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Only two weeks ago, I wrote excitedly about the Kindle. But now this article comes along, making me realize that digital books might not be the Godsend I think they are. Or at least not if Amazon eventually ends up as the behemoth retailer that holds worldwide distribution rights to almost everything.
The ongoing digitization of the world’s artistic & intellectual output also poses an environmental problem. If we consume all of our literature and music by way of digital devices, we then become even more dependent on electricity, not to mention all the countless components in devices such as computers, iPhones, and yes, the Kindle. These devices are consumed with ever-greater consumeristic fervour. In the 1970s, how often were telephones thrown away, to end up in massive mound of garbage in China, leeching toxins into the ground soil and rivers? But this is exactly what happens all the time nowadays, as you’ll see here.
Watched the new-to-DVD film, Eden Lake, a short while ago. It was a horrific experience. It’s rather like Lord of the Flies meets Straw Dogs — a very pessimistic cautionary tale about the savagery of humans. I have some reservations about whether they pushed the premise of the film too far by bringing in the parents of the feral kids at the end, but besides that, you couldn’t ask for a more tightly-directed or more unnerving film experience.
The Kindle is the only new technology in years that genuinely excites me. Within several months, I am sure I am going to own one. The Kindle permits the owner to download novels or other texts and read them on a device that is practically as reader-friendly as a book. This weekend, it occurred to me that it makes no sense that I can immediately download a song, get instant access to the news, watch a video, but that I cannot similarly access, within seconds, the hundreds and thousands of wonderful books that are available out there. And my current lack of access makes me disgruntled. Because I am lazy. I don’t want to go to the bookstore; I don’t want to go the library. But I love reading like almost nothing else.
I am going to buy a Kindle just as soon as I’ve got about $300 kicking around with no immediate claim on. This video has inspired me!
Yet again, I am probably months behind everyone else getting to this parade. But at least I got there!
For reasons that nobody has ever made clear to me, about one quarter of the population of Montreal moves today – July 1. Most leases expire June 30, so for the past couple of days, and indeed, a few more days yet to come, the streets become a zone of ceaseless moving activity. Trucks park across entire lanes of traffic, interrupting the flow; unwanted furniture is piled on the pavement; men and women struggle under the weight of boxes as they climb the steps of walk-up apartments and enter their new homes. Most people will also have to outfit their apartments with appliances, because stoves, fridges, washers and dryers are not typically provided by landlords. There is a small seasonal industry geared towards meeting the needs of people at this time: movers, appliances repairers and resellers, truck renters. The price of anything related to moving will be jacked up to exorbitant rates. If it cost $100 to rent a cargo van two months ago, today it will cost $200. If a moving company charged $400 for their labour two months ago, today they will charge $700.
Happy Moving Day to my girlfriend, Monika, and to Matt, and to Lorenzo, and to Denis, and to Sarah, and to everyone else making an exciting step forward into more salubrious (or less salubrious, depending on budget and life circumstances) lodgings!
Happy Moving Day, Montreal!
And, I suppose, in the rest of this country, one should say, Happy Canada Day! A spectacle that fills me with considerably less excitement.