A Room with a View
Looking out of my window, viewing the icons of a city up. First, the round cupola of a former prison. Built as a transparent Panopticon. All prisoners visible all the time. Big Brother of Orwell and Endemol TV program about zero privacy made it obsolete. So did the social standing certificates for Chinese citizens issued by robots scanning security cameras. Who needs prisons if we are all transparent anyway, 24/7?
Then come the two church towers in the heart of the medieval town. A bit further more twin towers and a cupola of the neo-Gothic cathedral, built by the Catholics when the Protestants finally allowed them to compensate for the loss of the Big Church to the Reformation. The first of the churches holds city archives, the second serves as a concert and congress space, the third often becomes a location for flower exhibitions (and still offers a holy service on Sundays). Less fortunate churches get refurbished as yuppie lofts. No pray, no pray, some pray. Faith (almost) no more?
Former prison will become an open university before noon, with lecture halls doubling as cinemas in the evenings. Churches will scan our souls and our lifestyles looking for new social functions. Shopping and touring as usual.
The view closes with an iconic windmill. A tourist fake replacing the original which had burnt down in 1932. This iconic windmill, its hour come down at last, slouches towards tourist selfies, to be born again as a natural symbol of ecologically correct future. Would Don Q. embrace it?
Haarlem, December 16, 2019