Sunday, December 28, 2008

Years Past, Year Present

I remember how insulted I felt when I first encountered the phrase "content provider" being used in place of "author." Changes were surely coming, cattle-prodded along matter-of-factly by trumpeters of all things digital, but I deeply resented the denigration of my creative work.

Of course there are many ways to be creative, digital and not. I didn't believe, even then, that all truly creative people belonged over here, on my side, while the heartless digital pushers belonged on that side. No, I wasn't so closed-minded as that. I was just sorry to see the further crumbling of respect for those who produce art. Art being, in this case, the (often) labored result of the creative impulse. The story/book/song/canvas/sculpture that resulted from that endeavor, held up for the world to see.

It has been a great sorrow to see the held object vanish into history.

I knew art would blossom online, eventually. But I felt the loss of what had been should be acknowledged. Many people mourned as I did, while digital-lovers mostly laughed. But that's what happens when an era passes.

Now I am more adjusted to the changing world, though it is still changing so ferociously fast that there is no end in sight--assuming anyone ever dreamed of an end. I am not very technically adept, so that puts me at a serious disadvantage in this new world. Still, I am very curious about how the written word will transform.

Books of some sort will still be written, of course, because we cannot seem to stop telling the story of ourselves. Barring horrible accident or disease, I have just enough time left to see young people in their new and ever-coming-newer digital lives. I have just enough time, I hope, to see art not only continue but blossom in it's new garden.

Probably, it already is.


Dibakar Sarkar said...

"I have just enough time left to see young people in their new and ever-coming-newer digital lives..."

No doubt, you are one of such writers who flutter happily with the advent of a youthful age.

Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson said...

Thank you, Dibaker Sarkar, for your lovely comment. Yes, I am fluttering happily!