Blah blah poetry blah blah, I’m Facebook friends with Luke Kennard, blah blah, I’ve skim-read a couple of Paul Muldoon books, blah blah, aren’t I great?, blah blah, Wikipedia, blah effing blah.
- Phil Brown if he were writing this article
There is only one film worth watching, and that is The Lawnmower Man.
Have you seen it? It’s been a real inspiration to me.
The premise is simple. A young Pierce Brosnan (looking like a less ugly, less annoying Phil Brown and probably knows a hell of a lot more about how to be a poetry editor) creates a Virtual Reality super-computer that can turn an idiot-boy into the most learned megalomaniac conceivable (do you guys remember Virtual Reality?). Idi0tB0y 2.0 (his name is Jobe) goes bat-shit crazy and tries to take over the world with his slick new brain power. In the end he is defeated. But is he? To be continued?
I’m a firm believer that the best way to learn about an era is to look at how the people of that era envisioned the future. The Lawnmower Man was made in 1992, just as we were on the cusp of finding out what computers were capable of and how the internet would fold the world into everyone’s pocket.
In this sense, the film was nearly prophetic. The film’s anti-protagonist takes the role of the Christopher Columbus of cyber-space. He realises that, despite being born an absolute idiot, he is suddenly granted access to all of the world’s knowledge and his autodidactic thirst becomes limitless. He is terrified at discovering history’s inexhaustible tragedy, yet is compelled to dig deeper, dig wider.
Real-world idiots would have to wait a further decade before the ability to digitally side-step being an ill-informed dullard with the 3G network became available.
The reason I say ‘nearly’ prophetic is because this is not how the ultimate source for information really panned out, is it? The Lawnmower Man’s equivalent of the Rocky-montages comes in the form of Jobe, played by Jeff Fahey (who shows an incredibly diverse array of acting chops in this film) sat inside a big 90’s-futuristic supercomputer running disc after disc of some sort of occult-Encarta through his brain. The pile of laser-discs (again… remember that?) grows and grows as Jobe works his way through a seemingly inexhaustible compilation of general knowledge.
This might well have been how the internet panned out if it weren’t for the fact that we’re all on it and, tragically, we can use it to talk to each other. If Jobe’s mental-training were to be a true prophesy, every fourth disc would have to be a compilation of pictures of boobs and every article on history/philosophy/science/etc. would have to be periodically interrupted by notifications that ‘Dr. Angelo likes your status: Telekinetic Lawn-Mowing ftw bitchez!’
What the Lawnmower Man does provide, however, is a vivid message of what the internet could be. Forget all this Google bullshit. Screw Hotmail. The hell with Bing! The internet needs to be brought back to its original ethos – as 58 laserdiscs full of proper knowledge about boats and shit.
But I can’t do this alone – Finkpoint needs your help. Here’s what we need to do to make poetry real again:
Rule 1: All poems should contain at least 4 hyperlinks.
Rule 2: Poems should be 28 lines long.
Rule 3: No poem should ever have its writer's name attached to it. Anyone attempting to claim a poem as their own should be given the same treatment as if they had tried to kidnap a child.
Rule 4: Poems are only allowed to be contained on blogs. All paper-copies of poetry should be sent to the moon.
Rule 5: Any poem which has less than 50 visits per day will be automatically deleted.
Rule 6: No more silly rules or unqualified criticism is allowed like "ooh I'm sorry, we don't publish poems with hyperlinks on Silkworms.
Viva la cyber revolucion
VIRUS IN RESIDENCE