A thing of the past

RPR in 1st car – 1917

Why do people chase down their ancestors, pouring through letters and documents with frayed edges, faded ink on sheets of paper which crumble in your hands  and between your fingers?  I guess the answer is in the question.  As we strive  for a paperless society, documents become exceedingly inaccessible, buried in forgotten computer files, the World Wide Web, the Cloud, or Google docs and PhotoShop.  Our memory is also buried in these files – gone! – and the danger of obliterating the personal handwritten accounts which affirm the history of our ancestry, becomes more and more imminent.  Long gone is the autograph book and rapidly disappearing is the hand written letter and journal as witnesses of times past. Whatever primary sources resurface in twenty-five, fifty or seventy five years, will certainly be an anomaly, if they exist at all.

Our pursuit of knowledge and wonder are no longer driven by hiking on trails through wooded hills, along running brooks, or on cobblestone streets in historic towns, villages and countries, but rather, through endless hours with our eyes pasted to a computer screen.  Perhaps the advent of the iThis and iThat, and the capability to transmit and receive information instantly through time and space is our way of staying in tune as we are constantly on the move, whether it’s sitting in a chair in our living room or in the seat of a train.  Yet we need not remember a thing, because all information is at our fingertips through technology, and although we are seemingly more cerebral and introverted in our social exchanges, we pursue, record and process information at a faster pace than we ever did before – only to be forgotten.

We are living in an era of heightened individualism and guarded privacy which has made us less sociable face to face, more suspicious, paranoid and worried about what one knows about us and if it is really an apt description of who we are.  In this state of agitation we are unable  to shift our consciousness into a true state of Carp Diem, or in other words, lose ourselves completely in a moment  of time, in the beauty of a poem, the shapes and forms of a painting, or in the seconds at dusk and dawn when the buds of a flower open and close.

As the Age of Technology spins out of control what legacy will we be leaving for our children which our foremothers and fathers have left for us?  I for one find myself sucked into this technology and forever striving to keep up and constantly learning how to use it – dependent  on the keyboard for my social interaction and to satisfy my wonder and pursuit of information. Yet, I am weary and discerning of the lack of reality and authenticity of technology and unsatisfied with the information it has to offer. I am afraid the layers of facts, or facts posing as the truth which are deeply buried in my computer will be quickly forgotten when I turn off the switch. Yet I am happy to know that this information will never compare with the real photographs, authentic documents and letters which I hold in my hand.  I consider myself fortunate and at the same time saddened to have these papers at my fingertips because I realize that their production is a thing of the past.

The News

The Hartford Courant
I canceled the newspaper while I was on vacation. I was going to discontinue it indefinitely then I thought of getting it Thursday through Sunday, which is what I think I told them on the phone. I also said I wanted to wait until September. So the paper arrived, yesterday – on Sunday, in July. I was happy to see it in the box. This morning I heard the car come to a stall at 5 A.M. -the time the newspaper arrives. Wait a minute! -it’s Monday. It’s not supposed to come until Thursday, in September. Like yesterday I was happy to make my ritual walk to the end of the driveway and sit down and read the paper. Here is what I found newsworthy:

From the Hartford Courant. (I’ll save my critique of this paper for later)

RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS BRIDGE THE GAP For the first time rabbinical students from the Theological Seminary in New York City are attending the Hartford Seminary. The seminary offers classes to Jewish, Muslim and Christian students with the hopes of fomenting better understanding among the three religions. -A good idea as long as religion is around.

YOGA ON THE FARMINGTON RIVER Yoga classes are being offered on the Farmington River. The picture shows pupils holding poses on a paddleboard on the water to test their balance. -Not sure if I am up to this one!

EXIT POLLS PUT PRI BACK ON TOP Mexican elections are pretty much over and the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) is back in power after 12 years out of the spotlight. The new president is Enrique Pena Nieto. They are hoping to stimulate the economy and put the drug war to an end. More than 50,000 lives have been lost in six years. According to the article the drug cartels supply cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine to users in the United States. -One would think the wall would keep the drugs out.

HEALTH CARE LAW RULING SPARKS TV WAR OF WORDS The Democrats are happy about the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of ObamaCare but they don’t like the tax mandate. Overall, conservatives and Republicans are disappointed with the decision and if Romney is elected they will repeal the law. However polls show there is an increased approval of the healthcare reform by more and more conservatives – the percentage jumped from 43% to 47%. Nancy Pelosi questioned the ethics of Republicans wanting to repeal a law which will help children, young adults, men and women and seniors with needed health care. -Dah!

ROBERT’S HEALTH CARE RULING LONG-TERM WIN by George Will You will have to read this one on your own. He seems to be in favor of the decision. -Will usually presents an interesting argument, even if he is conservative.

So, it is good my newspaper showed up today and yesterday. What happens tomorrow? Now it’s back to reading the comics!

Oh, one last thing! – Spain won (4-0) the EURO 2012 championship against Italy. -What will they call this championship when the euro is defunct?

Stay tuned…