What are MODERNITY TALES? They are short stories to tell your little ones that dabble in our modern morality, culture and society. These include re-writes and remixes of old Fae stories, tall tales, urban legends and the like with a contemporary twist! Snuggle in and be brave it is a strange new world!
Excerpts from my upcoming young adult novel are in block quotes like this throughout this entry:
You’ve probably noticed all those cameras looking at you. Why, your parents have probably been pointing one focusing black and glass eye on you since you were in diapers. Everything in your childhood was bright, very bright, almost unnaturally bright. You are afraid of what dirt feels like between your toes? I loved that when I was your age. My mother couldn’t get me to put on shoes. I was a bookworm but I studied their pages outside many times, nodding off below a knobby apple tree. The most dangerous things I remember were the trains, eating poisonous crab apples, and the neighbor’s dog biting me. I also used to have bad dreams about losing loved ones, and of wild dogs snarling under the back porch.
Our family had a camcorder but no one edited footage in those days. Most of the time the image was out of focus or my mom was offering a silly narration, or trying to get a shot of my dress flying up while I skated at my eighth birthday party. Everyone bought disposable cameras which gave you twenty or so chances at a picture turning out. Boys liked to break them and use all the flashes and sometimes the cameras just sat in a drawer for a few months or even years before they were taken in to be developed.
In only twenty years all that changed. Now people talk to whoever they want, whenever they want. They don’t have to look for a payphone or be at home to get a call and yet it is still impossible to get a hold of someone when they are avoiding you. Technology even makes me feel like being alone. I can work as fast as my hands can go and my computer can make things magically appear before me. It is very gratifying but I started to wonder if that wasn’t everything life had to offer. I might be able to look at the screen on my digital camera for instant gratification of a photo well taken but what does our instant and deletable culture say about us and how long can it last?
History of TECHNOLOGY a brief introduction for readers of MODERNITY TALES:
If you are reading this, our technology has survived and my message has not been lost in an ocean of spam and pornography. Listen closely, for all the things you can achieve using technology are wonderful but it doesn’t mean a thing if you are disconnected from the life you seek to improve through innovation. What does all the free time in the world mean if you obsessively check, listen, watch and consume without taking the time to think and wonder. If you can no longer have a conversation without consulting the internet or can’t spend an evening looking at the sky without any electricity you are missing out on what humans have had and fought for since our consciousness blossomed.
Without connecting with each other and all the plants, animals and landscapes on Earth how can we call ourselves Earthlings? How can we claim superiority over the beasts? How can we learn from our mistakes and create a world where more things have better lives? To find the answers to these questions and more, come explore with me the land before tech…
- The Lost Generation (WWI) beginning around 1914.
- The Greatest Generation (WWII, came of age during The Great Depression) 1900′s-mid 1920′s.
- The Silent Generation(Children of WWII vets, children of The Great Depression) mid 1920′s-mid 1940′s.
- The Baby Boom Generation (Born after WWII) Mid 1940′s-mid 1960′s.
- Generation X (Born after baby boom) Usually defined within the 1960′s, 1970′s and 1980′s.
- Generation Y (Millennial Generation or Millennials) This generation gets a big foggy and there is overlap between the latest three generations. Gen Y is usually the 1980′s and 1990′s kids, ending sometime before 2000.
- Generation Z, also known as The Internet Generation, or The Digital Natives. These are our youngest citizens and they were born in the 1990′s and 2000′s.
These designations are sometimes debated. Dates, terminology and the breakdown of generations can differ but this will serve as a helpful guideline.
Before, between and after the World Wars when many of your grandparents and great grandparents were alive (so about 1900′s-1940′s) there was a rise in the population from soldiers returning home, a redefined role for Women who helped the war effort and a new consumer culture born after the threat of world destruction had passed… for the time being.
Soon there was a bit of a backlash against the boomer generation and their consumer driven methods. Their children began questioning those methods, their parent’s bank accounts and seemingly meaningless jobs. These people are now getting older themselves and many have probably sold out but these were the kids who started MTV, made video games household must-haves and drank their weight in Mt. Dew while swearing to never become corporate.
The 1980′s and 1990′s were very strange times in the world. For this time period we will focus on politics, popular culture, and the rise of multiculturalism. This is the time I was born and grew up and it paved the way for the kids of the new Millennium.
But, what to say about the latest generation? They have been called many things, Gen Me, Digital Natives… and they are changing the way we work, live and understand information at even more rapid speeds.
Some claim that the youngsters in America today aren’t very bright but I claim that they are over-saturated with cable news propaganda watching parents, teachers who want doped up classrooms and governments that seek to destroy your six year olds by demolishing any sense of community, wonder or fascination with the world outside their metal detectors and windowless prison-schools. We have mothers who can slather on sunblock and hand sanitizer until the cows come home but it seems as though nothing can bring kids back from the internet, back from the violent first person shooters and into books, dissecting flowers to pleasant tunes or drawing on sidewalks and brick walls with white chalky rocks. We no longer have safe beaches, we are closing libraries left and right and kids are forced into reality t.v. and tube tops at age ten and we wonder why they can’t stay innocent a little longer?
What is left for the generations to come? What can all of the present generations accomplish or are they all too different to come together? We live in a world of seemingly ever-increasing danger and paranoia but we also live in a world filled with neighbors who are willing to help and different cultures that are valuable to learn about and from!
Hopefully, if you read your MODERNITY TALES you can begin to understand a little bit more about our lives and where we can go from here. I’m glad this message survived! With this message I know someone will be able to step up and learn from past mistakes before they cause future repetitions.
I will follow imaginary characters that do not but could live in our world as it is today. I will explore the environment and their interaction with other generations and cultures. I’ve always been fascinated in the ways technology blends with science fiction and how ideas writers dreamed up decades ago have become reality.
MODERNITY TALES will inform and hopefully they will also entertain. Please let me know what you like and don’t like about this upcoming project and please check out the historical research provided along with each story as it is posted. The first edition will be coming in the near future as soon as I decide what form it will take and what generation or aspect of modern culture to start with. I’m open to suggestions for story lines or research sources. Thanks for reading!
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Filed under: Children's Lit, Fairytales, Fiction, Story Ideas | Leave a Comment
Tags: america, culture, digital native, generation, history, modern