Crazy thoughts on the bus…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s elephant in the room is the one picking up cream buns with her trunk and throwing them at the vicar.

Hm… levels of reality… an existential moment…
I was sitting on a bus, I sit on buses quite a lot, and I started thinking about levels of reality. It was one of those ships that triggered it:

Yes, one of those ships woven into the fabric of the upholstery of the seats. It was that blue-green one, in the middle, towards the top, that caught my attention.

What kind of ship is it? A freighter? Certainly not a trawler with a shape like that, or a warship. I began to wonder about it; was it based on a picture of a real ship? A ship of the past, sailing somewhere, with a name, a ship with a long gone captain and crew?
Woven into the fabric like that, just a few stitches, it hardly exists, it’s almost just a smudge of colour in the rough shape of a ship. It would be no good getting out a magnifying glass and looking closer, you wouldn’t see any port holes, or smoke coming from her funnel, you’d just see coloured threads…
So, what would be the next level up from this image towards reality, what ever that is? The fabric designer’s original pencil drawing, or a few pixels on a screen? An old black and white photo from a newspaper, made up from dots of ink on cheap paper that he/she was using as a source? How about a nice crisp colour photograph of a real ship? But what about the sound of her whistle and the lap of waves against her hull, the dusty rattle of her anchor chain? Oh, a clip of film showing her moving slowly up a wide muddy river, look, you can see someone leaning on the fo’c’sle rail, he’s smoking a hand-rolled cigarette and squinting into the setting sun. She’s not a tanker then, no smoking on tankers you know…
What next in the levels?
Ah, being there I suppose, on the river front, watching her steam past – she looks like she’s from Argentina. Would this be the top level of reality? Possibly…
Some clever people think that all this world and universe that we are aware of is ultimately composed, not of actual things, like bollards, buses, splashes of salty water, molecules, fish, quarks, and/or bubbling random waves, but everything is instead just pure ‘information’ – including us, and what’s in our brains. It’s all a bit like those silly Matrix films (it’s a pity they weren’t a bit better, isn’t it?).
Shall we zoom back down to looking at the little ship on the back of the bus seat, and compare that with standing here, on this chilly river bank, seagulls squawking above us, watching a steamer chug past, listening to the deep throb of her engines coming across the flat brown water?…
Is one any more ‘real’ than the other, bearing in mind that stuff about ‘information’?
Hey! Come on, let’s go back to prehistoric times here on this planet. Having just killed and sliced up a nice fat bison, and before we crouch down to eat, we should perhaps just pop into the deep cave and record the event on the wall with some charcoal and red mud?…
Ah, we are approaching my stop, I’d better ring the bell…


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, brain, dreaming, Dulltown, existentialism, information, observations, physics, science, serendipity, surrealism, thinking and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Crazy thoughts on the bus…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Try ringing the bell in your imagination.
    Crazy thoughts on the bus part II: The Viking Longship on the left. III: the Yellow Yacht.
    Talking of maritime motifs, didn’t you used to love drawing seagulls in the skies with just a little double curve? With instant perspective by doing them in different sizes … there were a lot of seagulls in my childhood skies …..

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Hell! I still draw my seagulls like that – in fact seagulls are like that! There’s nothing to them…
      Er, no, I don’t think there’ll be a part two or three – sorry Jheron.

  2. Dana Doran says:

    It’s all in your head Dave – reality, that is.

  3. Jheron Bash says:

    You’ve got a lot to thank bus seats for, Dave …

  4. Jheron Bash says:

    Why have you not done any seagulls in your linocuts yet? There’s a thought.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s