When the lights go out.


I love finding out about something that I like that I never knew that I liked before. That first sentence may have been a wee bit confusing, but it’s cool because I’m going to illustrate exactly what I mean. Do continue reading.

So, we had this earthquake. As you know from the news, friends, rumors, or living where I do, all the power went out for a few days. For most of us this means we can’t use items that require electricity. Most of us know this. I say ‘most of us’ because it’s part of the thing that I just found out recently that I like. Those that have been left behind, however, do what most of us don’t.

I’ve recently been blessed with a certain colleague. On one particular day after the largest earthquake on the earth in 140 some-odd years, this ‘certain colleague’ wakes up a bit later than usual. After looking in the mirror in her other-than-powered room, decides that she does not have time to curl her hair. She rushes off to work with one of her friends. When she gets to the office, which is dark (and not because she works with moles) she places her things on her desk and heads off to the restroom.

“What are you doing?” asks the supervisor.
“I’m gonna curly my hair,” she responds.
“With what?”
As a response, she holds up a curling iron, the cord ready to plug in an outlet instantly.

If there was a way that Facebook could box that whole sequence of events up and stamp it with a ‘Like” tab, I’d be the first in line.

I don’t know. I just like it when people do things like set instant ramen cups in the microwave – all prepared with spice-packet contents and water up to the line…when there’s no power. I like it when people drag vacuums up flights of stairs just to find that there’s no power.

I mean, whatever. It happens, I suppose, but it’s still funny.

I’m not sure if I would go so far as to say that our dependence upon the world of electricity is frightening, but I do think it’s a bit much. I read a snippet in a page from Esquire today. The page, entitled Why Print Still Matters, covered reviews of rare books. One of the books reviewed was called, The End of Books, 2009, by Greta Schurrd. The review is as follows:

First edition of the first volume of Schurrd’s dystopian
fantasy, set in a frighteningly realistic – and eerily immediate – future
when the written word has been completely digitized. In Schurrd’s darkly comic telling, all information is conveyed through a personal screen called the Pad. As
the author’s towering devil figure, Jobs, tells his slaves: “All that
you need, the Pad will give you. Trust the Pad. The Pad knows
you. The Pad loves you.” …

I was (and still am) ready to find this book and read it in one sitting. However, without getting into an argument championing the handwritten word, I would suggest that we have become too dependent on technology. I am by no means one who doesn’t drive an automobile, nor do I send all mail through the post office. Doubtless, technology has its confirmed and deserved place in the modern world, but it doesn’t mean that we should let go of the means we used to get here.

If you were asked questions such as, Do you write letters? Do you read print leisurely? Do you go for walks often? Play board games? Work on jigsaw puzzles? Draw? Paint? Color? How many questions would you answer ‘yes’ to?

We were out of power for about four days ,and at night, honestly, most people got drunk. But others came together in a common room, played games, read books, wrote, drew, and most importantly, talked. I remember one individual who hardly said a word the whole time. When he found out some of the other buildings got power, he quickly made his way several buildings over just to plug in his portable Playstation. Did he not know how to function without a screen?

Technology will develop and its speed will most likely, increase. But it doesn’t mean that you have to ride that wave all the time. If you need a reminder, your life is just that, yours. You make the choices. I would say that technology is a great thing and we have every right to enjoy it and fill ourselves with it. Watch movies, get online, download and play games – get digitally drunk. But don’t forget the other side – the one that shows you how to get outside the house, run or walk without borders and interact with others around you. It can be a nice feeling knowing that you can be satisfied whether the television is on or off. Just like watching people bring curling irons to a powerless office, it can be something that you like – a lot!

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2 thoughts on “When the lights go out.

  1. Your breed is going to dye out. Books are only a thing of the past and present, it’s sad to say that there isn’t much future for them. Stupid books, they smell funny.

  2. Dear ‘It is I’,

    Hmm, I don’t think so. I don’t think books will ever die out. Okay, ‘not ever’ may be a bit presumptuous, but I do think they will be around for as long as my generation reign. Audiobooks, E-books, Kindles and web-books may all be en vogue right now with their more advanced progeny on the way, but people just won’t give up reading books. There’s just something about the feel, the smell, the possession of them that just won’t let them fade out.
    I do appreciate your headstrong approach to the world of technology, however. Thanks for stopping by. Anytime, please.

    LP

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