Tuesday, 3 June 2014
I may have murdered a man on Google Street View, outside of a stranger's home, on a street I don’t quite know, as unfamiliar cars passed by and fellow pedestrians ignored us; but it was done in broad daylight. All unfamiliar except for the all seeing eye of the Google VW Beetle with all that revolving apparatus on the roof. There am I, a media star. Blood on my hands and blood on the street, we left a deep pool I had to step over or was that just a trick of the light? Perhaps there's a footprint. Incriminating evidence, circumstances and complicated data gathering equipment. Perhaps it's all just make believe but who believes in make believe? The street they seem to believe they own, all public space is gobbled up and shared, a view now captured along with me and my victim. Rendered and spun into a mix of the truth, the unrecognisable and the day itself. The hour, minute and second with digital timestamp. My motives remain unrecorded, they can't get inside my head, yet. My crime, a sorry sight that will live on in countless viewings and scattered, fiddling searches, on phones and screens. Most likely largely ignored or just filed under those WTF comments. “Some dead guy.” “Some other guy standing.” “It looks fake to me.” “He looks guilty.” “I'm sure he did it.” “Oh, I heard about this.” “It made the Daily Mail and Reddit.” “What business was it they were promoting?” “Where is that place anyway?” “Next shot will have a dog on skateboard or some party goer struggling home wearing a horse's head and no pants.” “I'm not sorry for him.” “Set up.”
It was a sunny day then, when they stole my image and hijacked my soul in that drive-by way that is neither being witness or following a conscience. Just the relentless capturing of locations and details with no intervention or judgement calls. There's no reverse key or rewind. Why edit out the shit anyway? Why bother about what's there? It is what it is, we made a cosmic tattoo that loops around the sun and everything else in 365 days but never gets dizzy. Perhaps I should hide behind a tree or a rubbish bin. Turn and walk in the opposite direction. Pull my shirt over my head. When the officers of the law come in a month's time what will they find? I hid the body, I put whee only a drone would find it and they're not ready yet. We still have some use for the humans. They can search, they can film and of course they can just get on and kill one another. That's all very uncivilised, just what we hoped for.
I should tell you all about my motive, what led me here. Those events, those unlikely circumstances, what he did to deserve it. What he said and stole. What I lost and didn't have. Why they drove me here and made me do it. Why I hurt so much, my humiliation, my loss. I heard the words inside my head, I couldn't do anything to stop it. They just kept talking and then it clicked on me. Almost an innocent man, almost but for one rash action, almost innocent. That camera isn't good enough to catch the pain etched on my face like laser surgery, no lines or signs. And that black, dense mass in my heart is outside of the spectrum of the polished lens. A heart that colour isn't even a colour. That's what we murders know that the rest of you don't. How fucking black it all is and how badly represented we all feel by ourselves. Even when we're stuck out there, hung up in a real estate display or on the edge of a pamphlet photo. The walking ghost of Street View dispatches another body to the other place where even the www wont easily reach.
There's no sensation of speed, travel or movement. We freeze in the pane, on your screen, caught in the act. Static in a sickly acceptance that petty crime will come along, repeat and, despite the politician's good words and the promises of funding, won't go. So let's just record the footprints on the sound stage, the scenery and the back lot landscapes. They'll easily mask all that social disquiet, the rumblings. Let the bad behaviour play and turn viral, it doesn't matter so long as you can find your way out, or the plumber, or that rental bargain and as for the story of the murder? Well that just happens in other people's families and other peoples lives. Doesn't it?