Updated: Jun 12
Amazon’s Kindle – A convenient, modern media format for both readers and writers? Perhaps.
An excellent way to cut printing costs, enabling more people to have access to literature (and “literature”)? Sure, if you say so.
Environmentally conscious methodology for distributing books? I can get behind that…
But, I just can’t refrain from pondering the notion that the media giant that controls this digital book dispensary is laughing in our faces. Not from a financial standpoint mind you (as the razor-wire low prices aren't aimed towards the purposes of profits as much as they are aimed at the ankles of small business owners). The alleged Amazonian hysterics are more fraught in the semantics of the product name. [SLAP!] The damn thing is called: “Kindle”. [SLAP!!] They also make a: “Kindle Fire”. [SLAP!!!] "Kindle" literally means: “to light or set on fire.” [SLAP! SLAP! SLAP!] Did we all forget about Fahrenheit 451 while embracing this now prevalent technology? Think about it. There are a number of books that have been on the “burn-list” for years. Be it the ideas expressed therein, the truths the story reveals, or a contradiction to the popular, party-line version of our history printed on the pages - books are some of societies greatest agitators. Enablers of revelations and revolutions. Shrinking more and more into this cold water, over-sensitive, neutered version of itself as Society continues to do, what better way to systematically vaporize books deemed unacceptable by those who control media? Conversely, with people on the edge, ready for real change, tired of being marginalized – what better way to silence the ghosts of revolutionaries and unboxed thinkers? Physically setting the texts on fire would be too easily evident. Through the power of advertising, the hypnosis of endless content, and the rush of instantaneous gratification, therein the wake lies a way to shelter the future from truth. Digitize the books! Unbound them from the physical world. Pace slowly and calculatedly away from printed media. Then, while people aren’t paying attention, and the next generation eclipses the aging one, an Amazon-anointed magician of “civil engineering” can simply press “delete”. POOF! Selected texts suddenly cease to exist. “No record of Behold a Pale Horse? That’s odd.” “Hmm, I thought Bobby Seale’s book was called: Seize the Time?” “Well, gee-willikers, wasn’t Huckleberry Finn fairly easy to find in the past? Oooh! Look! An ad for a book about Shape-Shifter Sex – now what was I looking for again... Never mind. This’ll do!” Just some points for your consideration...
***Internal hypocrisy prevents me from directly suggesting that you, my dear reader, should not use Kindle. Mostly because I’m just happy that people are reading at all these days. Partially because I’m sick of soapbox (self-proclaimed) prophets smugly telling everyone else what to do, and also because if that’s your preferred method of reading you can find my works on their as well... But, for the folks who even kind-of feel me on this, if you don’t want to pay Media Merchant prices for a printed copy of my works, you can source books directly from me. Just go to the contact page and send me a note. And, please, take the time to ponder the name of America's favorite digital reading device - be it "the act of burning", or "the Fire" itself. While you’re at it, you might consider giving a thought to what Ray Bradbury was trying to tell us… And, if that’s not enough, consider this. If you unscramble the letters in the name Jeff Bezos you get: “Bejzefosf”. A well-known, little-known demon from the lost civilization of Rapa Nui… Need I say more?***