Hope Never DiesWednesday, July 18, 2018
I learned about colours that I had no idea what they looked like. One was cyan and the other photographic blue which has purple in it. It took a while before I could look at a portrait and decide that it was too yellow with a hint of red or too magenta with a hint of blue.
Thanks to Rosemary I can colour balance my digital images very well as I do not have to use automatic colour correction buttons (how would they know that they [it?] is correcting the colour of red-haired person’s skin?) This knowledge has served me well in this century.
I am plainly aware that we live in the age of the button. This is not only a situation just with digital cameras. Consider social media and in particular Twitter and Facebook.
You can be a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide of social media or even a plural Drs. Jekyll and Mr. Hides. You can have a normal account that represents you as a cyclist or an artist or even a politician. But you can have another account (or you can simply do it all in one account) where you state your political, sexual and religious views. Since most in social media have friends, these friends would mostly agree with your views.
Few that know me through social media would know what my political or religious beliefs are although most might suspect that I am a raging heterosexual old man.
But to use a social media platform to raise one’s views of the left, or of the right, or of the centre and to expect other to agree with one (press this button, click here, if you agree) seems to me like trying to fix the colour of a photograph by pressing an auto button. If you have certain political views, go out there and march or wear the logo on your shirt. Doing anything just in social media is just preaching to the converted without soiling your hands. It is clean activism.
All the above is simply an introduction to my doubts that I cannot understand how my views differ from those of my ex-fellow classmates from Texas with whom I boarded for four years in the late 50s or the day students who were my friends. I found this out with lots of pain when I posted this blog about how cool President Obama was. I received many insulting emails from my friends.
Our education which I will call a liberal Roman Catholic one came from Brothers of Holy Cross (the same as in Indiana’s Notre Dame). They were pragmatic and taught us not to be swayed by public opinion. My one lay teacher, a G.I. from the European theatre in WWII taught us the law of the land (the USA). Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. explained that Confirmation was a very important sacrament that was almost forgotten, but made us responsible for defending our faith by explaining how it worked, Mr. Wright taught us civics so we could defend our country (even if we were not Americans) by stating our rights and explaining how the three branches of the US Government worked.
How could so many of my fellow classmates become gun-toting red necks? But then those that are my social media friends will never find me arguing with them. There are always other topics of social media conversation.
All that above (perhaps nonsense to you if you have gotten this far) is to introduce the felicitous occasion of the fact that today I went to Indigo on Broadway and Granville to buy Andrew Shaffer’s Hope Never Ends. This is the first of series of mysteries that feature a Holmesian and a Watson-like protagonist who are well known today. One is the now out of office Barack Obama and the other a tall bumbling “Uncle Joe” Biden. I am already forewarned that somewhere Obama (the king of cool in my books) confronts some heavy duty bikers with a sawed-off shotgun and saves Uncle Joe from their clutches.
I have read one chapter and I have laughed through most of it. I will not recommend the book to anybody but will simply place here the NYTimes review that alerted me to the existence of the novel a few days ago.
There is no doubt in my mind that both Brother Edwin and Mr. Wright would like the book, too. Since they are no longer with us I do not have to recommend the book even to them.