Monday, 4 June 2012

Missing the torch

I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that the original germ of an idea for Monty Python's Life of Brian was someone who kept missing the great moments in the Bible - who turned up at the Sermon on the Mount or the Marriage Feast at Canaan, say, just as everyone was packing up to go home. I thought of this on Friday when I somehow contrived to miss seeing the Olympic torch, despite it coming right past the building where I work.

I was following the progress of the torch on the 'live' webcam in my office - a hypnotic watch, a sort of national Mexican wave as the camera pans past cheering crowds that seem to emerge out of nowhere - to see when the torch was at the top of our road. I then went to the other side of the building to get a prime view, only to see the crowd dispersing.

It took me a few seconds to realise what had happened, so used are we to authenticating our experiences by looking at a screen. There was a delay on the webcam and the torch had gone.

I had missed my once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a flame lit by the sun on Mount Olympus. I went back to my office and checked my emails.

Mundane quote for the day: ‘How many people turn on the radio and leave the room, satisfied with the distant and sufficient noise? Is this absurd? Not in the least. What is essential is not that one particular person speak and another hear, but that, with no one in particular speaking and no one in particular listening, there should nonetheless be speech, and a kind of undefined promise to communicate, guaranteed by the incessant coming and going of solitary words.’ - Maurice Blanchot

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the time when our kids were little and we spent hours in Portsmouth waiting for one of the vast aircraft carriers to come down the Solent and exit the port. It was a big event, a lot of people were waiting for it. As you do with small kids, we ended up doing various things involving toilets and snacks and stuff and then, suddenly, we realised the whole huge ship had gone past and was steaming out into the channel. Easily done.