Paper is at once both the cruelest invention a writer may have stumbled across and also her salvation.
The blank page invites, often demands the pen and is unjudging, yet the poet may change or delete but the paper retains the original and throws it back in his face.
The computer, many say, changed all of that, backspace or highlight and delete and that mistake, misuse, misadventure is gone forever, but with a wrong keystroke all you may have is a blank screen and your words so well shaped, thoughts perfectly expressed can be lost in the ether.
I will soon enough be in mourning for literature and philosophy for the moment is approaching when they will be lost, or I suppose simply subsumed, swallowed up in a cloud appearing momentarily then gone.
The day is rapidly approaching and if you doubt it for even a moment, go to your local library, if it has not closed, and note the diminishing number of books, replaced by computers, where everything can be found while the power is on, but just try and read there when a candle is the only light.
Technology has effectively destroyed the intimate dinner parties that once were the core of a social life.
You fretted over whether the souffle would collapse, if the wine was chilled to the right temperature, if the entree was back timed sufficiently to allow time for the hors d’oeuvres and if the guests would arrive at the scheduled time.
Now it is a fear that Grubhub or Doordash will be late, that you must remember to hide the packaging from the heat and serve appetizers and if it will be nice enough to eat outside, or if you will need to check vaccination cards.
First, read the syllabus and buy the books we will read. Note that I have carefully selected works for which there are no Cliff Notes or their equivalent, so if you were counting on that consider yourself screwed.
When you write an essay, do not ever, let me emphasize EVER, begin by saying in my opinion, for if I wanted an opinion on a great writer’s work I would as soon stop and ask my multigrain bagel what it thought, although I admit its Everything cousin did have some amazing insights into Hamlet.
Do not bother plagarizing quotes from things you find on the internet, for they will either be wrong or you will have found them by using Google or another search engine and I discovered those when you were still in diapers. And finally if you ask for more time to write a paper, I will give you a strong recommendation to take my friend’s Intermediate Composition class, the one you tried to duck by taking my class instead.
Driving to the car dealer yesterday for what I should have known would be expensive service, not because I hadn’t had my car serviced in over a year, simply because any trip to the dealer for service is expensive, Q.E.D., I drove by Easy Street.
I thought of stopping, perhaps looking for a small house to keep for the occasional getaway, I mean who doesn’t want to live on Easy Street.
Sadly the homes were run down and the neighborhood was spotted with half empty strip plazas, so I had to conclude it iwould be hard to live on Easy Street.
Music was so much simpler when I was younger, or so it seemed, artists came and went but we always knew who was who, and when a group broke up you’d almost hold your breath until a new group was formed by the lead singer or songwriter.
We missed the Zombies, but Rod knew where his silver was minted and Argent came along quickly.
The First Edition realized it would have only one, so Kenny Rodgers went solo and we all know that story.
And we learned never to turn your back on Clapton or Jimmy Paige, lest a new supergroup emerge when we weren’t looking.
Now music is populated by genres beyond my aural grasp, singers name Lil This or That, and I miss a world that revloved at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.
Technology has it in for us, which is sad as it is a creature of our creation. It is one part desire, six parts dependence, with a dash of insanity. Still each year we line up like good lemmings to march off the IOS or Android cliff into the iPhone and Galaxy abyss. But we are addicts and our suppliers know us all too well, know just what will give is the rush we desire, make us willing to cast aside old comforts for the hope of newer and better. And they do provide us hours of reloading our apps and data except for those few items we cannot live without that disappear in the process.
It was only a matter of time, and the time has come when the Chinese would abandon the time honored “please to be placing the Tab A withinside the slot on Part E,” and instead merely show undecipherable pictures of parts, so that with but a single set of instructions they can frustrate buyers in all nations.