Tuesday, 10 November 2009

“One Out of Every Five People Here is a Cyborg”

I am a hyper-dimensional Being embedded, temporarily, in a 3-spatial-dimensional matrix.

And so are you. Unless, of course, you’re one of those twenty-percent of people I alluded to in the title; that is, a Cyborg.

It’s an interesting question. Sometimes, I swear I’m surrounded by bloody cyborgs. At other times, I can clearly see the immanent Divinity in each of Us.

On Saturday, it was off to the new shopping mall around the corner – Cedar Square – to see if we could negotiate an internet contract with a different service provider, and get a new cellphone for Warren.

Cedar Square, like the pretentious office-park-shopping-centre-residential-complex in which I work, is a huge white elephant. Lots of very expensive, exclusive shops, and a mere smattering of actual shoppers at any given time. This results – as can be seen in both Melrose Arch and Cedar Square – in shop managers lounging around outside their stores, and in some cases even failing to pitch up to open at all.

Which was what happened with Virgin Mobile.
Our first target, it was ominously dark and steadfastly locked at 9 in the morning. It completely failed to open its doors by 9:45, so we moved on to the increasingly badly-named Neotel, in search of a fresh internet service provider.

Our previous ISP, iBurst, seems to have actually exploded all over the place. Their technical support is clueless, and its accounts department operates off excel spreadsheets. Not exactly confidence inspiring, and, judging by the customer complaints, we are not the only ones totally puzzled as to how that company continues to do business.

Neotel did not rise magnificently to the challenge of a two-person household who required differing setups for their net connection. In fact, the very best they could offer us was two separate packages, at a high price indeed.
We left the hollowly-echoing Square and headed, full of trepidation, for Sandton City.

I always lose my bearings there, and I don’t approach it more often than is absolutely necessary. But the only other Virgin store in a 50-km radius was located there, so we took a deep breath and plunged into the melee of kugels, bagels and stone-hard materialists of all colours and cultural backgrounds.

Virgin Sandton was actually quite good. We got personal service from the tech-on-hand, and left less than an hour later with a slick phone which Warren was very impressed with.
I would have had to be heavily bribed to take possession of a new cellphone of any description, but that’s just me. And a couple of million other proto-luddites around the globe.

Next we drove to the Bryanston Organic Market, for it was to be my 50th birthday the next day, and I’d asked Warren for a torc after a dream I’d had in which I was handed one by Herne.

Bryanston Organic Market is hilarious. Situated on the grounds of the Waldorf School, it’s been cunningly designed to harbour no straight lines or harsh angles whatsoever. Which of course left me wandering in circles once again.
But I not only found a torc astonishingly like my dream one, but got to catch up with a few of the Pagani as well. And stock up on honey from the Bee Man.

So – which of the various human beings I came into contact with on Saturday were divine projections, and which were cyborgs? Never mind the grass, flowers, beetles and dogs. I assume confidently that all of these are Divine.

Was it the mysteriously missing-in-action store manager of Virgin Mobile?
The intractable sales lady at Neotel? The charming capture-person for Virgin Sandton? Or the clued-up tech? Maybe the beautiful owner of Sirocco Trading?

All of the above?

I have no idea. I am only certain about myself, that I am in fact a Holy Being confined for a space to the material plane, along with cats and rats, streptococci and silver pines, planets and peonies. And, I strongly suspect, most human beings – even if a good number of them have either fallen into a deadly sleep or have been morbidly infected with evil - pustules of intruding disease rather than visiting scions of Life.

It is incumbent upon each of Us, I strongly believe, to not only determine our own Divinity, but to be conscious of the sleeping, the corrupted, and the living dead who walk amongst us.

Title: I am indebted to Resident Anti Hero for the Words
Pic: Lisa Foo, Originally adorning Donna Harraway's Cyborg Manifesto

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