As I read a book while riding Charlotte’s light rail during yesterday’s evening commute, another passenger sat beside me and opened their own book to read. My choice was a collection of Allen Ginsberg’s 1950’s-1960’s journals. The other person preferred something with the words ‘Trump’ and ‘Real Estate’ on the cover. I can’t remember ever reading any “how-to” or advice book relating to money, personal relationships or anything else. The fellow passenger/reader appeared much younger than myself and I recalled in my early/mid 20’s that one of my favorite authors was H.P. Lovecraft. But these days anything related to Donald Trump is more likely to cause me to have nightmares.
Speaking of technology(?), I’m not now inclined to buy a new Blu-Ray DVD player. Early in 2006 I finally broke down and bought a regular Sony DVD player and have since amassed a collection of seven DVDs. (not counting the Ken Burns JAZZ set) The Zenith console stereo originally purchased by my parents around 1969 still works well and looks good as furniture in my music/reading room. My early 1980’s Pioneer direct-drive turntable, newly outfitted with an up to date Shure cartridge, will continue to be used frequently. And the older analog knob tuner TV (non remote control for the young ones out there) which I rescued when our AT&T office was closed and we were sent to work from home in 1995, will probably provide service up until February 2009.
In this age of electronic journalism and blogging where the keyboard is the primary method of transferring thought, each day as I unpack my mid 20th century Parker fountain pens I prefer to write with, I realize that whatever literal meaning the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” once had is long gone. Yet I willingly risk staining my fingers each time I refill those pens from the bottles of ink I use instead of writing with some cheap, disposable pen.