Gaaah….. it’s monday. My boy Paddy and his long-term girlfriend (a courtship through four years of getting their degrees in seperate countries) are getting married on Thursday, here on the island. I have had the influx of new in-laws to be arrive today and we sat down to dinner with 11 people tonight, after chaos and wrong date booked hire cars and all sort of minor disasters, I found I had 3 hours less than I planned on for a large three course meal. And somehow it all happened. Somehow writing my weekly mad genius blog post got sidelined… but not forgotten.
Which kind of brings me around to my thread for the day… would you ever get anything done if you lived forever and it didn’t matter? If there were no deadlines and you could polish that once more? My own theory is that immortality would kill creativity as well as death…
And then the question of tradition and writing. My sons are both varying degrees of strong traditionalists. More so than I am, to be honest. More conservative in outlook and a lot of their behaviour than I, certainly. I suspect they’re unusual, but I really don’t know — and this logically affects your writing. My younger boy has from excess reading of elderly novels and disreputable older relations for example some very strong ideas on bachelor parties (which I think over-rated myself) and the necessity for decorating cars and attaching tin cans to them. My older son wants me to wear a suit and cut my hair for his wedding (not off, I grant, but cut it for reasons other than it is getting in my way). And they both approve of church weddings, and look askance at the idea of just co-habiting (which was certainly perfectly acceptable 30 years ago, and I thought quite normal now). I’ve noticed however that books are followers of zeitgeist (mostly) — and usually some 5-7 years behind it, rather than as some editors like to dream ‘educating the public’.
My boys have grown up into a far more frightening and uncertain world than I did. Jobs, the future, and even the country they live in are not easy or sure things at all. In the seventies and early eighties we certainly dreamed the world was ours for taking, and that nothing could stand in our path… and that traditions was… so yesterday. That’s still true in the few new books I’ve read lately. But I wonder — as something of an amatuer historian and socio-politicial observer — if the trend is way ahead of their ideas in what bode to be uncertain times. If bright kids (who are after all the nucleus of the reading population want… old fashioned. Because that was safe, stable and firm. I see this too in the quest for steampunk. The Victorian era sucked. I am glad to be born much later… but it obviously has its charm.
So: what think you?