Thursday, May 20, 2010

Archival Revival: 2nd Anniversary Edition

On May 22, 2008, Shadow of a Doubt made its' debut in cyberspace. Here is that very first post:

Beware of Luddite

Please bear with me. I'm new to blogging. In fact, I'm new to the web/Internet/cyberspace/information highway/21st century. And on top of all that, I'm a little rusty on the typewriter. I do this under duress. The era I grew up in--the 1970s--seemed pretty advanced to me. Now it's like the Old West, and I feel like Festus from Gunsmoke learning how to drive a car for the first time. I was going to start a new paragraph at this very sentence, but, as the title of this blog will attest I'm a Luddite. Not that it matters as the library computer I'm using just informed me that I only have a measly five minutes left. So until next time--oh, shit, what the hell did I do--oh, well, never mind--the computer just gave me a ten minute reprieve. Frankly, I'm surprised this machine hasn't had a nervous breakdown with me using it. Speaking of Gunsmoke--well, Gunsmoke is going to have to wait, as the computer just told me to get the hell off.

I didn't realize that once my time was up on the computer, all I had to do was sign up for the next available one. I was kind of new to libraries as well. Or at least hadn't been in one in awhile. I also didn't realize that I could leave my writing in draft form. I thought I had to publish it then and there, which is why what you just read is so abbreviated. The next day, I returned to the library to finish my thought:

The Once and Future Past

Welcome to my second blog. Or maybe my third. Me and the computer are a bit at odds about that. Then again, I'm a Luddite, so me and the computer are a bit at odds about EVERYTHING! In my previous blog, before I was so rudely interrupted by the library mandated time limit, I was going to pontificate about Gunsmoke. Actually about one particular episode I saw on TV Land not too long ago. Here's what happened. A group, or in Old West parlance, a gang, of desperadoes came upon a solitary farmhouse. First they robbed the farmer and his wife, and then shot and left them for dead! As they were leaving the crime scene, they happened upon Marshall Matt Dillion (no relation to the Brat Packer) and his deputy Festus. Matt and Festus gave chase, but as the farm couple were bleeding to death, first things first, and the bad guys got away. Later that night, that very night, and I should mention that this episode BEGINS that very night, the outlaws were spending it in some old abandoned cabin. "Why are we spending the night in this old abandoned cabin?" cried one "We have to high-tail it out of this state!" "We can't, you fool!" yelled the leader "Matt Dillion saw us. By now they'll have every road in the state blocked off!" Now here's what concerns me. This is the Old West, 18whatever. How in tarnation (Old Westspeak) could they have all the roads blocked off in a single night? It's not like Matt Dillon had a two-way radio strapped to his horse! Speaking of horses, it takes a little time to get back to Dodge City. And remember, they had two people bleeding to death. In a squad car it would've been quicker, sure. But, horses? Eventually, Matt and Festus would've found a telegraph office, but that still should have given the bad guys a good head start. So, how to explain all this? Simple. Whoever wrote that episode grew up in the 20th century. He was used to instant communication, or what passed for it in the 1960s. He couldn't imagine any other way of thinking. This is what science and technology does (even to writers of TV fiction). A way of life people take for granted seems, at best, quaint to the people who come after. At worst, that way of life seems TOTALLY NUTS. Great Grandad didn't have electricity? No lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury? Like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be? Eventually, people come after the people who came after, and the tables are turned. "No, junior, we didn't have Blackberries when I was young. NO, I WASN'T DEPRIVED! I didn't even know what I was missing!..." In conclusion, I suppose the people that come after us, or the people who come after the people who come after us, or the people who come after the people who come after the people who came after--well, you get the general idea--those people might some day produce a Gunsmoke-like show that takes place in, say, 2008, and some future desperado will say, "Matt Dillion's been online by now. He'll have every road in the galaxy blocked off!"

Welcome to my second blog? I was later informed that the whole thing is called a blog, and the components therein referred to as "posts".

Festus, saddle up my horse!


  1. Happy annivesary, Kirk! I'm sure-as-shootin' glad you stayed with it. The original post and your present day comments took me all over the place. I wonder what was going on inside you that you undertook so many changes at that particular time (go to the library, use the computer, learn the nuts and blots of blogging and write for publication).

    By the way, young man, you do know that before Festus, Matt Dillon's trusty sidekick was Chester, right?

    One of the last purchases Ex and I made together was a really good sound system that would play everything from vinyl to reel-to-reel to CDs, because we owned all of that and wanted to continue to enjoy it. We put a 33 rpm record in the hands of our very bright child and asked her how she'd go about playing it. It flummoxed her! She wanted to slide it into some slot. The hole in the middle of it, juxtaposed with the spindle on the turntable did not compute for her. It simply wasn't in her experience.

  2. Thanks, Limes. What was going on inside of me? Just a series of life changes that haven't quite played themselves out yet. When they finally do, maybe I'll write about them. But I have to know the ending first. I don't like to write about something until I have some inkling of the ending.

    When I mentioned publication, I just meant posting. Blogger refers to it as publication.

    I am aware that Dennis Weaver (later of Gentle Ben and McCloud fame) originally played Chester, Matt Dillons deputy. He had a limp, didn't he? I have a vague memory of seeing a Gunsmoke with Chester when I was very young, probably on a UHF channel, but I'm basically of the Festus era.

    I find your story about 33 record amusing. I have a bunch of 33 vinyl albums, but nothing to play them on, as I junked my stereo when I moved. I keep the records for sentamental reasons. I've read CDs might go the way of, not vinyl, which has made a comeback among alternative music types, but cassette tapes. I have a lot of those, too.

    When I was a kid, I once asked my parents what TV was like when they were kids, and they replied that they didn't have TV, just radio. I can imagine my nephew or niece one day asking their parents what the Internet was like when they were kids. "Well, it's like this, we didn't exactly have..."

  3. I understand about the life changes, Kirk. I've been living on the cusp awhile, too. "What happened, Les?" "I don't know yet!"

    I understood that about "publication", and - yep - Chester had a (fake/acted) limp. I've owned certain music on vinyl, 8-track, casette, CD and now MP3! I used to buy vinyl when I had to take a dinosaur for transportation.

    My oh-so-modern daughter made a comment fairly recently that she doesn't use e-mail much because she doesn't use the computer much. "WHAT," thought I! "I wonder why I've spent so much money supplying them, then. You see, those younger seem to be finding other, new ways . . . .

  4. happy anniversary! your first post was pretty impressive, i'd say. very happy that you continued on.

    funny how those life changes just keep playing out, one after another, all connected-at least when we look back at them. in the middle of things, it sure does look chaotic.

    kierkegaard said, "life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."

    keep writing-you have a gift.

  5. loved Wild Things- cant wait for the 4th installment!

  6. @Limes--Teens are rebelling. They're using manual typewriters.

    @standing--Thanks, and you keep at the photos and poems. Good Kierkegaard quote. All this going back and forth is making me dizzy. .

  7. @Anonymous--I think you have the wrong number.

  8. yeah, kirk, been getting a bit of whiplash myself lately.

  9. @standing--I once said in the comment section of another blog that I shy away from writing either autobiography or a diary-type blog because I'm afraid I might succumb to the temptation to see myself as the main character in some heavily-plotted story with a moral, when, in fact, it may not be a story, may not be heavily-plotted, and may have no moral! I think to succumb to such a temptation before you know how a certain situation may resolve itsef, is even MORE fraught with peril.

    Again, I'm just talking about my own flawed self, and nobody else.

  10. Failing to proofread before you post a comment is also fraught with peril.

    "itsef" Sheesh!

  11. Congrats on a year of blogging!
    "...some heavily-plotted story with a moral, when, in fact, it may not be a story, may not be heavily-plotted, and may have no moral!" - Ah, the truth about blogging, at last!

  12. @Kass--Thanks, Kass. Glad you dropped by. I should say that Elisabeth and LimesNow, both of whom write more-or-less aubiographical blogs, seem to avoid the pitfalls I just mentioned, and I admire them for that.

  13. Kirk, what a wonderful thing to read about oneself. Thank you for what you said. I don't always feel 100% solid about what I write and post. It is good to read reinforcement and support.

  14. Limes, I hope you're so flattered that you didn't notice that unique word I came up with: "aubiographical"

    Double sheesh!

  15. You already know that your "sheesh-ing" is one of the things I find most endearing about you.

    By the way, the racing cyclist rang in again on my blog comments to correct some of my misconceptions about his bad days on the road. I guess I let my outrage make mountains out of molehills in a couple of small ways!

  16. The continuity gaps in popular TV shows is legend. Your example is great! Not so much loss of continuity, but complete cluelessness! Remember James Garner in the Rockford Files? In one scene which in real time might equal five to ten minutes, he had different ties, varying degrees of five o'clock shadow, and I think even a different sport coat.

    Life changes, eh? It seems ubiquitous amongst us aging bloggers lately!

  17. @Badger--I notice things like that in shows all the time. But I'll forgive Rockford. I think it was one of the better detective dramas of the 1970s.

    Thanks for commenting. Hope you won your race.

  18. kirk, i stay away from the autobiographical stuff because what i've done just isn't that interesting, sometimes not even to me. what might possibly be interesting, and more to the point, useful, is what i've learned, and how it furthers the plot i'm living. colonel mustard, in the drawing room, with a pipe...

  19. @standing--Well, yes, standing, that's the--heh, heh--other reason I don't get too autobiographical. Reading about my life would be a exciting as watching spilled Gatoraid harden.


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