Time for Love

Today I’m making pear butter, which is eerily ironic because I’m writing about the song I wrote last week which quotes the 12th Doctor’s farewell speech in which he says, “never ever eat pears!” and which gets even eerier when I add that the pears I’m using came from my friend Barb’s backyard tree; and that Barb and her husband Jon and my husband Nathan and I have been watching Doctor Who together since before the show revamped in 2005 because we were fans before it was cool. Oh yeah. Cosmic irony right here on a Tuesday in my kitchen.

This isn’t the first song I wrote inspired by my favorite time traveler. Here’s one we did for Doctor Who Day in 2010:

Oh and look at that, I’m playing the same guitar!

This also isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned the Doctor on this blog. I’ve done that multiple times, but this one feels especially relevant since the 13th Doctor (whose season starts this year) is a woman!

When I started writing week 38’s song for #songaweek2018, I didn’t have the Doctor in mind. As is often my habit, I started with a first line and just followed it for a while. There’s definitely talk of faith in here, and an ambiguous narrator. As it progressed, those last words of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor came to my mind (my favorite of which originally came from Bertrand Russell) and I wanted to include them in some way.

I don’t feel like this song is finished – it’s probably another I’ll come back to later. For now, here it is:

Oh I have loved you for a million years and more
With every atom of my ever-loving core
You are inside my dreams when I lie down at night
And in the morning you are shining in the light

How sweet the fragrance of your blossoms in the spring
How deep your beauty cuts, tattooing everything
How high your visions fly, expanding hearts and minds
How wide your seeing eye, before me and behind

Now I feel like I feel you now
After all this time
Not like I really know you, no
I hardly know you at all

Where do these days come from, where do the moments go?
Why must we say goodbye when we just said hello?
What keeps us holding on when everything seems lost?
Who can we trust to stick with us at any cost?

Hate is always foolish
Love is always wise
Never be cruel, never be cowardly,
Laugh hard, run fast, and be kind.

Swallowed Whole by the Internet

Short History passage

From A Short History of the World by J.M. Roberts, published 1993 by Oxford University Press.

The above words were published in 1993, only a couple years before the Internet began to catch on (I remember starting to use e-mail around 1995). I find them fascinating. If you start reading at “It is now the primary source of mass entertainment and information throughout the world . . .” and continue through the end of the paragraph, you could just as easily now say all of this about the Internet. But this author was writing about television.

Marking 1936 as the dawn of television as we know it, I wonder if this prophesied “biggest force for cultural and social change since the coming of print” will even last 100 years.  And then I wonder about the world-wide-web in comparison. Is this another “big new thing” that turns out to have a human-sized life-span? Or is it truly as much of a game-changer as the printing press (or more)?

Television’s days now look to be numbered, and even the printing press doesn’t run like it used to. The Internet incorporates both images and words. Images do seem to play a larger role in our general discourse than they did before the days of television, and I see no sign of that changing through our Internet use. But words continue to coexist with images, and if anything, it might be argued that the apparent triumph of Internet over television is evidence that words continue to be valued along with pictures. We want to be able to talk about what we are seeing.

The connectivity and interactive nature of the Internet certainly make it a more powerful and pervasive force than television ever was. And in actuality, rather than competing or usurping, the Internet seems to be simply swallowing and reconstituting television – along with radio, newspapers, the telephone, the personal letter, the community bulletin board, the music industry, maybe even the printing press.

What do you think?

Is the Internet here to stay?

Is our culture driven more by pictures or by words, and has the Internet changed anything about that?

Does the prevalence of the Internet over television signify a more thoughtful culture, or have we grown even less intelligent and more entrenched in our points of view than we were when we only had TV? (Now we have way more information available to us, but we can more easily find people and perspectives that reinforce our own static thinking. In the glory days of television, information and ideas were much more limited but, ironically, we were more likely to be exposed to people and ideas we might disagree with. True? Or not exactly?)

Has anything actually been swallowed whole by the Internet? Or will anything be? Or will we always have, operating apart from the world-wide-web, things like radio, newspaper, television, etc.?

And is that an image at the top of this post or is it words?