First, thanks to Julie Nixon for yesterday’s thoughtful reflections on being a military spouse. It was an excellent way for all of us to participate in International Women’s Day.
Thanks also to everyone who took a moment to click into “Under Western Skies” for Julie’s post. It was the busiest day ever since the blog launched in November. If anyone has come here following a link to Julie’s Women’s Day article, please scroll down to see it. Or, the direct URL is: https://blaknissan.wordpress.com/2010/03/07/for-womens-day/
Now is the point at which I make some smart-aleck comment about returning to normal status: International Men’s Day, which prevails the other 364 days a year, but I’ll refrain.
I read this morning that Sony will begin selling 3-D TVs in June. Thank goodness, we’re saved, and, once again, by Sony, who have given us so many marvels. This flat, two-dimensional world we’ve been stuck in since Philo Farnsworth created a video image on a cathode ray tube has gotten too, too mundane. We need more stimulation! However, Jerzy Kosinski said pretty much everything I would say here about our media culture, and in a far more trenchant and entertaining way, so read the book, even if you’ve already seen Peter Sellers in the movie. (Books are ALWAYS better than the movie. Always. If you can think of an exception to this rule, Nixon’s Book-Movie Law, write me. You’ll be wrong, but write me, anyway.)
This topic relates to something posted recently by Blog Brother Niels, HERE, in which he reminisces about the rapid evolution of media technologies across the short years of his young life, leading up to the introduction of laser-based readers like CDs and DVDs. We all share that fascination, I think, however old or young we are. I can’t use the phrase “B side” with my nieces and nephews, who were born in the era of CDs, after the era when analog audio disks had two sides. My memory goes back further than Niels’ and my working career in video production began as some really old technologies were just fading away: my first-ever home video production used a reel-to-reel Sony recording deck with 1/2-inch tape. The professional tape at the time was just moving out of the 2″ monster tapes, and I took courses to learn video production using analog 3/4-inch tape cassettes. Now, stuff comes out of the camera on hard drives, I take the hard drive to the studio, download it, and, voila, everything is there in the system. By the way, I might observe that this awesome transformation into a non-linear digital world does not save any money. It’s more expensive than ever.
Some of us, we romantics, have an innate tendency toward nostalgia. We are the ones who collect old cars or toys, who go to museums full of airplanes from a bygone era, or reminisce about myriad other aspects of the past. I suspect that Microsoft is full of such hazy-headed dreamers, or they’d have managed to create a user interface that was ready for the 21st Century. The tough-minded kids are at Apple and Google, crushing the past and erasing it. No one working at Apple would write, as I did, about his halcyon days using a manual typewriter, HERE.
It just doesn’t pay to start longing for the days when things were slower, clunkier and less reliable. That’s silly. The only thing missing, you see, is a sense of physical style. Would you rather drive a new VW Jetta or a 1958 Chevy station wagon? Well? Hmmm …. I’ll have to get back to you on that. Meanwhile, for the near term at least, when I need to view something in 3-D, I’ll probably turn my chair the other way, away from the television, and look out at the little phoebe dipping water out of the pool. It’s just like being there.