Pulp Fiction

Beat

Okay, Christmas is coming and I’m going to need a few books to read. I’d like to get through 3 if possible so I need to get thinking about what to read.  I came across the following video recently, and was immediately transported 16 years into the past, to a time when I was studying at university and enjoying the freedoms that accompanied this period of my life. One of those freedoms included having more time to read than I have now.

During this time, I was given a copy of Charles Bukowski’s Post Office, which was a hilariously vulgar description of alternative-living in 50’s and 60’s America. It deals with ideas explored by the Beat Generation, a literary movement which represented the American counter-culture at that time.

So in this moment of crisis, general disaffection with politics and distrust of the ruling classes,  it could be refreshing to re-read some of those writers, those who looked at life from another side of the social divide.

The following video is a recital of Bukowski’s poem, Nirvana.

Charles Bukowski’s Nirvana from Patrick Biesemans on Vimeo.

 

Writing Letters

Hand-written

Hi again,

I recently received a wedding invitation. These often contain a card inside for the purpose of RSVP which derives from the French ‘répondez, s’il vous plaît’. Traditionally, this card wasn’t included, so invitees had to respond using their own stationary, as was the case with this invitation. The last time I wrote a hand-written letter was in 2002. That’s a long time ago. To make a long story short, I didn’t have any specific stationery and so went out to find some. I went to 3 different stationers and guess what . . . they didn’t sell the stationery I was looking for because in their words; ‘nobody really uses it anymore.’

I eventually found a shop that sold something close to what I was looking for. And this made me think about this video I watched a few months ago, which describes how digital technology is changing the way we use (or don’t use) the materials around us, and how not using these materials (pen and paper in this case) can cause the disappearance of services linked to them, such as the printer and paper experts in the video you’ll see below.

The speakers are American and they speak clearly, so although it’s 9 minutes long, it’s worth it from a comprehension, and mechanical engineering point of view.