Archive for March, 2010

Update – March 2010

Ha!  Well, against all the odds, I made it to California.  Neither myself nor my friends here can quite believe it, and it all seems a bit surreal.  But no, I’m here and loving every second.  It’s been many years since I’ve been in the States, and it’s like I’m discovering it all for the first time, perceiving it with a beginner’s mind, as they say in Zen.  And what struck me from the moment I arrived in JFK – where I had to stay several hours before my connection – was how everything I’d been told about modern America was wrong.  Paranoia was rampant, I’d been informed, immigration and customs draconian, and people rude.  On the contrary, I was greeted warmly and officials were courteous and helpful.  Also, no-one ever mentions that birds come into Terminal Four at dawn seeking for crumbs on the cafe floors, and singing weary travellers awake.

Many people find the fingerprinting and retina scans and so on disconcerting on entry into the States, but in a world of several billion people, many of them on the move, such technical precautions are understandable.  Of course, reading science fiction for much of one’s life prepares one for such developments.  I recall when reading that police in Liverpool were going to use drones floating above the city to keep an eye on things, feeling a sense of familiarity, not dread.  One could argue that science fiction has brainwashed me but I like to think I am aware of when technology oversteps its bounds, as I have hopefully demonstrated elsewhere in this blog.  And actually what really disturbs me in day-to-day technology is the constant noise from mobile phones, television, wi-fi and so on.  Ray Bradbury, prophetic as ever, wrote a story in the 1950s called ‘The Murderer’ about a man who goes around killing machines by spilling ice cream into them just to get them to shut up.  His pursuit of silence eventually takes him to jail, where he gets what he was looking for.  Bradbury was right.  This eradication of silence by society and technology is more subtly damaging to our well-being than any obvious attempts at technical control.  Ray Oldenburg, whom I mentioned in the previous blog, also bemoaned the way children are brought up by the media now rather than their elders and community.

Anyway, back to point:  Yes, I’ve made it, I am here in Sunny Cal (and gosh is it beautiful.  sorry if I make you envious).   Next week we’ll be schmoozing at the comic convention in San Fran, at least three of us waltzing around brazenly in Omni t-shirts, networking with intent – though we know, in the end, all we may get out of it is a good time and lots of free comics.  As well as that, Pramada and I will be discussing strategy, working on fine-tuning some scripts, and actually scouting locations for the artwork.  Yes, I know only movies normally go to that length, but we’re taking it that seriously – we want Omni to be grounded in reality so it can flower in fantasy.  There’s a village we’re checking out for Giada and Kaya’s home, and I’m well-pleased that we’ll be travelling over the Richmond Bridge – which looks more like a Disney ride than a bridge – to get to the East Side, I think it’s called, for the School for Potentiae that Kaya attends and Giada teaches in.  Prior to this visit, I’ve relied on Google Earth for location hunts; as a writer, it will be great to get a more tangible sense of things here.  Even Google haven’t managed Smellovision yet on their maps!

More of you have been visiting this site recently.  Please continue to do so and I’ll attempt to keep you updated on things in-between all the excitement.  Thank you for accompanying us on this journey.

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