Thursday, 31 July 2014
"I might lose you..."
It's a curiously Melbourne thing: the loss of telecommunications in the underground rail system known locally as "the Loop". Every morning and every afternoon, commuters answer a call just before entering the tunnels, answering with a weary refrain "Yep...yep...I might lose you...I'm going into the Loop".
Might lose? Why "might"? Has there ever been a time the cellular network has not dropped out on you in the Loop? Has there ever been a time you've gone from Richmond to Parliament without the familiar beeps of a disconnected call?
"...are you there??...you there?"
A peek at the phone screen to confirm that indeed the signal has been lost and the call disconnected. Because you didn't know that already...
There are few things in life we can be truly certain of. There's the "death and taxes" bit, but I'd like to add "being disconnected in the Loop" to that staid list. Admittedly it is a little parochial, but we are nothing if not a parochial people.
Popular news reports have mentioned something about the phone network being extended to the Melbourne Underground Rail Loop. All I can say to that is Fuck Off. It's one of the few places in the modern world where you can be assured of peace and quiet sans telecommunication. Hell, it's as good an excuse as any to hang up on the boss and not call back for 20 minutes.
But more importantly it gives one a chance to observe people's forced disconnection in this modern high-paced technologically (yada-yada...Time magazine...yada-yada) world. The endless downward swipes to reload news feeds that will never materialise...the ceaseless pressing of refresh, hoping somehow cellular data seeps between concrete cracks above to the bored passengers in bored holes below...