W4: Dead Certain Keys

Mark knew for a certainty what he would write for the week’s blog posting. He shared much with Simon Schama. Why write a boring old blog posting about a dusty, dry book when he could use his substantial intellectual gifts to infuse blog writing with new life and vigor. Of course he would have to invent a whole new approach to blog writing. He considered carefully the important elements: historians speculating about the motivations of important persons long since dead, the “myth” of historical certainty, and differences between the medium of documentary film and the written word.  Yes, this would indeed be a revolutionary undertaking. The only question was, which writing tool would he use to begin his writing – the computer,  the pencil, or the typewriter?

The invention of the future. That is what they called him for decades. He was the tool of choice for writers and serious journalists. But these newfangled “computers” were getting all the attention now. The unwashed masses were using these new, uncouth “PC” devices for their youtube and their facebook and God knows what else. Well, if the computer wanted to be the tool of lowly, common, Irish rogues, so be it. What really irked Typewriter is that this “Computer” was passing itself off as a genuine academic instrument. Bah! After he had lent his good name to the QWERTY keyboard system! He certainly wouldn’t be fooled and someday they would all see Computer for the charlatan he really was.

Sketching. That was what people thought about the function of pencils now,  and sketching ain’t get no good respect. Sure, folks would “sketch” their ideas with graphite and paper, but then they would write with their fancy keyboards which got all the glory. They thought Pencil was only good for a rough draft, not serious intellectual labor.

Pencil knew all about the writing process and when Typewriter showed up missing, pencil rolled off of the desk to examine the floor. There (gasp) he saw a grisly sight. Three typewriter keys lay jauntily askew. The keys “O,” “M,” and “G” lay at disturbingly odd angles as if screaming their shock and surprise to textmessagers everywhere.

“Ah Typewriter, I’m glad U R here” said Computer, slipping into the less formal written form to which he had become accustomed. “I realize that I promised to footnote you in my latest article, but I’m having a little trouble with my…..er……..um……….wordprocessing program.”

“That is it!” exclaimed Typewriter. I will expose you for the Wikipedia-copying, Google searching, plagiarist that you are!”

“Please Typewriter, be KEWL ’bout this” stammered Computer but he knew it was no use. He could see only one way to save his public honor and it involved murder most foul!”

“What a great Blog entry I have written” thought Mark. “All this brouhaha with the murder is interesting, but I’m certain everyone wants to know more about how I came up with this wonderful, new approach to blog writing. You know, that would make a great movie..

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3 Responses
  1. sdouglass says:

    You have written an interesting post–I read all the way through it with great suspense. The only thing pencil was missing was his best weapon–the eraser! Typewriter, on the other hand, may just hit “return.”

  2. jhubai says:

    Thank you for this wondergully interesting post! When I was taking photogrpahy classes in college, digitally photography was just coming about and we would argue if it was art. Then my professor posted a comic on his door of three cavemen. Two were creating cave paintings while the other was looking out the cave opening painting what he saw on a canvas resting on an easel with a palette of paint. The two cavemen who were painting the cave wall said, “That isn’t art!” about the easel painting caveman. New ways of thinking come around all the time and people argue its legitimacy.
    I think I wrote in my orginal post on the film that I have read many books about court cases. They were well written and interesting. More were straight forward than Schama’a book. But i found that the books did not include all facts because two books about the samecase would include facts that the other didn’t. I would say to historians, when it somes to court cases, read the actual court papers and newspapers at the time if you want clear cut evidence.

    • jgiampa says:

      What is clear cut evidence? That is the question. Even the court cases would have to have some flaws in them. The idea is the same. The way we record history is unchanged given that we tell the story based on our experience of the situation in question. We all perceive things differently because we have such different “histories” and perspectives within our own perceptions. That said is anything really correct. I would think that the best history is experienced in the moment it is happening.

      Oh yeah…loved your approach to the assignment!