Vox: Shane Jesse Christmass

The Verity La Forum was conducted by Alec Patric from July 2011 to December 2011

Forum Question:  A New Archaeology

“In proportion as the mass of citizens who possess political rights increases, and the number of elected ruler’s increases, the actual power is concentrated and becomes the monopoly of a smaller and smaller group of individuals.” – Paul Lafargue.
In regards to the debate of e-books and how new technology will change the publishing landscape, I have a yes and no response to it all. On one hand, I can relate to a certain phrase that you may have heard:
“There is no avant-garde just those left behind…”
On the other hand I do wonder what relevance any of this could possible have to those less financial, given that they’re not part of the middle-class that wants to keep having this blowhard debate.
I am certain that if you went out into the middle of Australia, the Arrente tribe’s people wouldn’t be concerned with your Kindle, or how it affects the publishing industry.
Notice that I reference it as the ‘publishing industry’, because to be honest, none of this really concerns writers at all, and any bookseller, or publisher, that tries to steer such a debate into how it affects writers is clearly delusional, or in the business of political spin, and above all else, a rotting capitalist.
This has nothing to with polemics, or empirical concerns, or philanthropy, it’s about turning a coin, or from a publisher’s point of view, how to stop money severely leaking out from their industry, an industry that has all the hallmarks of organised gangsters.
When one reduces down the debate to what it’s really about, then one can’t help but become uninterested and realise that none of this is important. Imagine what aliens would think if they came here in their spacecraft and found us all raging about E-Readers. However, taking that into account, a bunch of toffs raging about new technology probably wouldn’t be high on the list of reasons that would make them turn around and take flight. You can see the absurdity of all this eternal guff. It’s the dog-chasing-it’s-own-tail conundrum. It’s a fallacy, this isn’t an issue to anyone except rich people wanting to get richer.
One of the ‘guilt trips’ during the parallel importing debate, and now the new technology debate, was that this would be detrimental for local writing. As if publishers, or booksellers, in this country had ever done anything for local writers, and if they had, they had done it from a point of provincialism.
What needs to be asked is what are they afraid of losing? People, who claim to be independent, are not, they clearly have their own political agenda, and any tripe messed up under the guise of ‘trying to assist local writers’ is all bulldust.
Booksellers and Publishers don’t care about you, or anything else except protecting their own monopoly in a marketplace. Will E-Books take this away, who knows, who cares, but it certainly has them worried.
Money and power is what this is about, not your reading experience, or even your shopping experience. This is about cartels and nothing else. It’s also interesting to notice their ineptitude. In progress, or say evolution, or change, one can reach a stage of stasis. This prolonged stasis, usually occurs before de-evolution. The industry is in a state of pointless debate, a stasis, but what’s really making them go mad, is their ineptitude to make a buck. They were high jumped at the first turn by other entrepanuers, in most cases writers taking control of their own fate, and this really gets up in their noses. They don’t like this. Oligarchies can suffer malnutrition and then evolve into tiny oligarchies, and because of this publishers become everywhere. Like I said, they don’t like this.
These robber barons have also, somehow, made something incredulous and downright psychotic, become known as fact. There’s this mass mind control thing going on. I’m sure you’ve heard saps saying things, in regards to them visitng bookstores, or why they don’t wish to read off a computer screen. The working poor have been stymied into believing frivolous things that the publishing industry states as fact, to prop up their failing proprietorships. Blurting from the mouth of people, you will hear them state that they like the experience of walking through a shop, the smell of the paper of the books. As opposed to what, the smell of the metallic and plastic of a Kindle? What type of person would be so interested to compare the smell of a book to the smell of new technology, and then have the audacity to wish to comment on which smell is better? The answer is a sociopath. A sociopath would claim that the experience of walking through a bookstore is somehow more wholesome or moral, than looking at a computer screen and experiencing the same piece of fiction by the exact same author. The sociopath that is detailed here, needs to seek out hackneyed ideas of culture and contentment. These sociopaths are complicit in maintaining the robber baron’s monopoly. They’re luddites quite frankly. They claim that the internet is abhuman, but anyone who would spit that much hate toward a poor little E-Reader, is much more than an abomination to humanity, they’re somewhat of a borish creep.
The other thing these people don’t understand is the lack of space. Book burnings didn’t occur because prudish people were against the ideas inside the covers of said books, they occurred because the Europeans needed space. With the advent of the MP3 and now the E-Reader, it is evident that we can remove all that superfluous waste that occurs in our environment. Now I have no idea whether the forest of trees required to make the latest fashionable tome, is anymore environmental than the plexus of metal, alloy, plastic and rubber that makes up one of those dinky devices, but what I do know about is space. If one can remove all of this detritus and rubbish from one’s household, think of all the space you would discover. More room for people to live, and I don’t mean people will have more space to air their dirty laundry, what I do mean is, one can invite 30 more people to come and live in their house where the books once stood.
As I said in the introduction, I don’t really think too much about these issues, the subject is too much of a soapy sponge for this streamlined body. Remember what is important, it is those people that we leave behind. And in this circumstance, it should be the devilish industry.

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Ryan O’Neill Alice Gage Sam Twyford-Moore S. Van Berkel
Emmett Stinson Maria Takolander Peter Farrar Jeff Sparrow

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