Friday, August 12, 2011

Return to Hodge Podge Lodge

I had a "talk" with someone on Facebook a while back about e-readers.  Their comment was, and I'm paraphrasing, "I get really tired of people saying that print is dead.  It truly isn't.  These new-fangled e-readers lack one important thing: tangibility.  It doesn't feel like holding a book in my hand.  Plus, who will pay for books when you can pirate them like anything else on the web?"
Oh my dear Luddites.  How long must I be among you?  The "tangibility" argument is one I grow less and less sympathetic to by the minute.  Has this person ever actually held a Nook or a Kindle?  The device is no less "in your hand" than a dinosaur book is when you read.  Plus on the Nook anyway, you even get the sensation of turning pages.  And piracy?  There are stats that show sales of e-books actually going up after piracy.  E-books are where it's at and where it will continue to be...especially when newer, cooler readers are released through places like The Sharper Image.  Of course there will always be people who resist this new technology but their number will grow fewer and fewer as e-readers just become another part of our daily lives.  As I quoted in an earlier post: "if you have a smartphone, you're already partly transhuman."  Nothing is going to stop this movement. 

I just read a short story by John Shirley called "The Belonging Kind."  Technically it was co-written by William Gibson and it appeared in Gibson's Burning Chrome anthology, but this story was pure Shirley in style.  It's about a tired man who discovers an entirely new race of creature, one that slinks among us in our modern life more easily than a cockroach does, fueled by the alcohol of a hundred bars.  If you like John Shirley's writing style, read it.  You won't be disappointed.  If you don't like the work of John Shirley, read it anyway.  It could do you good.
I've also been re-reading an old magazine.  A few years back, NME released a thick, glossy edition that held a collection of original stories on New Romantic bands.  At least they say it's New Romantics but I'd simply call it "80s Music" as Madonna was most certainly not a New Romantic.  Of course Duran Duran were featured prominently in the issue.  There are several gems within the pages of interviews, one of them being Nick Rhodes getting hostile with Duran's tour staff as he refuses to give Andy Warhol obstructed view seating in Madison Square Garden.  Who can blame him?  Simon watches Nick overdo it with the eye shadow and calls him a "bleedin' panda bear."  John confesses that he was nowhere near as nervous meeting Prince Charles and Princess Diana as he was meeting David Bowie.  Good stuff.  Reminds me of better times.

Forget to blog this earlier.  I had a bit of disappointment over my sabbatical to Ohio.  I mentioned to my Dad that I'm researching for an academic paper on the cut-up method used by William Burroughs.  Then Dad, Mr. "I've got 2 Ph.D.s" asks "Who is William Burroughs?"  Sigh.  I should have suggested he have all incoming freshmen read Naked Lunch, but instead I went to look through the refrigerator just as I did so many years ago.

Now playing: David Bowie, "Moonage Daydream."

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