Claire Black: Isn’t just actually doing it, being there, living it –whatever it is - enough?
IMAGINE being able to capture and re-live every memorable moment of your life. That’s actually a sales pitch but it sounds like my worst nightmare.
You know, that moment when the driver of the Honda Civic (yes, you sir) accelerates towards the flooded drain just as I walk past. That time when I missed the last step on the stairs in a packed theatre and became a kind of rogue crowdsurfer to the understandable if brutally expressed displeasure of the people below. And yes, don’t forget, that special time when, as I tried to locate my dog’s poop (to scoop, naturally) amongst the sludgy fallen leaves, my phone managed to slip out of my jacket pocket and locate the poop as though rather than a mobile communication device it was a targeted missile on the hunt for dog mess.
Nope, I’ve thought about it, I’m sure, there’s not a single one of those moments I’d want to “capture” or “re-live”. And surely I don’t even have to mention the many, many other, even more banal ones that make up the vast majority of life. You know, me, reading a really good book – scintillating isn’t it? I’d expect you’d want to set Sky+ for that.
Then how to explain the fact that the Memoto Camera, a tiny device designed to be worn all day, every day in order to record, well, everything, has been funded to the tune of $450,000 on Kickstarter? This is no spy-pen, it is an electronic lapel-mounted gadget which will allow us each to turn ourselves into pseudo-reality TV stars. Or, as the makers would have it, to capture those moments that are over “before you even realise how special they are”.
Which ones are those out of interest? Those times when cute fluffy puppies gambol towards me on my walk to work? Or when casual passers-by stop to compliment me on what I’m wearing? Or when, instead of glaring at me, the woman on the train who I ask to move her bag from the seat so that I might sit down, smiles obligingly and wishes me a pleasant journey? I realise that I am straying into the world of pure fantasy with that last one, but really, what is it that we’re supposed to “capture” and why would we want to “re-live” it?
Isn’t just actually doing it, being there, living it – whatever it is – enough? It is for me.
CREDIT where it’s due. It turns out the number of brass bands in Scotland has nearly doubled in the past five years. There are now 131 brass bands in the country and the Scottish Youth Brass Band Championship has become the biggest event of its kind in the world. Good on the Scottish Brass Band Association. Good on the Scottish Government for funding them through the Youth Music Initiative. And now I’d like to pay my own personal tribute by suggesting we all dig out our favourite Herb Alpert album (what do you mean you don’t own any?) in order to blast out our favourite tunes. Nice.
HOW did you feel about the last Brother typewriter shuffling off the production line last week? I felt genuinely, properly sad. If only because for everyone who ever fancied themselves as a writer, taking ownership of their first typewriter was a momentous declaration of intention. And amazing fun. I distinctly remember sitting looking at mine – a Brother of course – lining up the paper, readying the Tipp-Ex correction sheets and then wondering what on earth to write. Plus ça change.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east