Sunday, October 17, 2010

Print is not dead, it's just having it out with a cheeseburger (a piece I wrote for Spook mag.)

We Homo sapiens are living in an age of technology in which we need not do much to obtain the things we want. A report released last year by researchers at Stanford University in California suggests that we spend 90% of our day staring at glowing rectangles. Everything we need to know is just at the tip of our fingers, in front of our eyes on the rectangle screen. News headlines break as they happen and who needs WHO’s pap snaps when you can watch a live streamed video of Lindsay Lohan sobbing tears of filth in court. Lusciously convenient and conveniently accessible. Because of it we have come to like things simple, to the point, on demand. It’s brilliant! It’s undeniable. It’s a cheeseburger.

I know for a fact that you’re just like me; you don’t care for cheeseburgers all the time. You sit and read this magazine in which you happily and willingly spent your money on taking pride in the fact that you enjoy the real things in life. The things you can touch and appreciate for the layout or the stock or the independent mindset that embodies print publishing. Now stop for a minute and reach for the oldest book you have access to. Pick it up, smell the pages, realise the importance of what you hold in your hands.  It’s alive and it’s breathing with you. Reflect on Sunday mornings with a newspaper, ink-stained fingers and coffee stained pages, being read to as a child, or the first time you ever connected with that one writer who has effected you right up until now (eg. Wilde, Thomas, Blighton.)

Call me a romantic but I for one, do not see how such moments will ever die. It’s in the spirit of nostalgia and integrity that print publishing will achieve longevity and it’s up to you and I to keep the flame alive. Let the masses have cheeseburgers! That’s what they’re there for. Treat yourself every now and then if you must. Let your eyes linger over the shiny screen, in that standard Internet tangent where too much is possible and hours seem like minutes. It’s what we have become and that’s okay. Do remember however, that we are also a passionate race. We are human for a reason. We make love and we fight and we create and invent and fall over in fits of laughter and tears. When we're punched in the face, it hurts. You gettin' me?

I’m currently reading Woody Guthrie’s autobiography Bound for Glory. It transports me to a world of a life under the big sky, train hopping, brawling, singing to make a dime. I can’t imagine turning to a blog to understand a generation past. Or to a website to read rich and colourful storytelling. To open a book is to enter into another time and space different from our own but where we can still exist if we only let ourselves. To open a website is look at a subject through a wall of wires. It’s uninvolved and informative and thoroughly entertaining (no doubt.) There is no question that an independent paper could ever compete with the Internet for breaking news headlines but it’s an independent paper that can deliver insightful, creative coverage, independent in its mindset. Emotive, thought out, virtuous. Let us not forget, however to take the time to reconnect with what makes us human in the first place. Print is not dead, print will never die. Print is alive and well and existing with utter integrity as a testament to what we as a race, a species and conscience.  

1 comment:

Cat Lover said...

This is such a wonderful article. I completely agree with you! I LOVE books! Books, books, books! Never ever will they be replaced in my world. Love you Sunni. Love soph xx