Yesterday, I think it was yesterday, I beat up on social media. I broke the icon, the silver lining in this time of CV, the heart (some would say) of the internet. But, I don’t think I’d agree that social media was the heart of the web, not for me. But without a doubt Zuck bet on a winner with Facebook. Is the WP platform social media? I don’t think it is, not in the same way. It values writing more. The old values finding a home in the ether. Punctuation preserved. Pacing and structure. Unique voices. This is because culture produced the written word long after the spoken. The line that produced Dostoevsky and Steven King started with an ancient storyteller’s voice. Early on, my tribe, the illustrators, put up matching story boards on cave walls. In flickering light the early audience listened to the story. The speaker’s words gave animation to the paintings. Red ocher animals ran and jumped with the speaker’s vivid description.
The suspension of disbelief that audience give their storyteller’s tales then isn’t exceeded now. The hunt, the day the sun died, the noble genealogy of the leader. The family tree with all the names remembered and honored. The audience hung on the words. The fire crackled. The speaker built up suspense and pulled each listener into the story. It was their story. Their fears and hopes were what they heard. Now tokens for sound, letters, words, paragraphs, chapters and books, tell our stories. The means of delivery and the content really haven’t changed. Did you ever get admonished for moving your lips when reading? Like that was a throw back. Uncouth?, Speaking the printed words somehow less civilized. I suppose it is less civilized. But that’s not a bad thing. Civilization comes with a price.
Anyway, keeping a stiff upper lip doesn’t stop the reading becoming speech. In the mind written goes back to spoken. It must, what else could it be to be understood? It was spoken first, in the author’s mind. It is spoken again in the mind of the reader. A huge difference is that in the cave the stories were preserved by apprentice storytellers. Stories passed generation to generation. A book can survive many generations. Electronic media might last even longer.
I still work from a script. But I wonder if a microphone wouldn’t be better for me than a keyboard or pen. It would help with the spelling, by eliminating spelling. Revision? or just let the error remain. The pause while the lips caught up with the brain. The stutter. The delay when text is scrolled. Must be an add on for notepad to give smooth auto scrolling. No I don’t use MS word, notepad does the job. MS Word’s bells and whistles are not at the heart of storytelling. The guy standing at the fire long ago didn’t have any of that. Don’t assume that guy was stupid. He wasn’t. Don’t assume we are smarter, we are not. The conversations we miss in the time of CV are exchanges of stories. The continuity comic strip describing our lives, frame by frame.