It takes being in Poland

to not hear about Steve Jobs’ death immediately.

My family have been Mac people for as long as we’ve had computers, although my brother, who needs more flexibility and Computing Power, has used LINUX machines for a long time. But Macs were the first computers I grew up with, and my attachment to them exceeds even my attachment to the Jeep and the Thunderbird.

The Mac computer is the rehearsal room for everything I have ever written, apart from one brief PC laptop experience in college. I don’t really know if it’s the design, or the user-friendliness, or the fact that I know I could be editing video and sound if I wanted to (although I rarely do these days.) But by now, the Mac is a part of me, and a part of how I write.

One black MacBook in particular got me through almost a half-decade of post-college theater days. I had it on my lap or in my backpack for every rehearsal I went to, every notes session I attended.

When its hard drive died after four years of very rugged use, and travels from Denver to Indianapolis to San Francisco to New York, the company gave it a new brain. It went into the Sick Bay of the Apple store in Chicago and came out looking the same, but with a whole new identity. They didn’t charge me.

I lost files, but I continued to have my sense of consumer attachment to the Mac folks. Somehow, the files didn’t matter as much as that the machine was still with me. I wrote my entire grad school thesis on it. I still have that computer, although I’m writing this on a faster, newer MacBook Pro.

I’m very grateful to these computers, and to Jobs for making these computers possible. Somehow, I don’t think I ever thought he would die, exactly. Hoping for a positronic brain.



Back in Mac. Apparently hard drives are like tires – you need to replace them every few years, but it doesn’t mean the car is dead. I’m staring into the big blue rectangular eye of the same laptop body that’s traveled with me for two years, but it’s got a brand-new hard drive, enviably empty of memory.

I asked the nice man at the Apple store if he could do the same thing for humans: destroy all the data and give me a new brain. He says it’s a few years off.

art, technology, writing

you can’t do both

Two interesting things from a NYT article about SXSW and media:

it was obvious after a few days here that the people formerly known as the audience were too busy making content to consume much of it, unless it came from their friends. The medium is not the message; the messages are the media.

I’m very interested in this point – the (supposed) decline of the audience with the expansion of authorship, or, perhaps, the idea that everyone in the audience is now an author. That there is no separation between authors and audience members any more. And, even more importantly, this:

One participant [in a panel called “Sex Lives of the Microfamous”] said he had some very firm boundaries. If a first date goes well, and he is interested in seeing the person again, he sets out the rules of engagement.

“You can blog about me or you can date me, but you can’t do both,” he said to audible approval.

Exactly. You can’t do both. Same theme: the idea that you can’t simultaneously be experiencing and documenting something, whether that something is a person or a concert. A warning, a ultimatum, a cautionary note.

Unless, that is, the documentation is part of the experience. Somehow, I think that most people who consider themselves to be writers (bloggers, authors, humans) have already come to terms with this idea, the pillaging of experience for expression. But I, dissatisfied, am still circling it like a block in West Hollywood. I do not know where to park the car of my writing in the neighborhood of this idea. I am afraid of getting some kind of a ticket. There is a Denise Duhamel poem – but I’ll make it a separate post –