Monday, 21 September 2015

The Mystery of Mountain View.

I sometimes get a little paranoid intrigued by the number of visits my blog receives from Mountain View, California, because we all know what Mountain View is famous for, don’t we? Silicon Valley, cradle of all that’s wonderful about the modern world and home to the really nice people who provide the facility to write this stuff (and the even nicer people who provide the platform on which it functions. Hi, Moz.)

But that’s what bothers me. As soon as I see Mountain View in my Feedjit, I wonder whether somebody is reading my blog with surveilant intent (I gather there’s no such word as ‘surveilant,’ but there ought to be so there is now.) So I Googled it, which is nicely ironic and feels almost like counter-espionage.

It seems there are four places called Mountain View in California. There used to be five until one of them changed its name, presumably out of a desire to disassociate itself from those who couldn’t come up with anything more imaginative for a place that just happened to have a view of some mountains. (I wonder how many places there are called Mountain View in Tibet…) It reminds me of those people in England who call their small, two bedroom, semi-detached suburban bungalows that just happen to be situated on a hilly street ‘Hillside.’

(That’s something I gather surprises Americans when they come to England – our cute but rather silly habit of giving names to our little suburban boxes. Among the most popular are Mon Repos and Chez Nous, which are even less imaginative than Mountain View but at least they’re in French. And we’re happy to concede that we didn’t give the world such cultural wonders as the Wild West and Hollywood.)

So there we have the mystery: Who is visiting my blog from Mountain View? Which Mountain View are you? Are you slurping your instant coffee in a house just a block away from the local grocery store, or are you sitting in a swish office playing fondly with the smart watch everybody gets given as a reward for a whole year’s employment with the same company? Do you have surveilant intent, or do you just like my style, replete as it is with delicious irony and subtle denigration but I’m only kidding, really I am?

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