Sorry I haven’t written in a while. Besides finishing my manuscript and the aesthetic statement for my MFA Thesis (close to 200 pages), I have no legitimate excuses. I also haven’t had a conundrum that would totally and completely outrage me. Finally, after two weekends of eating dirt and horse shit—I’m not kidding—I found something even more offensive this morning when I was getting ready for work.
First things first: As some of you may know, the famous and sometimes infamous Coachella Fests, the two three-day-weekend-Woodstock-wannabe-concerts, are held right behind my backyard. This year, the [insert sarcastic tone here] brilliant Golden Voice Production that organizes the events decided it would be fun to spread horse manure mixed with sand behind my wall, I guess to make a nice and fluffy cushion for the festers who would be bused into the venue. Now, the Coachella Fest has been an annual gig since 1999, so you would think that the Golden Voice boys would have figured by now how quickly our desert sun dries up the earth if it is not watered properly, right? Wrong. By the time the buses arrived, the horse crap had completely dried up and stinky clouds of what I can only label as mummified horse turd particles made their way into my yard, home, mouth, and lungs. Not only was my furniture covered with a thick layer of filth, but my dog, Poe, decided not come out of the house. And that’s a big one because he eats his own poop, for crying out loud!
This weekend is reserved for Stagecoach. But by now, my husband befriended a water truck driver who gladly wets the premises in the vicinity of our backyard wall. As you can clearly see, the rule It’s not what you know but who you know applies even when shit is at stake. But, this is not what horrified me to my very core. As an avid reader, writer, and storyteller, I was outraged this morning because of the following commercial.
What is happening to our children, parents, society? When have parents become so selfish and lazy that they can’t spend the miserable ten minutes it takes to read/tell their children a bedtime story? I get it. We live in the age of information, and technology has become the staple of our livelihoods. But when technology decides to invade my children’s right to the most magnificent invention of all times—a book made of paper and ink; an invention that possesses magic, limitless potential by letting the children’s imaginations grow and stretch like the Universe itself, we are at war. Yes, you heard me. I declare war on all electronically linked pajamas (even though my children love pajamas), with their dots, binary codes, bar codes, hieroglyphs, DNA sequences, and whatever else stupid humans will try to weave into their fabric. Pajamas should be the one cozy outfit children wear when they cuddle up with their parents, not an electronic device, and listen to a story from the voice of their guardian, not some damn robot-voice of an application on a phone or a pad on which they can’t even physically turn the pages. So I’m sad and disappointed.
The only way we can win the book vs. electronic device war while we gradually advance in our technological age is if we save the nostalgia about our childhood and cherish the values of bedtime stories told in the traditional way.