I'll come up with something in a minute.

Chapter 660: In which I stray a bit from my original point.

You know what I miss? Calling cards. The sort of thing you’d leave at someone’s house saying you’d been there and where they could reach you. It was also a way to announce yourself at the door so the servants could go and tell the lord or lady of the manor who was visiting them. Yes, the modern business card is an extension of these, but I prefer something with a bit more flair, a bit more drama. Of course I also miss top hats, spats and colorful vests.

Be fair, what I actually miss are the days when everyone I knew either had servants or, if I was in a different mood that day, were servants. I did so enjoy those more genteel and civilized situations where a man could perform his task which was appointed to him by god and talent without all the fuss that today’s world puts on them. It as so much easier to blackmail people when they had other people who they didn’t think of as people watching them. All you had to do was admit their basic humanity and most those under the stairs types would fall in your lap, oft times literally, though I was too much of a gentleman to oblige myself upon those nice girls. I was such a good tipper in those days too, always paid twice the going rate and would make sure any maids who were fired or caught would land on their feet and out of trouble.

These days, of course, it’s all changed. Now people are in such a hurry to expose themselves that you’ve barely written the letter when they suddenly go off in and hike the Appalachian Trail. That sort of thing always spoils the fun because it sets the dogs on the prowl and you can’t threaten someone after that. Even worse, they’ll just alert the media themselves and ruin months worth of work. The worst of all though is that accursed Facebook thing. What’s the use of gathering material when they post things that are far worse (or better, depending on which side of the gentleman bandit transaction you happen to be on) than you could ever find in a month of Sundays on the internet without giving you a chance to tell them how dangerous such a thing is? And how does one make money without threatening to expose them if they don’t pay up? I would always explain the dangers before naming the price, it always made the cost seem small to the customer when I would tell them of the dangers first. Like insurance really, only more direct.

No, no! Give me a time machine, a hand full of calling cards, some spats and a nice thin stiletto in case people get stroppy, please.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Also? Get off my lawn

I keep thinking about the tales that I’ll have to tell my nephew. It’s going to be like listening to my parents talk about when there were only three channels and my grandparents talk about when there was only radio. I just keep thinking about how New Media won’t be new for him. He’s going to be four on Saturday (shares a birthday with me) so it’s all going to just be the media to him. TV, internet, whatever magazines and newspapers survive what I’m beginning to think is actually only going to be a minor apocalypse*, it will all be the same ideas to him.

I’ll have to regale him with tales of the old media and its limitations. Those dark days when if you didn’t catch a show or set the VCR timer you would have missed your favorite program. About those odd paper collections called magazines, that people claimed they bought only for the articles but really got for the pictures. I’ll have to explain the days when newspapers were actually made of paper and contained actual news. It already seems like a lifetime ago that the anchors reported news rather than simply ranting that immigrants are taking our twinkies and Obama is going to euthanize our shoes.

Oh, the tales I’ll tell about how when I was a boy the news was only on twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Yeah, I heard that rumor about lunch news, but I never saw it and as we say on the interwebs “Pics or it didn’t happen!” There will be the legend of how when I was his age there was a three or four hour block of cartoons on every Saturday morning on every major network. That in those days I was talking about a total of three networks because cable wasn’t very good yet, but it was trying. I don’t suspect he’ll be very interested, unless he gets on a history kick and wants to know all about the glorious 80s, at which point I’ll have to slap him for mistaking the 80s as glorious. I lived in Michigan during those years. Trust me, the 80s SUCKED! If I never see another hypercolor t-shirt or pair of neon sunglasses in my life it’ll be 35 years, two days, nine hours, forty-seven second and eight milliseconds too soon.

For all the changes, the Saturday Morning Cartoon thing is the one that really pisses me off. It’s been fifteen years since there was a proper Saturday morning line up, there are kids old enough to have sex (oh quit clutching your pearls, they’ve been masturbating for three years already) who have never known the joy of watching the Smurfs and then the agony of watching the Snorks after it. God the Snorks sucked. What is life without the ABC weekend special? I ask you!

People ask why I don’t have kids and I say “I can’t bear to bring a child into a world without Saturday morning cartoons.” And sometimes they point out that this is a very shallow reason and then I claim their head looks like a tire and go to town. Sure, there’s more to it than that, but it’s a symbol of everything wrong with a world that has become more worshipful and protective of children (to a level that ceased to be merely annoying some time ago and is now actually becoming a problem for everyone) while actually becoming far less friendly and accommodating to their actual needs rather than the needs of their panicky parents.

*If an apocalypse can be said to be minor that is. I’ve begun to wonder if maybe after a few more years the marketing will shift, everyone will adjust to a new paradigm and we will remember this period as a regrettable event that had to happen to make us all stronger.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment