That’s the way it goes with music. A vibe and a mood for every vibe and mood. This is what it is today. It’s about the most inorganic vibe in the world but what would you expect in a world where you’re surrounded by concrete, steel and wires humming with data. Every here and there is a tree or a bush placed cosmetically to remind you that there is a connection somewhere to something that lives and breathes. Otherwise… This is perfect. It’s the sound of data packets and information and electric pulses of digitized conversations buzzing all around. It’s everything we used to be or thought we were digitized and uploaded to a dense network.
I took a walk down the west side of Manhattan yesterday. Not the entire length but about 8 miles worth. There are still so many new constructions and networks going up. The new and old are cluttered together in heaps. The aesthetic ruin is more visible with so many fewer people to distract. It’s a hot mess. I walked by this thing too:
I didn’t realize it has been closed since the suicide of a 19 year old boy back in January. It’s the third suicide there during very busy parts of the day in three years. They made the decision to reconsider the safety and shut it down to visitors. Seems to me that any place is as much a suicide risk as any other so they must see that. It has to be a decision based more on liability risk than actual safety. I’d never had any intention of walking up it to look at a view of the river I could see before The Vessel existed, but it’s still interesting. So three young people have jumped from the top in less than two years since it opened. You have to wonder, why such a public place. We usually think of suicide jumps as lonely, middle of the night off a bridge things. These kids chose a very public place at very crowded times. Did they expect someone to stop them? Or was it a statement? A young Brooklyn woman who jumped last year had set up an Instagram post to go out the day after her jump, a thank you note to family and friends who tried to keep her going through years of mental and emotional anguish… depression, anxiety, anorexia. But I don’t know. Can these younger people do anything privately anymore? Or is everything a social media event? Are they influencers now? I’m not being obnoxious. I’m genuinely curious.
It’s become a very strange world. We are all netizens of this new age. Every so often I think it would be nice to check out and go off the grid but was I happier before any of this? Not really. What would I do in the woods. Why not just jump headfirst (no pun connected to the above paragraph intended) into the data stream? Why not just embrace that we all live in two parallel realms, the organic and the digital?Corporeal and electronic. It’s all so fascinating and maybe more so for people my age who lived 4 decades or more without any of this. Maybe it’s three parallel realms. Even before digital we had our corporeal selves and our mythologized inner selves. Or more than three? Digital certainly has risen up quickly to become one of the more dominant paths we live and walk on.
I don’t know. I’m just talking aloud. It freaks me out that these three people chose the venue (or medium) that they did to express whatever it was that they were going through Suicide is a mindfuck enough without the added layer of making it so damn public. It’s literally a public self-evisceration as the body comes apart from that height. It’s not a lovely sight.
But I need to get up and move now. I need to jump into the other stream.