Before-Digital and Post-Digital Ages

I’m fairly certain that at some point in the future, the dividing line between ages will be BD and PD- much like the dividing line we use for BC or AD (Before Christ or After Death was what I learned in school – which was wrong but sticks in my mind anyway). So yes, we … Continue reading “Before-Digital and Post-Digital Ages”

I’m fairly certain that at some point in the future, the dividing line between ages will be BD and PD- much like the dividing line we use for BC or AD (Before Christ or After Death was what I learned in school – which was wrong but sticks in my mind anyway). So yes, we will have the years where not much is known – the years when there was no digital photographic or audio recording technology and the years where everything was captured. A good example of that rose to my attention last night – in the 1960s the teleplay Man of LaMancha aired on TV. There are no recordings of it because at the time there were not video recorders (which were linear but close enough to the digital tech age that much of what was captured on linear data devices has been translated to digital and saved). There is a gray area where this linear tech exists – roughly from 1960-1990 – when things like records, audio tapes, video tapes, photographs, and even hand written or typewriter written documents were still the norm but were transferrred to digital technology with the aid of scanners, digital recorders, DAT, etc. Not all of these captured moments have been digitized, but enough that there will always be a clear picture of the transition from non-digital society to digital society. By and large, we can say that the generation that grew up from 1960-1990, my generation, Gen-X, was the last non-digital generation and the first digital generation. The way of life that existed during our childhood and adolescence will never be foggy, like that of the generations that came before us, but it will never be crystal clear like those who follow. I’ve already noticed that Hollywood is mining this treasure trove of light mystique and that trend will only continue.

It’s funny to think of how difficult these changes have been – we are still going through them. Our world is as different from the world of 1989 as the world of 1989 was from the world of 1589. Yes, we’ve gone through 300 years of change in just 30 years. The age of flight was nothing as compared to the age of digitalization. A man from 1589 could have been normalized to the world of 1989 – yes, there were planes but Davinci had proposed flight and French balloonists were flying close to his time of 1589. A car might have been shocking, but ultimately it is a carriage run by a combination of mechanical processes that could be easily understood with explanation – even in 1589. But a digital camera? A cell phone? The internet? A smart phone with a camera, a virtual assistant, the internet, phone capability, digital music, and Google Earth – try explaining that to someone alive today – let alone to someone from 300 years ago. It would be a stretch to explain that to an adult from 1959. But, you probably could explain it to someone who came of age in the 1970s or 1980s – at any time.

I feel fortunate to have been alive at this time. To have borne witness to this change of epochs. To be clear, I think my generation got the worst of both worlds – we got the shaft because we will not get the full benefits of the mature technology that will emerge in 10-20 years and we did not get the 300 year security that our parents were born into. The magnitude of this shift won’t be clear for a long time – at present – most people aren’t aware of it at all.

Thoughts after Attending a Book Festival as an Author

The book festival yesterday was thought provoking. Lots of thoughts were provoked. Here are a few of them. As a young person (and today as well) I read a lot – I was inspired by great storytelling from the likes of Tolkien, Verne, Piers Anthony, Robert Heinlein, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dickens, Twain, and London. I am inspired by well written history, thought provoking philosophy and spirituality, and approachable, practical how-to books. I like books that allow me to learn. I love books that allow me to visit far off destinations and exotic cultures and landscapes.

As a younger adult – I was also dazzled by the reckless and dangerous lifestyles of many writers. Hard drinking, hard drugging, hard loving, emotional roller coasters – like Hank Moody from Californication – I wanted to live like that.

I was never inspired by popular fiction like detective novels, thrillers or best sellers. I never wanted to be some boring baby boomer slaving away over a word processor and sitting in empty halls filled with tables behind which boring baby boomers sit eyeing potential readers with hunger.Yesterday, I found myself right there. Best selling author Philip Margolin was there too, sitting behind a table, trying to smile, signing books. I had no desire to be him. I had no desire to read his books.

I’ve not wanted to be Hank Moody or Jack Kerouac or Hemingway for quite a while now. The desire has passed. The idea of being an older Jack London type, building a ranch, hosting friends, fighting for good political ends…that appeals to me. I’d still love to write compelling stories…but they need to be stories with a purpose, stories that have more substance than a Moody-esque “I drank, I got fucked up, I got fucked, it was awful, I survived, I did it again, something awesome happened, I was miserable, I did it again”

My books previously have been a combination of how-to, travel to exotic places, introduction to exotic ideas, and fucked-upness with an over-exaggerated desire to attract attention by offending. I was using offense as a hook…which was (perhaps) novel in the 80s and 90s but now, in the age of the internet, is just boring.

I’ve changed a lot. I admit it. Enough that I can see foolishness where before I thought there was brilliance. Enough to see problems where before I thought there was quality. I was in love with my title “Douchebags, Fags, and Hags” I thought it was hilarious…yesterday, honestly, I was embarrassed by it and while I still love the novel – am pretty sure I would have sold a lot more if I had called it “The Sultanate of Baboob” or “Pig and the Sexy Nun” or even just “Pig”. There were other things I noticed and was shocked by, such as my putting of an ancient pre-Columbian artifact showing two dogs fucking on the back of my rather serious “Liminal Travel” – I remember thinking it was funny – an artifact from the MET referencing an off-color joke on the back of my book – but it has nothing to do with my book. Why did I put it there? Probably the same reason I put the horrible back cover on Smooth Living – enough to see that Slackville Road is a good idea with bad execution…and an ugly cover. I was blinded with love for my own creations…and I think the time I’ve taken off from writing has been a good thing.

The money and time I spent yesterday did not yield a financial return, but even so, I think it was well spent.

Good Friends You’ve Never Met

This is an excerpt from the Original Slackville Road. It didn’t make it into the re-release. Here’s the thing…it’s a true story. It happened to me and a buddy in Bellingham…fiction is real life…in this case.

~Vago Damitio

pancake houseThere was a guy sitting to my left that kept looking at Ricky on my right. I couldn’t tell what was happening but he seemed plenty mad and he seemed like he couldn’t see anything but Ricky. Suddenly he started speaking over me.

“What’s your fucking problem? Why do you gotta sit there?” Ricky tried to laugh it off but pretty soon the guy stood up and started moving towards him, ready to fight. What was going on with people? I grabbed him by the shirt, making him notice me.

“Hey buddy, why you doing this? What’s your name?” He seemed to notice me for the first time.

“Craig,” he said” Do I know you?”

“Sure Craig, you know me. We go way back. Don’t tell me you don’t remember all the good times we’ve had?” I didn’t know this guy but he was incredibly drunk. It might work. “Why else do you think I’m sitting here having breakfast with you?”

“Yeah, sure, that’s right, I remember. Course I do. Just losing that damn job right now with all the holiday bills. And they keep hiring the fucking Mexicans…” He noticed Ricky again and started moving towards him. Ricky might look like a Mexican to a drunk bigot.

“Craig, he’s no Mexican. That’s my friend. My friend, you’re my friend too. Why would you wanna fight with one of my buddies when you and I are such good buddies. That’s not cool. Besides, he’s a Cajun not a Mexican.” The guy moved back to his chair and started crying. This was the weirdest fucking night of my life.

The guy was a victim of downsizing. He gushed his story out and then got up to go. He stopped at the register and I heard him tell the waitress that he was paying for whatever his two buddies down there had ordered. He meant Ricky and me. Fucking weird.

 

An Invitation from the Madman

I’d like to invite readers to join me  for a thousand and one Sundays of reading and writing.  I’ll write if you’ll read. If you’d like to join me, you can sign up at http://eepurl.com/rMijn but don’t worry, if you decide one Sunday is enough, you can unsubscribe with the click of a button. By the way, there’s no charge for this.

One of the most important things I’ve ever heard about writing is that there needs to be an agreement between the writer and the reader. My agreement with you is this: Read my work and I’ll keep writing the best that I can for you. If you don’t like it for some reason, please let me know and if you can, please tell me why. My email is vago@vagodamitio.com and there is nobody I would rather here from than you, the reader. If you come across grammar or spelling errors, I would love to know about those too. Thanks in advance for entering this agreement with me.

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Continue reading “An Invitation from the Madman”

An Invitation from Vago Damitio: The Madman

I’d like to invite readers to join me  for a thousand and one Sundays of reading and writing.  I’ll write if you’ll read. If you’d like to join me, you can sign up at http://eepurl.com/rMijn but don’t worry, if you decide one Sunday is enough, you can unsubscribe with the click of a button. By the way, there’s no charge for this.

One of the most important things I’ve ever heard about writing is that there needs to be an agreement between the writer and the reader. My agreement with you is this: Read my work and I’ll keep writing the best that I can for you. If you don’t like it for some reason, please let me know and if you can, please tell me why. My email is vago@vagodamitio.com and there is nobody I would rather here from than you, the reader. If you come across grammar or spelling errors, I would love to know about those too. Thanks in advance for entering this agreement with me.

Subscribe here

 

The Madman

Vago Damtiio - The Madman

Vago Damitio’s Weekly Reader

 

 

 

I’d like to invite you to subscribe to

The Madman: Vago Damitio’s Weekly Reader

Here’s the deal:

Every Sunday I’m going to send you an email with something interesting to read.  I’m going to start with the serialized rewrite of my first novel, Slackville Road (you can find it here with my other books, but it’s not the version you’ll get through email).

Slackville Road By Vago DamitioYou’ll be the first to see the rewrite because it will be coming to you. I hope that you’ll provide feedback, comments, and more. After we finish Slackville Road, it will be something else. The whole point of this is to build a more personal relationship between you, the reader, and me, the writer – so please don’t hesitate to contact me – even if you want to say “Hey dumbass, stop using so many dashes!” – or “I think you should have more T & A in this story.”

 

VagoDamitio.com

This is not going to be the same content that appears on VagoDamitio.com – which is my personal website and periodically updated whenever I feel the desire or have something to say –  – if you’d like to subscribe to that (i.e. get each new article emailed to you) you’ll need to go to http://www.vagodamitio.com/feed/ – or just go look at it once in a while and see what’s new there. On the site you will find my books, interviews, columns, photos, and random thoughts. It might be offensive or lame, but it’s real and it’s not driven by anyone but me.

That’s it.
See you on Sunday. By the way, I picked Sunday because I think it’s the best day for reading. I have fond memories of spending Sunday mornings reading over breakfast and I hope that you will enjoy reading me over breakfast – that sounds weird, but I hope you know what I mean.

~Vago

P.S. – This isn’t the usual travel stuff that I’ve become known for through Vagobond.com either. I travel a lot and usually that finds its way into my fiction (and non-fiction of course) but this is about sharing the creative with you. I hope you won’t hesitate to let me know how you like it.