Entry #7- February 27, 2017

Dear Kath,

I’ve had conflicting feelings concerning writing recently. Nowadays, I favor a more minimalistic style and I seek to be much more matter-of-fact, casual and straightforward than before. It fascinates me looking back, where I had a lot of historical influences- the dry nature of Voltaire, the disgust with perceived unfairness and corruption instilled in me by American muckrakers like Ida Tarbell and Thomas Nast, and my language was so (to use current slang) extra, flowery and complicated to a Robinson Crusoe (read: annoying and irritating) level.

Texts of the past are full of formalities and frills and we as a civilization and a media seem to be moving further and further away from them in a way that isn’t concerning – yet. Our society- where Instagram and Twitter rule supreme remind me a lot of the way Beatty of Fahrenheit 451 talked of society before the Fire Men, where everything grew faster, where images and sounds slowly took over where text left off, and where text was slowly condensed into comic books and short articles and summaries before it was finally squished to death.

How long will it be until we reach the age of 1984? The age of Newspeak, a language that takes the minimalism of language to an extreme that removes emotional responses and a freedom of response, that both “maximizes” and minimizes communication?  

That sounds extreme, I’m aware. But hey! I always had a flair for the dramatic. And what with the recent article that’s been circulating about some of the Business School dipshits complaining that my uni brought in an ex-Poet Laureate to speak instead of a CEO, I’m also kind of pissed.

Anyways (we used “anyways” as a transition quite a bit- became quite the catchphrase, didn’t it?), the question remains- how do we preserve the language and lessons of the past while still allowing ourselves to move forward into the future?

Part of me feels doubt that education is the answer. Because a lot of us (I fear myself included) cannot be forced to care if we think something irrelevant. Minds cannot be changed forcibly, and people will not simply accept that something is “necessary”.

So what then? Is all this doomed to one day be forgotten? Will some custodians choose to rise up? Who knows?

All I know I can do is try to learn. Try to remember the authors and poets of old and to learn from them, to pay respect to their work in mine.

(And hopefully be a little succinct because daaaaaaamn Robinson Crusoe has so many run-on sentences.)

Thanks for listening,

-D

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