I think sometimes revolutions are not recognized until they are over. We went from pocket calculators to Pixar in twenty years. I know people were predicting how powerful the changes were going to be when these newfangled computers reached their potential, but back in the fifties people were predicting we would all have our own personal hovercraft by now, and look how that turned out. Given the way we drive, it's probably just as well that most of us are compelled to operate in two dimensions only-we're just not ready.
But then, is anyone ever ready for a revolution? There must have been many a Frenchman, head stuck at the business end of a guillotine, that wondered what the hell had happened. The whole book business is going through some sort of revolution now, and I don't know that any of us can predict who's head will end up on the chopping block and who will get to be Napoleon for a while. I suppose it's even possible that we will end up pretty much back where we started, but I wouldn't want to bet on it. This could end up being the most democratic ara in literary history, which is good, but somebody somewhere is going to find a way to make some money out of this upheaval, and I'm pretty sure it won't be you or me.
Newspapers struggle to find a 'business model' to support the staff of investigators, photographers, reporters, and God knows what else that it takes to investigate something like Watergate. If Richard Nixon were elected ten years from now, would there be anybody left to investigate him? People like me were suspicious from the start, but that's a far cry from having any actual proof of what went on. Ten years from now, I would just be one of thousands of bloggers, shouting at the top of my lungs that THIS GUY IS A CROOK! and there would be no more evidence behind my ravings than there is about 'death panels' or any of the other crap that passes for debate in our brave new age.
Writing and all it entails, is in the middle of a revolution now, as I'm sure many other people will say at least as ably as I, and, as near as I can tell, no one is in charge, or even has any idea how it's going to turn out. God help us all
I just looked at my blog, and found it scandalously short.
Perhaps I'm falling victim to the Short Attention Span Syndrome, or think you are. When we were still killing things with rocks, we had to be both patient and observant of every change in our enviornment, lest we become the dinee rather than the diner. The Celtic bards were supposed to have been scornful of the art of writing, because it made a story stay the way it was told, perhaps forever. You might have had that feeling after finally seeing a music video of a song that had long evoked a certain image in your mind. Now, it has been replaced by the video directors vision of what the song means, and sometimes I feel cheated by this intruder. Whether you agree with that notion or not, I think you can see how it's possible the way we think got changed by being able to read the thoughts of others-people who may no longer be alive, but still speak to us. Something had to give, and I suspect we lost an awareness of our surroundings. God knows I lose track of everything when I read something absorbing.
Now, it's changing again. Quick cuts from one thing to another on TV all day long-no one can be without the gadgets to keep them in touch with the world, apparently even while driving. Books may be getting longer, but the chapters are getting shorter, and something bloody well better happen in the first chapter, or the second will never get read. We may be on our way to becoming more like our preliterate ancestors. Ever notice how someone really good with computers, even when trying to teach you how to do something, will lose patience if you fumble a bit and take over? They can't bear the idea of waiting for you to figure it out. Our kids are going to have to know how to do things at hyperspeed to keep up with the world, and I can guess there is going to be a price to pay for that too. Viva the Revolution.
Causes David Beemer Supports
Wife works as an advocate for Seniors. Sponser a child through World Vision