DEATH HAS NO STING (ON THE INTERNET)

Ran holds the mirror to FPE. Photo by Susan Coolen.

It always amazes me to find things I wrote five, ten, fifteen years ago still floating around out in the ether known as ‘The World Wide Web’. This is a byproduct of the net’s ever-increasing capacity to archive anything and everything ever posted.

I did some personal internet ‘house-cleaning’ a couple of months back, and deleted four of my old blogs. They’d been up for three or four years, and a lot of the content had grown rather stale. While I don’t really regret doing that, there always is the temptation to just leave it all up there in perpetuity, just because I can.

Although Fish Piss the zine is no longer active, it lives on in the form of reprints and a complete internet archive. Just the other day, someone was telling me they’re read one of my pieces – ‘Letters To Ran’, actually two letters I’d written to fellow Fluffy Pagan Echo Ran Elfassy back in 1995 – in a Fish Piss they picked up at this year’s Expozine. I’ve contributed many pieces to FP over the eons, including poems, reviews, and articles about things like K-Tel Records and 45s. You can find links to all of them here.

Tireless poetry promoter and poet Todd Swift (he just recently launched his first UK collection, he’s already got several Canadian poetry books under his belt) accepted a couple of politically-concerned poems from me when he was poetry editor at nthposition.com, an online zine that’s still active. In their archives you’ll find a couple of the free downloadable chapbooks I appear in, as edited by Swift: 100 Poets Against The War and Babylon Burning.

And let’s not forget the jillions and bzillions of pieces on the topic of poetry and spoken word events that I’ve written for the Montreal Mirror since 2000. Mostly short blurbs, but there’s also articles covering all kinds of interesting folks.

As we move further into this crazy fucking century, I suspect more and more ‘content’ will find its home, not on the printed page, but on this evanescent, screen-dependent ‘platform’. I don’t know what to say about this trend, except that at least it’ll save some trees. One thing we should all realize, of course, is that the more it becomes the dominant system for the delivery of everything from music to movies to books, the more we’re gonna have to pay for what is currently ‘free’ (excepting internet fees, of course).

In the meantime, books as a physical artifact will survive, of course, just as movies survived the advent of video, just as painting survived the advent of photography. And maybe they’ll become much, much more beautiful …

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One comment

  1. Jim Thomas · April 13, 2010

    “except that at least it’ll save some trees.”

    hard to know if it will save trees… electricity production is increasingly moving over to burning woodchips… keeping servers running, running search engiones not to mention powering a billion laptops, ipads, kindles or whatever might well end up felling more trees than libraries of paper ever did

    just speculatin…..

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