With all the trouble I had getting great-grandad to get on a computer and use email – ancient technologies indeed – he was surprisingly engaged and interested when I explained to him the need to use social networking when publishing a book – or doing anything else if you want to still qualify as a human being nowadays.
Not that he was about to start on Tik Tok, but W.W. supports the idea of social networking and texting, he likes that it forces people to write and that it opens many avenues for creative expression.
He says that the “mini-cinematics” (i.e. videos) “is storytelling, are they not? And they encourage poetic retelling and noetic synthesis, and in a much shorter time than was possible throughout all history, nor with oral traditions.”
“You’re right!” I say to him. “Though most of what comes out of Instagram is not quite as good as Homer.” I hope he is impressed that I mentioned Homer.
“Maybe not,” he continues, “though, autobiographical as they might seem, it comes from the same source as all tales, and will lead to new places, which are of course the old places. Or at least, that is a hope.”
“Yeah.” I say, though this is where he loses me 90% of the time.
Then he surprises me with, “Emma’s abbreviations are concerning ‘tho’.”
Ha! I get what he is saying – in Dwarf Story, Emma’s texts use all those abbreviations that most fans of the English language think are a bad sign of things to come.
“Yes,” I tell the Professor, “but those shortcuts are old-fashioned already grandpa! Software fills it all in now – or tries to. Maybe that’s a good sign.”
I explain a little more about the latest in multichannel communications in the world, but have to admit that, “yes, I agree, vocabulary generally suffers, no doubt.”
“I wish Milton or Yeats could ‘tweet’ us somehow.” W.W. says, to my surprise.
“You said tweet! How cool!” I was understandably impressed.
W.W. answered: “I did?”