That’s the night that the lights went out…
I don’t know where I’d be without people feeding me all this “news” through email. Silence, I guess, or just listening to meditative music and meditating. I’m thoroughly isolated from the media now (intentionally) and I barely have the interest to turn on the computer most of the time. I don’t need a continuous stream of information, because the facts of the situation have been clear to me for years. In this iteration, the DLC chose its candidate, and there was no alternate Obama option this time around to make it seem like a genuine reality tussle. That’s how Bernie got his “revolution” going. People are starved for some election reality, though there never really was any chance for Bernie. Now the Trump phenomenon… that’s another matter entirely.
A few weeks back. I got a tip for a sci-fi novel from the seventies I’d missed. I wasn’t really into sci-fi then, or ever. But it can have some good metaphorical references to work with. The Matrix seems to last. The 1974 novel was The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe by D.G. Compton. Compton turns out to have been writing in much the same vein as Phillip K. Dick. Don’t know if his was quite as drug induced; I actually found it to be some half way decent literature. Got into the character’s heads.
Amazing foresight from Compton, though. I can’t remember what clues going around then that might have foretold the very idea of books produced and read through computers. Kindle and other ebook formats would not have occurred to me, even though I was getting the news through writing courses that if I wanted to write fiction, good literature was on the way out, and formula fiction would be the future. Really killed my interest in writing that genre as a potential future when I stepped back and saw what was taking place media-wise. I never did get into television as a kid, so I wasn’t really paying attention. But then I began to, and what I saw was the death of the very environment out of which literature would be produced and shared. So I went a different route with my writing jones. But fiction that would be computer produced and spread was the job Compton imagined Katherine would be doing when she got the bad news about her imminent death.
But the most chilling conception was the televised reality notion, out of which, in a variation of that future, a Donald Trump would create his image and draw his notoriety from a continuous reality-starved public of media addicts. The key to understanding the novel and reality television’s emergence as a phenomenon is in the title, with the word ‘continuous’. You’ll have to read it to get it. Today Trump is probably as real to many who have helped put him on this bizarre path to the White House (can you imagine a nation calling it the Black House?) as their own discontinous lives.
So, as to the title of this blog… Looks like another message board site where I shoot up to appease my writing jones is history for me. On the 23 of July, the lights went out, thus the lines from an old country song now echoing in my head.
They left open the option of writing blog essays, to which people could make comments. Not the same as a message board and the somewhat anarchical freedom that abounds in such atmospheres. But I tried one. I discovered it was to be manually read and would have to be “approved” by management before it would be viewed by the public. Eventually it appeared. A small discussion followed. I wrote a second essay.
They killed my second blog piece. They are now giving me the cold shoulder when I ask why. That’s the same treatment I give others — trollish, rude combatants who I want to ignore. It works. They give up instead of taking over my topic. Appears they now have a formula down for complete control of their site. What does that say about the host? The host is a television and radio political talk show figure. What does it say about the concept of authenticity vs hypocrisy? The host himself has become a reality media creation of sorts. And D.G. Compton’s 1974 novel was a good read for me right about now. RH