July 27, 2013, 9:59 pm
Filed under: brave new world | Tags: , , , ,

20 Photos: The Rolling Stones play Hyde Park in LondonHyde Park, London, Rolling Stones, 2013

He is a sort of ecstatic god completely given over to the trance, a black sprite, swaying. From his privileged position he leads them as a priest would into the ecstatic state. They are completely willing, drawn by the allure of a place of abandonment to the music.  They mimic him, arms raised, bodies swaying.

Except for one guy, who looks like he is swaying his arms back and forth, but is actually taking a picture of Mick with his smart phone. And there’s another one taking a snap. And one or two more over there.

Hold on a minute. The whole damn crowd is taking a picture with his smart phone.

That’s an entirely different picture. There is no swaying going on, no abandonment to the mystic state. No special allure to the rock icon and his music. No transportation into self denial and union with the world spirit. It’s a crowd of rock and roll tourists taking pics to share on Facebook and Twitter.

There is an act of cancellation going on here: you can’t be fully abandoned in the moment, and also be recording to reminisce later. Considering the ubiquity of personal ‘devices’ it’s a wonder we’re ever really in the moment.

3 Comments so far
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But so observant!

Comment by beeseeker

Very thoughtful, and searingly true Peter. It is as though we are living life at remove. Because I take this picture, I prove to the social stratosphere that I matter. I was there, after all. See! I even posted it moments later, stepping away from the experience itself even further. What song were they playing again….?

Comment by bob

Yes, it’s a strong instinct that social media has figured out very well.

Comment by Peter Rudd

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