East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

We are still having fun

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I read the news today, oh, boy, just like John Lennon did. In my case, it was a social media post by someone I know. It was a masterful piece of brand management – three paragraphs with all the right keywords and all the bits and pieces to reinforce the author’s brand, the SEO perfectly balanced.
His pet topics, his by-words, even a subtle call-back to his first book.
The sort of thing you read in books by social media gurus about how to establish your presence and reinforce your brand.
It was, also, a piece about the recent death of a person, a public figure, a musician.

Me, I’m old fashioned, probably even Victorian in such things, but I found it in poor taste, and my respect for that person dropped a few more notches.

Later, I was talking with my friend Alex – who happens to be a social media guru – but we were not talking about social media per se, but rather about our writing, or our not writing.
We are both tired, spent, dissatisfied, and we are having a hard time putting words to paper (or file). So we do the next best thing: we read, we watch movies, we talk with other people, we take a walk, and we take notes, pages of pages of notes, for stories and projects we’ll develop when we’re back in the saddle.

And we agreed, my friend and me, that re-watching old movies or re-reading old books, exploring them in search of ideas, taking notes as we discover new things we had missed the first time, is fun.
Almost as much fun as writing.
Because we still have a lot of fun, doing the writing thing.

And I thought about that post about that dead musician, and the man who wrote it, and the way in which he talks about his writing, and realized that to some, the brand management has become so all-important, that not only it sucked all the compassion and human emotion from them, but it has also completely drained the sheer fun of doing it.

They have become, these people, like the living dead – highly efficient in doing that single thing they do, consuming others, but totally devoid of humanity.
And they probably consider it a success.

My, what sombre thoughts for a Sunday – I better go and re-watch an old vampire movie.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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