in which it is obvious that only the bad bits of Total Recall have come true, and that if people will listen to birdsong, they will definitely watch Eyjafjallajökull erupting
you may not remember Total Recall quite as well as I do, but one of the scenes that sticks most in my mind is one where sharon stone and arnie argue over the tv remote. she wants to set the tv (which, this being the future, takes up much of the apartment wall) to an incredible sunset, arnie wants to watch rolling 24-hour coverage of industrial unrest on Mars. she of course turns out to be an evil conspirator in the wiping of his memory, but i was with her on the channel choice.
what spurred this journey into the sci-fi adventures of the 1980s was watching this quite stunning time lapse video of the eruption of the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano by Sean Stiegemeier…reminding me that this event was not just an inconvenience to aviation, but one of the most spectacular and beautiful phenomena in the natural world.
why, oh why does my TV, with its several thousand channels, not simply have one that i can visit to access beautiful, real imagery of the world whenever i want it. in this always-on, on-demand broadcast world that we live in, why does every single channel assume that what i want to watch is a ‘programme’, preferably lasting half an hour and with the pre-recorded sound of ‘humans’ laughing forcible inserted into it.
i don’t know if it still exists, but when digital radio was getting started in the UK i know they were experimentally transmitting a station called ‘birdsong’ (you can guess what the programming schedule looked like) – and it was strangely very popular. in fact various online services were launched off the back of it. check it out. it will make you happy.
surely there is a gap in the market for a broadcasting equivalent? possibly funded by an advertiser or a collective of advertisers with a stake in travel, beauty and inspiration? all you would have to do is to collect what exists already, from all around the world, and put it on the big screen.
i would watch it, at least for a moment, every day of my life.