My father spent most of his life taking photos. He could never understand why I never took any - perhaps because I had his collection to look back on. My feeling was that if you were on vacation, and enjoying that vacation, then there was no need to ruin it by taking photographs. I guess most people don’t think that way.
Later in his life he
transferred all his photographs into digitized versions. He felt it was
safer and easier to handle; thousands of pictures (and several lives)
now fitted on to a small memory stick.
I guess we all did the same
one way or another: electronic newspapers became the order of the day,
books were digitized, music was downloaded, as were all the latest
movies and television series.
It was a much brighter and faster
world – information was at hand twenty-four hours a day. Libraries were
closed, book stores were shut down.
We were all in love with digital bytes and the advantages that came with those concepts.
remember I watched my grandfather burns books in his back yard. He
laughed as my sister danced around it. The Nazis might have enjoyed the
spectacle but at the back of my mind was a thought that this was all
wrong. I couldn’t tell you exactly why - but I loved the touch and feel
of paper and ink, maybe that was an old-fashioned concept but turning a
page was very satisfying.
Within a period of twenty years, all the
non-electronic forms of communication were consigned to museums,
allowing future generations to point and stare at the awkwardness of the
methods their ancestors once used. Some might even chuckle at the
exhibits; the way we did with our forefathers.
There was a man
called Harry Steinway; a man who devoted his life to watching the Sun.
He recorded every idiosyncrasy of that glorious star, every behaviour,
expected or not. He was asked to talk on panel shows when the star was
being discussed, I guess you could say that he was man who knew
everything about the Sun.
Then one year, Professor Steinway
noticed a grave change in the star. It was beginning to throw out more
flares into space and with that, more x-ray and ultra-violet radiation.
It caused power stations to fail on Earth, and certain communications to
Steinway’s description of the phenomenon was that the
Sun was growing ‘angrier’. This emotive use of that word caused folks
to think of the professor as a little eccentric (or maybe a lot).
Every time he was interviewed, he would always bring the topic around to the state of the Sun and its flares.
“We need to be ready,” he would exclaim. “We need to be ready.”
his talk fell on deaf ears. He warned them of the increasing solar
storms and the dangers - but they felt a little radio breakdown here, or
a small power station outage there, was a small price to pay for all
this digital science.
Then it finally came – the day of silence.
The day when the solar flares reached so far out into space that they
destroyed everything in their path. The Earth was far enough away that
it only felt the fallout of the radiation, but it was enough.
the digital, electronic and electrical machines and memories were
destroyed. No photographs, or electronic books, or movies, or a hundred
thousand million other things.
So now we are back in the time of the dark ages.
Today, a man may kill another man just to gain possession of a printed book.
bobby stevenson 2016