Sunday, 10 May 2009

1. When Super-Apes Attack

Ladies and Gentlemen, the book is dead, now fit only (as ever it truly was) for insulation, furniture support, or as the abode and sustenance of trogium pulsatorium and its ilk. The electronic reading device (be it Kindle, iPhone, or an inverted calculator showing the product of 332,375.5 multiplied by 16) has reduced the medium of pressed wood-pulp to an object of contempt, and anyone who says otherwise is a brass-faced liar with greasy sheep's wool stuffed in their brain pan.

Furthermore, the act of paying labour-coupons in the acquisition of books electronic or paper, is now an anachronism worthy of the ribald contempt of behooded street-urchins and guitar-playing vicars who read the Guardian online, not from a pious sense of social responsibility, but because they find Charlie Brooker to be devilishly amusing.

It has often been remarked that an erstwhile Chancellor of Germany, though perhaps justly maligned, did at least give his nation a reliable railway network. It might also be argued that his pyrotechnical tendencies in regard to printed matter was also not without merit.

Doubtless there will be venerable grey-beards and emaciated shut-ins who would raise a feeble voice of protest against such an ultimate solution. It will be necessary to disregard their mewling complaints, and boldly stride from our neon-lit and funky present into a more neon-lit and even funkier future.

It is entirely right that the bibliophile be shunned and abhorred for his perversion, and yet the electronic reading device provides even those unfortunate misanthropes with scope for redemption and social fitfulness. When his hairy-palmed hand, sweating and clawed, is clutching the sleek black iPhone, rather than a dirty and tattered paperback, even his misshapen features are given a human cast by the screen's gentle glow.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I was once as they. Look on me not with pity or disgust, nor amazement at my transformation, but rather with understanding, compassion, and perhaps even fellowship. Even the lowest amongst us, shunned by his brethren, can see the error of his ways and embrace the glorious, digital present, and so earn your forgiveness and society.

Bibliophilia is a cerebral illness, which like any other such, can be treated by a rigorous course of anti-psychotic medications, or electro-convulsive therapy. Where neither of these superior courses can be affected, perhaps owing to frailty of health or impecuniousness, most brain doctors agree that following the internet-posted reading recommendations of rambling cranks can be most efficacious.

To commence your cure, jack your nervous system into the net, direct your cyber machines to and download WHEN SUPER-APES PLOT, by Wilder Anthony (1919). Soon enough, everything will become clearer, and you will hear the birdsong, see the smiles on the faces of children, and know peace with your god*.

*Disclaimer : actual results may vary considerably, and then some.