I-net Vakay: Chuck Wendig
Like Uncle Ben says, With great power comes great potential to waste time. And I am pretty sure he was talking about the Internet. Yesterday, we talked about what I miserable bastard I am (http://tinyurl.com/3jywe5j), a fate that befell me around the time of my 6th birthday, and part of the problem is that, like Douglas Reilly (http://tinyurl.com/3qr7unq), I am not meant for this time, preferring to have lived with Jimmy in the '40s, where we could've rivaled Spade and Archer, fighting to bed Mary Astor and smoking cigarettes indoors. Living in this modern age, I often feel like Brooks, an old man stuck in a world moving much too fast. I don't get the new music these damn kids are listening to with the hippity-hop. I don't get why now playing Nintendo makes one a "gamer," when it used to be you were just a pasty-faced fat kid with no friends who didn't go outdoors. And I don't get when singing in glee clubs became cool or what's so hard about adding the extra syllable in "vacation." But there is one aspect of this Chevy Chase movie I couldn't live without: the Internet.
My ex-professor from FIU, Dan Wakefield (http://www.danwakefield.com/), who is like 80, recounts the horror of what it was like trying to write in the 50s before the Internet.
I once asked him, Dan, how did you find out, like, the population of gay Romanian farmers before Google?
"Oh, it's was awful," he said. "You had to go to...the library, where you'd have to write out your question on a little card for the librarian. Then you'd wait your turn, and she'd take your card and get in a cage. And then she'd have to ride the cage up several floors, into the reference section of the library, which was stacked, floor to ceiling, with books. Then you'd have to wait while she located the specific research book that would answer your specific question. Then she'd write down the answer, get in the cage..."
Scarier than any Stephen King novel.
I am happy to say, I am a 21st Digital Boy.
The flip side of the Internet, of course, is that it can be a colossal waste of time, especially when you are navigating both research questions and/or trying to find worthwhile material to read for entertainment. Fortunately for you, you have me to waste your time for you.
So for our next C & C series, I am going to direct you to writers and sites you might not know otherwise (or since my readership tends to be so cool, you might already have heard of them, but it'll still be a worthwhile reminder.)
First up, Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds.
Like the world itself, the Internet isn't as big as you think. As a people, we tend to move in restricted circles, gravitating to a condensed world that best reflects individual interests. I've been touting of late ezines like Shotgun Honey (http://www.shotgunhoney.net/), and I probably followed one of its awesome writers, or I could've just read a tweet from Twitter, but that too would've probably come from this same concentrated existence.
Either way, it led me to Wending, and this is the post that hooked me: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/08/10/what-its-like-being-a-writer/.
I've spend a lot of time on Candy and Cigarettes trying to explain the same thing Wendig does, but what has taken me several months to do, while remaining woefully incomplete, he nails in one short, hilarious post.