20 September 2011

Touching the Void

We have been without the internet for seven working days. Seven whole days!

It has been HARD. We were almost BROKEN. But we are back now. And we are stronger for it - and we can look back on that time and see it for what it was, and what it did to us.

In the netherworld of internetlessness, we became disconnected, isolated; the walls of the House were closing in on us. It was as though we had been transported back to the early nineties.* 
We lost sight of who we were, and what we were here for.

Through this time of extreme deprivation we turned for comfort to the tradition of oral storytelling. We lit a fire in an old washing machine tub that someone dragged in from the street. We stoked it with whatever we had to hand.**

We sat around and told stories about what it was like in the old days - BI.  Before Internet...


Smoke curls up to the high ceiling. Flickering light reflects off the grizzled faces of FOUR EDITORS gathered around the burning brazier.

EDITOR ONE sharpens a pencil straight into the flames.
EDITOR TWO wears fingerless gloves and cradles a cup of tea in both hands.

EDITOR THREE: When I were a student, there weren't no access to the university library from home. You had to stir your stumps and trudge in to campus to check source or citation. We learned right quick to keep careful notes for bibilography. IF we knew what were good for us.

EDITOR TWO: Right you are, Three. I remember when I were just a wee editor. Only dictionary was hardcopy. By my life, but that thing was 'eavy. And no searchable text, if you please. Lord alone knows how we got anything done.

EDITOR ONE: Sharpening pencil down to the nub. Mumbles softly to herself. No Wikipedia. No Macquarie online.*** No Google maps. No Google. No Google. No Google. Nowt. Nowt. Nowt. Nowt.

EDITOR THREE: Hands EDITOR ONE a slice of cake.

EDITOR ONE: Stuffs cake in her mouth - cutting off her stream of words.

EDITOR FOUR: I heard tell of summat called a CD ROM. Can anyone tell me what manner of thing that might be?

EDITOR TWO: Wisht! We don't speak of the Fell Beast Encarta in these parts. You'll hold your tongue if you know what's good for you.

EDITOR FOUR: Well I know for sure and certain, tweren't no way to watch a bulldog ride a skateboard  from the comfort of your own 'umble desk, now was there? Not with all the goodwill in the world.

ALL EDITORS: Mumbled agreement.

EDITOR THREE: Say if I wanted to check how long it would take to walk from Central Park to Bleecker Street, but I were on tother side of world. What would I have done then? I'll tell you what. I would have got on a plane and flown all th' way to New York and walked it myself, that's what. We knew what it meant to edit in those days.

EDITOR ONE: Mumbling again. No Google. No Google. No Google. No Google.

EDITOR THREE: Speaking over EDITOR ONE's mumbling. And what would I do if I needed to check how an author was getting along with revising her manuscript? Well I wouldn't visit her blog, anyhow. And no more would I read her Twitter stream or her Facebook page. No, I would have rung her on the telephone, as God intended. So I would.

EDITOR TWO: I've got a poser for you. Does anyone know how I might have gone about checking the copyright status of a short poem by a little-known Chilean poet? Riddle me that.

ALL EDITORS remain silent. EDITOR FOUR throws another book on the fire. The silence deepens.

EDITOR ONE: Whispers very quietly. No Google. No Google. No Google. No Google.

The smoke from the fire thickens and obscures the faces of the EDITORS.

Fade to black.


Dear Internet,

Never leave again.

Much much much love,


* The horror! The horror!
** Don't worry _insert name here_, we certainly didn't burn any copies of YOUR book.
*** Oh  www.macquariedictionary.com.au, we missed you especially. *smooches* *smooches again*


Satima Flavell said...

What a hoot! Is one of you a Yorkshire lass?

Karlene Blakemore-Mowle said...

It better NOT have better one of my books thrown in the fire!!!!!

Karlene Blakemore-Mowle said...

Would have helped if I'd been logged in under my Karly Lane profile perhaps!!! for above statement to make any sense!

A latte beckons said...

That were very, very funny (couldn't find a Yorkshire word for funny, funnily enough...) and thee should be right chuffed.

misselise said...

Mon DIEU, c'est pas possible?!? Je suis tres desolee, tres desolee indeed...! xe