now that nothing distinguishes him form his hosts, now... Now... Oh, it’s gone. That thought is gone. No point in chasing it. And his comrades, yes. His comrades at home, wherever it is. But they are not at home, he knows it. Without proof, he knows it for sure.
A disturbing trend has taken place in the aftermath of October 15th in Rome, shaped by mainstream media and multiplied by the social networks. For the first time in Italian history almost an entire country participated in the repression of violent dissent, in the segregation of spaces of alterity, using the same tools that were supposed to denounce the weakness of the turbo-capitalist system. Millions of young adults played the game of the Good Cop, at the expense of three or more decades of civil conquests. Class traitors, fucking police everywhere you turned, even and especially online, worse than in real life. What a depressing bore.
“Vive! Vive! Vive!”, sembrano ripetere, come una pietosa bugia, quegli hashtag che accompagnano il feretro virtuale di Steve Jobs per le cyber-piazze del pianeta. Chi non e’ pratico di Twitter non puo’ sapere che quegli #iSad e #Thankyousteve non sono altro che “chiavi di ricerca” per inseguire il morto, per accodarsi alla sua infinita veglia funebre, la' dove il corpo del Martire e’ portato di mano in mano, ridotto in milioni di pixel, re-tweettato di polpastrello in polpastrello. Al suo passaggio, tutti vorrebbero allungare un dito per sfiorarlo, tutti hanno qualcosa da gridare: un “grazie”, un “ci mancherai”. E cosi’ la salma digitale del Mahatma– “grande anima” – viene trascinata dalla folla oceanica e solitaria, per l’ultimo saluto, prima che il fuoco della pira lo consumi.
Sono quasi quattrocento anni che una rivolta di queste dimensioni non si verifica a Londra. Quest’inverno, durante le manifestazioni degli studenti inglesi, la stampa internazionale aveva parlato di ‘riots’, di subbugli, di insurrezione. Un tipico caso di esagerazione giornalistica. Stavolta no. Ma stavolta è diverso.
Le riots di questi giorni, iniziate sabato 7 agosto durante una manifestazione di protesta per l’uccisione di un giovane da parte della polizia, hanno un tono che ricorda più le banlieues parigine che la guerriglia urbana dei black bloc. Da tre giorni la capitale Britannica è attraversata da un’ondata di jacquerie semi-fantascientifiche, in cui i moti di folla da ancien regime si incontrano con i messaggi istantanei lanciati dai BlackBerries.
Geeks are a nice species of creature. Cutely dressed, delicate, fragile, softly spoken to the point of mutism. Yet, they have managed to colonize the collective imagination of an entire generation. This generation. But who are the geeks? And how could this species of shy elves take over the innermost sanctums of the western cultural environment?