Pushing Up Daisies
by Nowick Gray
‘Nowadays we perceive reality primarily in terms of information. As a consequence, there is rarely a tangible contact with reality. Reality is robbed of its presence. We no longer perceive its physical vibrations. The layer of information, which covers objects like a membrane, shields the perception of intensities. Perception, reduced to information, numbs us to moods and atmospheres. Rooms lose their poetics. They give way to roomless networks along which information spreads.’ —Byung-Chul Han
It used to be, you could walk along a wild creek beside a daisy meadow, and come upon a bench to sit on, to soak in the forest beauty, the scent of sea air, the burbling sound of water. Now the Regional District’s parks department has seen fit to augment this direct experience of nature with a four-foot wide info-display board, smack in the middle of the view it reproduces.
The eye is captured by this big screen, where even the person on the bench, like you, appears from rearview, frozen in time, alongside instructions on how and why to enjoy nature. In case we missed it, the park and its beauties are recaptured in a whole paragraph of prose. There’s a handy QR code to direct viewers, instantly via their social device, to online resources. Finally, the moral of the fable is delivered with scientific certainty, to clinch the deal for the nature-hesitant: “Outdoor walks actually make people happier than indoor walks.”
(I’m still puzzled about the indoor walking part. Like, in shopping malls?)
The info-display literally replaces, in the field of vision over this forest creek, the reality it purports to describe. In the translation, the reality itself, the felt experience of human in nature, is obscured by its virtual snapshot, and hijacked into the metaverse. When the experience about an experience replaces the experience itself, nothing is left of the cardboard imitation, but cardboard. We might as well go back indoors, walk over to our private screen array, and view the digital parks poster in 3-D enhanced mode, with surround sound and bass filter.
When we are pushing up daisies, our life can be recreated, restored, continued forever, in the vast Cloud of secondhand data. Such is the dream of the transhumanists, to live forever in this abstracted realm unaffected (presumably) by natural causes. But then, with the original body gone, what is the purpose of the simulation? Having killed its host, this info-parasite collapses into a heap of pixel dust.
When too many tourists come bussing in to click pictures of the local farmer’s market, the bustling scene loses its rustic character and charm that attracted them there in the first place. Salt Spring Island becomes the Salt Spring Island Theme Park—an attraction unto itself, Chinese tourism studies show.
As for the new improved “Duck Creek Interactive Experience,” they’ve done what zealots have done for centuries: built a new church on top of the old church. In this case, the church of nature is desecrated by a shrine in its name. Nature, already delimited as a park, is further distilled to a single sacred word, Nature, and dressed in a litany of text, overwriting our direct experience of it.
A comparable case could be made for replacing direct experience of divinity with a hierarchy of names, of deities erected in our image, and a priesthood to write and interpret the text for us, inviting us to dwell in that new wonderful world of peace and equality now that we are initiated, leaving behind our own nature.
The Great Reset is upon us—but don’t text anyone comparing it to a religious cult. It will be served as evidence in your show trial. I hear they’re gathering facebook firewood and a murder of twitter-crows for your conversion.
‘And this entire thing we live in is essentially a poorly drawn cartoon superimposed on the real reality and blocking our view of the real reality by creating immeasurable amounts of constant painful noise. Why are we putting up with this?! And just because the illusory garden of fiction is where many choose to stay (and where the disturbed individuals on top want all of us to stay so that they can continue eating our hearts and stealing our lives), it doesn’t meant that it is beneficial for us to allow ourselves to be imprisoned in this garden of lies.’ —Tessa Lena
photos by Nowick Gray
In Covid Narrative Remix: Two Years of Dissent, Nowick Gray critiques the global agenda with the voice of the natural human spirit. These compiled articles from The New Now/Agora (2020-2022) shed light on the narrative sabotage carried out as the primary strategy of the war on humanity. Against that weapon of moral destruction, pen turns to sword in the ongoing battle for truth and freedom.
Nowick Gray is a regular contributor to The New Agora and also offers perspectives and resources for alternative culture and African drumming. Subscribe to his Substack (New World Dreaming) or visit his writings website at NowickGray.com.