Monday, July 19, 2010

Pyramid Lake II

A lot of northern Nevada drains into this desert terminus called Pyramid Lake, about an hour north of Reno. The best description I can offer is something between the more arid side of Bear Lake and a miniature, less saline Sea of Cortez. What I mean is it’s phenomenally stark and beautiful. A long cerulean blue mirage that actually is water.

Here’s a photo a friend took up there last year.

Also, if you bought one of those new apple ipads you’ve got a sleeker and slightly doctored (check the exaggerated symmetry in the widescreen version) picture of the place at dusk, probably overlaid with a few desktop icons. All of this has left me wondering about our use of pretty pictures as wallpaper and pegboard for our digital carkeys, frypans, monkeyspanners, and hacksaws, along with all the psychological corollaries, subliminal or explicit, profound or superficial.

For example, how does the act of clicking and dragging my ehowitzer or other tacky virtual furniture across a flat, odorless, digital expanse like this effect my connection with or understanding of an actual desert lake at dusk, or an actual sunflower at close range, or, if you like, puppies, or Sting, or the plastic-silicone-heavy-metal-device itself? Or does this just look like a lot of handwringing and hoodia about ecoporn, commodification, and turning somewheres into nowheres? Maybe try putting your coat rack in front of your bay window, or spreading your T.V., roadmaps, walkman, mailbox and “recycle bin” out on the beach, and then post a report.

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