Rags of Light

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There’s good stuff on TV: Beaver Dam Webcams! I laughed when I read this paragraph in a dyspeptic rant about contemporary TV (emphasis added).

I see the smart young people on Twitter sitting in what I imagine are their extremely expensive, extremely crowded apartments in Brooklyn, tweeting about Game of Thrones, or whatever came after it to instantaneously fill its void, and I think to myself: what did you go to the trouble to move to New York for, to brave all the challenges of life in the capital, when you could have stayed in your parents’s suburban home outside Columbus and watched these same dumb shows with them? What’s the difference where you are if your life is still anchored to substantially the same cultural touchstones as the lives of the people you thought you had to get away from in order to create yourself anew? I understand you don’t have a lot of money left over after rent is due. But there are webcams turned on the inside of beaver dams streaming live on the internet, right now, and to watch costs less than your Netflix subscription, and the rewards are infinitely greater. Take a street-view tour of Yakutsk. Watch the cargo-ship GPS trackers, the global wind maps. There’s an amazing world out there.

A couple of years ago I somehow stumbled on the world of live train videos: just a camera mounted in the cab (is that the word?) of a long-haul train in Norway, Montana, or wherever. Go to YouTube, search “live train view” and go from there. Warning: hypnotic, maybe as much so as beaver dam videos.