On the plane ride to California I watched the new Planet of the Apes movie, which coincidentally features intelligent gorillas (and James Franco) clambering across the Golden Gate bridge to form a new utopian community amidst the tall, ancient redwoods of the Muir Woods National Monument. I can sympathize with the apes… the journey across the bridge is quite pleasant and the giant sequoias in the park are spectacular.
Today I presented my paper at the AAR, so I will have to write more about that later! While not shopping at the conference book tables, however, we managed to squeeze in a trip (via ferry) to Alcatraz. When we landed on the island I had the uncanny feeling I had seen the place before. Then it came to me… the island was a “level” in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4. (A video game I used to play obsessively, way back when I had time for things like video games!) Going to a place I had previously explored as a virtual environment was a little strange; the game designers had done their research well, everything was where I “remembered.” Platonic anamnesis or a symptom of too much media consumption – it’s hard to say. But that’s just how it is in California: everything has been in some movie or TV show, so you’re always going somewhere you’ve already been.