When I turned fourteen, I became employed by a fast food franchise. On one of the tables of the establishment, near the ketchup dispenser, there were stacks of paper crowns that anyone could lay hold of and wear. They had the franchise’s logo printed on the front. You could take one of the crowns and fasten it onto your head.
I fear that in the future, the reading of books is going to become a lost art – something that only a small group of specialists cares about, like the mastering of Latin or Greek. I hope that readers don’t go extinct.
A hard thought to swallow is this: What if nobody cares about what anyone else is writing? We’re living in the age of instant text messaging and social networking, so people simply don’t want to spend time reading books deeply (maybe they’ll read a book quickly, like they might watch a television show, but few people enjoy reading deeply). Much free time is spent surfing online and chatting, and a lot of people have trained their mind to accept only small bits of text, simple fragmented thoughts – anything more than that is too much for them, they lose interest.
I think that our age is semi-literate. Here’s my opinion: the Greek alphabet was the most fantastic invention, but modernity is moving backwards to embrace hieroglyphics. So why publish any form of writing at all, let alone paper books? The answer is: NO REASON. But now I’ll give the cheerful answer:
The next generation of people will rebel against our semi-literate generation of online addicts. That future generation will reject our distracted ways. The future will produce an abundance of people who value robust, imaginative books that transcend the current fashions and that stand the test of time.
So we should publish writings for the readers who aren’t yet born.
I’ve noticed that the movie director David Lynch always starts his postings on Nameless Network 140 with the phrase “Dear Twitter Friends.” So I copied him and achieved a perfect post. By “perfect” I mean that the post turned out to have exactly the amount of characters allowed:
Dear Twitter Friends, this place reminds me of the stock market scenes in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film L’ECLISSE (1962) but without Alain Delon and Monica Vitti.