Frustrations of the Technological Variety

 

A short note today, really. Mainly focussed on how frustrated I am by all internet service providers, and phone packages. We’ve been searching, high and low, for a reasonably priced phone and broadband package, one that doesn’t come with a lifetime of ‘one-off’ costs, and frankly I’m astounded by the lack of availability for such a simple idea.

And then of course, is the installation problem. It can’t possibly take that long to install a phone line. It is not much to ask that somebody comes to put a little wire in, y’know, before my fiftieth birthday. And saying there’s only four engineers in the entire country? Well, this simply doesn’t fly with me. There are far more, and people are looking for jobs. Therefore I have a solution: start training the unemployed to install internet and phone connections. People pay good money for this invaluable service, and I think the economy would receive a much-needed boost, especially if people were connected to the internet, and therefore able to browse online shops, and so on.

It would also make me much, much happier to know that I wasn’t going to be without internet for what appears to be seven million years. In modern-day society, it kind of starts to feel as though you are reaching an apex of the social pariah; what did we do before Twitter and Facebook, and what did we do before instantaneous information was available? We had to go to the library and look through the catalogue. And now, thanks to the wonderful department that deals with such installations, it seems that we will be able to experience an era of research and paper. I’m so very grateful for the experience.

(:

©

 

White Noise Is Rather Tough To Take…

 

White Noise by Don DeLillo was a novel I was expecting to dislike. For some reason, the front cover was repelling me, and I thought it was going to something similar to a postmodern ghost story. I was right, to a certain extent, because Don DeLillo does write a prelude to a ghost story. He maps the mentality of death, and an abject fear of what is to come, and what comes afterwards. His protagonists, Jack Gladney, and his wife, Babette, represent a kind of paralysis of mentality; their fear of death overrides their sense of everything else.

This, I think, can be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage. A disadvantage, because they live, believing that they can and will be dead at any moment; their marriage is overshadowed by a fear of the other dying, and so their petty rows, and Babette’s ‘arrangement’ with Mr Gray is insignificant, in comparison to her fear of losing the physical and emotional entity that is Jack. Therefore in many ways, the sanctity of marriage and union itself is questioned.

The cover that so unnerved me… (1)

Their sense of death however is an advantage because it allows them to explore the parameters of marriage in terms of a whole existence. Instead of a focus on small events, the couple manage to look at everything as a whole. The ‘airborne toxic event’ is not an individual disaster, and instead, the protagonist seems to focus on the impact it has on his entire life; the fact that it is shortened by this unknown threat. In some ways then, the fear of death provides a mechanism so that both protagonists can stay united by the unresolved fear.

The novel places a very heavy emphasis on the importance of technology to modern-day life. Throughout the text, phrases such as “the radio said” are used. This reminds the reader of George Orwell’s 1984, because there is an outside force that influences the character’s movement. The instantaneous information that is available through the television and radio influences the fear of death that Jack and Babette experience; unreliable information seems to only emphasize the unreliable nature of life, and the unpredictability of death. The relative power of the medical industry is also highlighted by Jack’s “brackets and stars” status. His doctor represents an omen, and therefore towards the end of the novel, Jack refuses to visit him, to find out more details of his impending death. This refusal shows a monumental step in his life, because he refuses to indulge the fear itself.

By far my favourite scene however, is when Jack shoots Mr. Gray, the man who has allegedly created the drug that removes a person’s fear of death. The shooting can be seen as an irony, because Mr. Gray represents being fearless. Therefore by causing him serious injury and plotting to kill him, he metaphorically attacks the idea of being unafraid of death. Gunshot wounds are an unnatural way to die, in the same way that it is unnatural to be unafraid of one’s own passing.

The novel itself is an interesting comment on 1980s society, especially because of the novelty value of technology at the time. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I should.

(:

(1) http://theasylum.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/whitenoise.jpg?w=470

©

 

Beautiful Blogger Award!

I’m popular these days, it would seem! A wonderful bloggette has nominated me for my third award on this blog, and i’m just so excited about it! I think you guys out there spoil me with all the love and attention. And so, as is par for the course with these things, there are rules to be followed.

The Rules

1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.

2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.

3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.
The Questions: 
1. What is your favorite colour?
Red
2. What is your favorite animal?
Lion
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Ginger Ale
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter
5. What is your favorite pattern?
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents?
Giving. Mostly. I’m only human. (;
7. What is your favorite number?
3
8. What is your favorite day of the week?
Friday
9. What is your favorite flower?
Tulip
10. What’s your passion?
Literature. Writing. Reading. Travel. Never make me choose!
My Nominees
1. www.thesecretsofanineteenyearoldstudent.wordpress.com – This lady’s writing is daring, adventurous, and rather brave, go have a look around!
2. www.mysexlifewithlola.com– I realise I’ve nominated H.H’s blog before, however I think that because the blog award is a ‘beautiful’ one, Lola and H.H deserve to be nominated again!
3. http://storyofalice.wordpress.com/– The same as above really. The layout of her blog, as well as her style of writing, is just fantastic!
4. http://becomingmadame.wordpress.com/– Is there such a beautiful place as Paris?
5. http://howtodateboys.wordpress.com/ – A completely hilarious account of a single woman in the 21st century.
6. http://snippetsandglimpses.wordpress.com/– A very, very brave account of life with a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges. A beautiful blogger because she is very, very brave.
Thank you so much for the award guys, and thank you for reading this rather mundane post! You’re all just the very best.
(:
©

The Literature, the Author, His Character and His Beauty

Knitting is a fantastic use of time, in my humble opinion. Really, I think it’s fantastic. It stimulates the mind, increases dexterity, and creates something meaningful simultaneously. I suspect however that much can be said about English literature; it certainly stimulates the mind, if you find the right piece, and makes you dexterous insofar as your vocabulary increases, your capacity for accommodating other ideas grows, and you begin to perceive the world in innumerable different ways. Therefore, the question can be asked: why do children not want to read anymore?

I find this dilemma difficult to empathise with because I have never struggled with not wanting to read. I’d read under the duvet with torches, with glow in the dark things, mobile phone lights… anything that would allow me to see the words on the page and translate them into something fantastic in my mind. Harry Potter and company would transport me to alternate universes. Therefore, I think it is almost unfathomable that children wouldn’t want to be a part of this world; at least not through their own imaginations. Certainly through obvious, glaring media, but not of their own accord, or because they want to experience the novels in the purest form, without the director’s interpretation affecting how one perceives the characters, and the settings.

The castles, dragons, wizards and people who emerge from the realms of my imagination are always exponentially more interesting and more exciting than those put on a screen. The capacity to create an image that everyone is involved with is certainly an advantage of cinema, however it is not fundamental. It treats the integrity of the character and the setting as it was prescribed by the author as superfluous, something that can, and should be, altered at any given moment. This essentially defies the authority of the author as the creator of the literature, and in this way, we can consider that television, film and video gaming has murdered the literary beauty of the literature they seek to portray.

(1)

A good example here is the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde. The perception of the artist of the young man exploits the reality of the young man himself, although it was never intended to be so; all that was intended was for the young man, Gray, to be Basil’s muse, the influence that allowed him to create his art, instead of the exploited and caged creature that he inevitably becomes. I have always been a Wilde fan, and enjoy curling up in armchairs, reading the plethora of work he left us. Nothing is more wonderful than reading, with a pot of tea, on a cold, wet evening; this is not a rare occurrence in this part of the world. It becomes as enchanting as exploring antique book shops, and wandering over hills, having picnics. This simple pursuit then replaces all of these things, because it removes itself from reality; it takes us away, beyond the limits of our minds as they were, unexplored and untouched, and instead, creates something infinitely more beautiful than we truly acknowledge it as.

“But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.” – Oscar Wilde

And so, upon this final quote which I think rather nicely summarises my final paragraph, in that beauty is destroyed as an entity the second intellectual understanding is applied to it, I recommend that everyone dives into Wilde for a while. He’s great fun. I’m planning on writing a fairly lengthy blog on Oscar Wilde very soon, too!

(:

(1) http://lh4.ggpht.com/_-IeZ3HV-7SE/S0gkZOEnvyI/AAAAAAAABSU/98eoUGEXAoI/PicofDorianGray.jpg

©