Though I was born a Capricorn I have spent the intervening fifty some-odd years developing my own personal astrology – a very Capricorn thing to do, don’t you think? – and have settled upon: Selective Luddite. Oh, it’s not like I hate technology, but I do fear that the popularity of certain machineries threatens the future of the past and I feel it is my responsibility to wage a one-man war against such machines (when convenient).
And so I spend a lot of time typing on my computer about the evils of cellphones. I use the public library’s online booking options to secure the latest releases so I can steadfastly avoid e-books. I order records from Amazon. I use a handsaw to build things from youtube instructionals and I play my electric guitars without ever plugging them in.
So I won’t say that I’ve embraced technology, but mostly because I’m stubborn and unwilling to admit that I have.
Basically I think the deal is that when I was a kid I was properly fascinated by all the dreams and promises of a shining technological future, but as I aged I worried that entering such a world would destroy that wonder and anticipation of my childhood. I tell you, sometimes living in this mind of mine is like holding a double-mirror up to an echo chamber.
And now, to encapsulate this dichotomy into a ticket story I bring you to March 2nd, 2008, when I attended an IMAX movie comprised of footage from the famed Mars rovers at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (though the irony comes into better focus when I explain that Stephen Harper had the name of the museum changed to the Canadian Museum of History without altering the museum’s collection or focus one bit). And so I entered the wonderfully modern building that is dedicated to our nation’s past and walked by the grand, aging totem poles that represent ageless beliefs and traditions, rode the escalator up and got my paper receipt electronically scanned to gain entry into the IMAX theatre (which, like almost all modern theatres is configured based on the design of the Colosseum in Rome, which first opened it’s doors when Pontius Pilate was still a cowboy). And there I sat, watching close-up hi-def video of a faraway planet where time stands still.
And whattya know, the barren, empty landscape of Mars turned out to be more exciting to me than all the sci-fi imaginations, guesses, and impossibilium that I had devoured as a young star-gazing lad armed with nothing more than a library, a wide sky, and a heap of boredom. I suppose that fits in well with my unflinching state of constantly waffling ‘twixt revering the old and riding the new.
Heck, I think this might even have been a 3D presentation, as if 3D glasses themselves don’t perfectly encapsulate the future nostalgia of my youth with their clichéd olde-school tech.
Anyway, I really liked the film. Of course I did; I always like IMAX movies. They remind me of the cheesy big movie tent they used to have at the Bill Lynch carnivals when I was a kid.