I like to read, and that is not an apology, merely a statement, but that appears to be a declining art. It may seem to everyone that the world runs on 20 second sound bytes and a maximum 144 characters of text. That's all the time that anyone has to make a point. Certainly the US President seems to communicate exclusively in this way but even though those of us who believe we are smarter than he is may smugly nod our heads knowingly, he actually knows what he is doing. Well in this regard anyway.
We have had a full 12 months of him plus for an expat Brit like myself, we have had the unlikely sight of another unelectable, this time from the left, morph into the most unlikely next PM of Great Britain that there probably has ever been. All on the back of the highest level of incompetence from the elected elite and a massive groundswell of young support (and social media assistance) from the young people of the country. I read somewhere recently that Jeremy Corbyn has the support of something like 70% of all young people in the UK. And how do they communicate these days? Certainly not in debating societies, major newspapers or God forbid books. It is by 20 second soundbyte and those 144 miserable characters.
I just did a quick count of this blog post and discover to my dismay that 144 characters (includes spaces and punctuation) is about one and a half lines of my text. How on earth do you get your point across in such a limited way?
Perhaps the very fact that communication has come to this depressing and very superficial level will cause a reaction. Certainly I have been reading some commentators who are saying that their New Year's Resolution for 2018 is to come off Twitter or at the very least curtail their usage of it. My contribution has been to delete the Twitter app from my phone... but then again as I have never used it, I don't think that will tip any balance.
Reporting has been never endingly depressing in 2017 underlining the fact that only bad news is newsworthy so I was really, really happy to read an article from a website called Quartz (I was put onto this page by Bloomberg whom I have increasingly come to rely upon for impartial news, even though I still do take some things with a pinch of salt) that listed 99 things to be grateful for that took place in 2017. Here is the link but at random, here are some fantastic things that I never saw in the news but are fantastic, fantastic developments for the human race:
2017 was also the year that saw the passing of a close personal friend of mine as well as some greats of rock and roll: Tom Petty and Gregg Allman from my list of personal favourites. Fats Domino and Chuck Berry also passed away; even greater influences on the history of contemporary music. Sad to lose them all but each time I go somewhere and hear the soundtrack to buying groceries, waiting for the train, being in an airport, etc., and that turns out to be an instantly recognisable tune from the 1960's and 1970's, it makes me happy to know that they will be remembered by their music... even though people may not know the name of their great tunes rather like I recognize much classical music but cannot for the life of me remember who wrote what or when.
But then again this does provide me with an opportunity to ending this post with a wonderful live clip from YouTube with the full original band. I forgot that Butch Trucks, one of the drummers, also passed away in 2017. Gregg is on keyboards and sings.
Happy New Year!