Once upon a time, a picture was was worth a thousand words. No less. And no more. But today… your image may garner only a twelve word tweet. Or merely a ‘like.’ Or simply disappear… unseen in the tsunami.
Swamped by images, submerged in videos, we swim… sink… drown… in a mind-numbing 4D-HD interactive multimedia maelstrom. We mute the TV to flick absent-mindedly through our friends’ timelines – a day passes before we blink, a week before we draw breath. In the background, celebrities mutter silent inanities. We pause the cliff-hanger to marshall an army of emoji, dispatching them to poke, to prod, and to provoke.
Boxset and Blockbuster. Selfie and Snap. YouTube. Netflix. Instagram… the list goes on… and on…
Video killed the radio star? “Pics or it didn’t happen!”
Image has usurped imagination with an army of CGI comic-strip superheroes incarnate, impoverishing a generation, enslaving them. We see visions (trademarked), we dream dreams (copyrighted). We do not own them, and we never will.
These pages are a celebration of something simpler… and infinitely more complex – of twenty-six symbols and their endless patterns – of pictures painted on the insides of living skulls – of those arrangements of words which distract us from our lives for an hour – those which bring laughter, and tears, kindle desire, heal loss – and those which scorch the soul and change the course of human history.
I am a storyteller. These pages are mine, and yours too, if you like to read, or need to write. Over time they will be populated with thoughts and feelings, on writers and writing, on books and authors, on inspiration and creativity, on truth and lies. In a world where ‘facts’ are often falsified, fiction can be a vehicle for truth.
There will be stories too.