Today is one of those days unemployed people dread, the fallow day. I have no plans, no commitments, the shopping is done, I don’t need a haircut, I have no one to bug me and all my friends are at work. I don’t even have any mind bending drugs to distract me. It is surely because of the fallow days that people turn to crack or alcohol in the first place – to make the endless hours stretching out before us move along that little bit quicker.
There’s TV. There is always TV. Trisha, Fern and Phil and Jeremy Kyle. Why is it that we know these people by their first names? Actually I’m not going to go there. Not just because it’s been done a million times before but because there is a whole world of activities and knowledge and things to be learnt just waiting for each and every one of us. Me, I’m going to turn to cosmology and try to find out just how big the universe is and exactly how old it is – I think it’s about 14 billion years old but it’s always good to check. I have explored this before, I didn’t just wake up one morning knowing the age of the universe, but it’s important to know for sure. 14 billion used to sound like a big number until Government bail-outs upped the stakes to the trillions.
Banker: “how old is the universe? 14 billion. Pah! I lost that much by tea time yesterday.”
The fallow days are just the worst because they sap your energy, they force you into procrastinating and even go so far as to eke. Eking is the worst thing you can do (with the obvious exception of murder, torture and so forth) because you are passively wasting your precious time here on earth. We have such short life spans and so much to accomplish that eking is a crime against nature. The odds against each of us existing is incomprehensible! The quantum event that began the big bang, that the mathematical constants of the universe should be such that the universe neither flies apart too quickly or collapses in on itself, that a planet should be formed with just the right atmosphere and chemicals and distance from the sun that water could exist, that humans should evolve in just such a way that your parents met each other and that one sperm should make it through to the egg and here we are. Bang! An individual without a job.
Google almost makes it too easy to find an answer, perhaps that’s why it’s human nature to corrupt Wikipedia. Wikipedia should be a wonderful resource for all of human knowledge, that once we have written it all down and linked it up together we will discover wonderful new applications and inventions, but instead we prefer to purposefully fill it with nonsense and junk. Henry Miller, in his book ‘Tropic of Cancer’, exclaimed that when all of art is collected in one book and all the ideas have been done, then art would be dead. Perhaps this is why we avoid completing Wikipedia. Lord knows how the world of advertising would cope. Advertising company board rooms across the world would slump as their latest idea for selling us face cream could be found out by a click of a button. This is already happening to an extent. So the question is, can the human race run out of ideas and if so will we have to keep wiping our memories every ten years just to enable us to enjoy life.
”Ooh look the Mona Lisa, I haven’t seen that before. What a quirky smile she has.”
I read that the British Library is preparing a phenomenal project to scan all of the art in all of the galleries across Britain and put it online. What a terrible idea. Sure you can expose a lot more people to a lot more paintings, but you can only make them appreciate art less as they scroll through, like the posters in HMV as you flick casually past Metallica and Girls Aloud, perhaps pausing once because you thought you saw a bit of nipple. You didn’t. Carry on. I think I might write to them and tell them it’s a terrible idea. They could spend the money on something much more exciting like, an escalator to the moon.
Boy you can tell it’s a fallow day when I’m writing about escalators to the moon. I’ve got things to do, like the washing. And so it grinds on. These fallow days are killing me.