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A Middle-aged Man's Monologue.

BY: Alex Gordon | Category: Technology | Submitted: 2012-11-22 12:35:41
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Article Summary: "Background: New Histories University Online Newspaper. Topic: Days That Shook The World. The middle aged cynic. What is their view on the invention of the World Wide Web?.."


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I am nothing special. I work hard, I pay taxes and I provide for my family. In the grand scheme of things, I will do nothing extraordinary in my life. You could call me nostalgic for the past but then that would allude to me as being old-fashioned, and my new car would dispute that. I hate change. It is something that has infested the world I inhabit, rooting itself in political systems, changing the way people think and causing the pub down my street to become a wretched mountain of flats. Nothing good can come of change. The olden days were the best, where one could quite happily flaunt their mediocrity and enjoy a sense of freedom lost in this age of technology, neologisms and a desire to appear in Big Brother. Today, I want to show you where the world ended for me. The catalyst for my downfall as an easy-going, friendly member of society to an out of touch, couldn't 'care less type' cynic. I will attempt to write this blog in less than 10 minutes, not because I am in a rush, but because my wireless awaits and I don't want my cup of tea going cold.

The year is 1992. I am happily just exiting my adolescence. A beautiful girl by my side, a promotion in the pipeline at work and plenty of money in my bank account. Life couldn't get any better. Nothing could go wrong. But something did. I didn't see it coming immediately. The years passed without trouble and without anything remarkable particularly happening. It wasn't until a few years back that I realised what was taking hold of Britain and transforming it to something unrecognisable to me. Popular Culture. It's rise predominantly. It blew me away like a particularly vicious hurricane. Leaflets from TV companies arrived through my letterbox. The wife openly flaunted her new top of the range phone at family socials. The children pestered me about purchasing a 'Wii', to which I innocently replied 'go use the bathroom'. It just wouldn't stop, on and on this went and I felt myself being pulled under this cloud of technological advancements like the unassuming, naive citizen I am. Before I knew it, talentless puppets like 'Jedward' and 'Wagner' were gracing my beloved newspapers, the main talking point in the Comment section was what dress a certain celebrity would wear in their next photo-shoot and someone by the name of Simon Cowell appeared to be taking over the world. But I was an outsider by this point, lost against the windowpane looking at my kids enjoying these advancements wondering aloud whether they would ever embrace the same pastimes that I did, and whether they would ever be able to make the perfect cup of tea like me.

But I was different from everyone else. I knew the truth. I knew when this had all began and I knew who had instigated this dystopian society. Tim Berners Lee. To many an anomaly of a man, to others a name safely locked away at the back of their mind ready to be extracted for a pointless pub quiz. The inventor of the World Wide Web, the chief component of this boom in popular culture, the man who should be held responsible for the passing of an antique age. Rewind back to 1992 and in hindsight I should have seen it coming. It is something I am angry with myself up and to this day. Telescopes in space, the introduction of telephones and advancements of a new type of alien recording device, cameras I think. Then came the introduction of the World Wide Web and the planet crumbled under the weight of technological amazement. It was everywhere. Over the years this World Wide Web grew and grew, spreading out like a cancer, hypnotising minds as to the true extent of its apparent 'futuristic' qualities. Social networking was introduced; terms like 'LOL' and the elision of words like 'cos' became the norm. It was horrendous to see. My prescriptive approach to language appeared null and void. I didn't know what to do, who to trust or what to believe anymore. News appeared in different platforms, my beloved newspaper appeared in decline and I knew who was responsible. Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web.

I don't want to listen to generic, auto tuned music from One Direction when I turn on my wireless. I don't want to read my newspaper and find an aesthetically disturbing piece on what dress Lady GaGa has worn this week. I don't want to turn on my old-fashioned TV box and see Anne Widdecombe twirling around a dance floor looking like a whale out of water. I want things the way they used to be, a time before the World Wide Web and the expansion of the Internet. That day shook my world. The only positive out of this whole sorry state of affairs? I have reached my ten-minute limit and my tea appears lukewarm. Old habits never die-hard.

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