Sunday, January 02, 2011

How Long Is An Age? And other paradoxes

My mind is a grab-bag. I suspect that most writers/creators are highly observant people, and many of us have grasshopper minds.

"Grasshopper minds" doesn't sound terribly felicious. Does "butterfly mind" sound better? It certainly sounds prettier, but does not convey the same speed, and occasional blade-bending weightiness of our transitions. Nor our opportunistic and sometimes cannibalistic tendencies.

I did not watch "The Book Of Eli" last night. I prefer happy endings, and the synopsis did not lead me to anticipate a HEA in that post-apocalyptic world. Also, I do not buy into the premise that a Bible could be used for world --or even regional-- domination. Not post-apocalypse, anyway. (I'll come back to that, later.)

Instead, I watched "Rock Star." My plan was merely to watch until the tribute band singer was discovered, but I got hooked. The members of the hair band were gorgeous, fascinating and dreadful. History repeated itself like Groundhog Day for rockers.

The groupies seemed to feel entitled to "do" the band member of their choice, almost as if they had paid (maybe they had... maybe they do... but that's not the way I thought it worked.)

The paradox was that the high-living, decadent, conspicuously wealthy, wasted rock stars in the band were forced into a sort of prostitution because of the warped imperative that --to sell records-- they had to be seen to enjoy themselves, and to be envied by record-buying guys.

This next observation is out of order. My mental hops will be linear.

Writers, thank goodness, are able to entertain their audience in bed... remotely, as it were. There are people who feel entitled to "use" some of us for their own profit and pleasure without our permission or consent, and --unfortunately-- we're about as trapped as the Rock Stars in the movie (but most of us don't get to drive around in Batmobiles, or live in gated mansions).

Quoting from one of many listings on EBay

These books are from VERY popular current authors - there aren't any "no-name" authors in this collection!!
These E-Books aren't missing a single page from any of the books and are guaranteed to
be WELL worth your money spent.
Why buy this eBook collection?
-Big name, current authors
- 4,000 books at a FRACTION of the cost
- Comes with an index file to quickly and easily search for your favorite book



These are not the actual hard-copy books!
They are in EPUB format, to be used with any computer or eBook reading device!
Apple iPad/iPhone/Sony Reader NOT INCLUDED!

This listing complies with all eBay rules and regulations. I hold resell rights to these eBooks. I will send this item by postal mail. Sending this item by email or by any other digital delivery
method is not allowed and violates eBay policy.
* eBooks in EPUB format require conversion to be read on Amazon Kindle units

End of Quote.

Question for you.
How is it possible that "very popular", "big name", "current" authors can be "in the public domain"? Seriously. If an author is alive, which most "current" authors are, their works are in-copyright.

Why would a "current" author give away her copyright to someone who cannot handle a double negative?

If publishers' contracts with Amazon guarantee that e-books will not be sold for less anywhere else, how is it possible for an EBayer to reproduce and distribute at "a fraction of the cost", unless EBay is being used as a fence, of course.

I suppose someone somewhere does grant legitimate "Resell Rights" to their own works, but that's not the way Creative Commons works, for instance.

For authors and other creators, parts of the Internet are already much like a lawless, post-apocalyptic world where those with the power run amok, and the authorities turn a blind eye.

Regrettably, I don't stop thinking during Sunday services. This morning, one of the readings was from Matthew 28:18-20 (New International Version, ©2010)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Others have commented extensively on this passage, but I had never noticed before that there is a time limit. That's not what my pastor preaches. So, when I got home, I looked up how long an "age" is thought to be.

And, I came upon another disclaimer...
Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The problem could all be the fault of the translators, like those well-intentioned scholars who either don't know the difference between "catholic" and "Catholic", or who think it makes no difference if they substitute a near-synonym.... while also claiming that it would be unthinkable, impossible to change a word of the Bible.

An "Age" is thought to be 2,000 years.

Apparently, the world --or, at least, the human race-- may end on May 21st 2011, October 21st 2011, or in 2012, 2030, or 2060 (by which time it is thought that human beings will have more than a little in common with a plague of locusts).

Those links are quite interesting for world-building, and --IMHO-- a striking resource for speculative writers, especially for steam-punk or cyber-punk, I should have thought. Anyway, if Hollywood is okay with "The Book Of Eli", and "2012", there's probably a bandwagon... if not a tour bus.

Always assuming that there's time to write something worthwhile before May 21st 2011.


  1. Watch "The Book of Eli". Great movie. Maybe not a HEA in the traditional sense, but I believe it was a *satisfying* ending.

    It also doesn't hurt that Denzel is pretty hot ;-)

  2. Thank you for the comment, Meghan. Maybe I will give it a try, then.