Monday, 2 March 2009

Gran Torino

Peter Preston has an article in today's Guardian oriented around Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino which makes this interesting point:

Half a century ago, as Eastwood played a TV cowboy in Rawhide, it became accepted wisdom that Hollywood was doomed. Who would want to pay to go to the movies when slumping at home in front of the box cost nothing? Cathode-ray tube would oust silver screen just as surely as, today, it is assumed that another kind of screen will kill words on paper. But discard such doom-fraught assumptions. Gran Torino is already $100m in the black. Clint, at 78, is as bankable as ever. Cinema admissions - in the midst of the crunch are up, not slithering down. And it is television, the new whiz-kid on the block, that is gasping for air.

We're in the middle of a huge historical shift in text, what sort we want, how we access it, and so on. How things will pan out is anyone's guess, but the tectonic textual plates are shifting. I read last week that people used to say that the computer was the biggest thing since the invention of the printing press but they were wrong; it's the biggest thing since the invention of the alphabet.

I suspect they're right. All bets are off.

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