28 Apr

Condo Fee Lifestyle[1] April 1, 2013

One of the actual rewards of consumer accessible technology has been the condo fee lifestyle.  We now can download and upload our own material to the worldwide web, talk instantly to friends and family; videophone them, text them, and share photo and video of events as they take place on a geographically global scale.  The price tag attached is usually touted as ‘small’, mere ‘pennies a day’, or simply ‘the best deal on the block’.

In reality, like the condo [maintenance] fee; when you buy in, it’s for life, and it never goes away.  You can purchase the appliance (sending / receiving device) outright but the invisible strings ‘hooking-you-up’ to the satellite must be there for your world to stay connected.

Protocol fees and microwaves are the modern format of tyranny that keeps us tied to this ‘apparently’ free lifestyle.

… And of actual real estate property?   Jean Jacques Rousseau, in The Origin of Inequality:  THE SECOND PART, p. 207:  The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.  From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this imposter; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of this earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”  But there is great probability that things had then already come to such a pitch, that they could no longer continue as they were ; for the idea of property depends on many prior ideas, which could only be acquired successively, and cannot have been formed all at once in the human mind.  …

For related comments: http://valerie.basicbruegel.com/notes-on-the-downtown-series/


[1] In an episode of the 1980’s ‘television cops’ series Hunter, a drug dealer from Hawaii was menacing the streets of Los Angeles by punishing subsidiary dealers that were trying to undercut his profits.  The show’s two main characters: Police Detectives Sgt. Rick Hunter and Sgt. Dee Dee McCall joked about the Hawaiian dealer’s cover-up; ‘that he was hiding his illegitimate business operations under the guise of a condo investment scheme’.  The two shared a hearty laugh as they discussed the ludicrousness of such a possibility.  They assured each other that this phony business scheme was based upon an idea that would never fly and that the dealer was not very smart to propose it as an alibi

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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device. In the fall of 2012, she published her play The Raft, through Basic Bruegel Editions.

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