Venus Transit


General Culture


It was one of those rare cultural moments yesterday, disguised as an astronomical event, Venus passing in front of the Sun. If you’ve missed it you’ll have to wait another 200+ years to see it again. What struck me about this moment was (and still is) that for once, the web was not going “viral” about some stupid nonsense, to be laughed or angry about and then forgotten the very next day (like that Kony stuff or some video of a dead helicopter cat). It was something utterly inconsequential in the scheme of things we have agreed to hold dear (which, let’s face it, is the real inconsequential stuff when viewed from the kinds of places we are talking about here). Nobody was outraged, nobody (so far) has written about how the “web 2.0” has transformed something here. Everybody was just looking at something to be had for everybody, almost regardless of where you lived (and if you were unlucky with where you live that was absolutely nobody’s fault), it was beautiful (well, about as beautiful as a tiny black dot in front of the Sun can be), and now it’s over. We all just enjoyed it. I wish there were more events like this. (photograph by NASA)