I saw Twitter from nearly the beginning — and cynically ignored it.* In the beginning, I may have had good reasons. At the time, I was completely offline, amassing millions of words in manuscript.
Eventually I got on @michaelstutz, but retained my ambivalence.
Something has recently changed all that — a sure, subtle change in the air, that you can feel, that means this is a time for being and creating online and sharing ideas. And the way Twitter’s evolved in recent years, especially with longer character counts and the addition of threads, it brings new & exciting possibilities for writing. Original Twitter, or “Old Twitter,” is almost entirely a long boring stream of ‘status updates.’ Not anymore. There’s no doubt that the whole thing’s suddenly compelling.
It’s a smartphone, and smartphones are now the only kind of digital camera I use — the other is an old iPhone, which I use with Hipstamatic.
The phone’s dual lens camera with all-manual settings had much promise. And these images do, admittedly, get the “Leica look.” It’s also there to get shots I’d normally miss, because I keep the phone with me all the time.
However, there’s still something unsatisfying to me about most digital imagery. Looking at the results afterward, I realize that I still prefer film over this. And Hipstamatic on an old iPhone is just about the only digital camera tech that can do it for me …
Obsessed about a new kind of writing, something more interesting, and immediate, than what’s happening in social media or anywhere else, certainly books—and it was seen in the thrim and shimmer of the lightrays and lush at a disco loft party last night. There for a second, a mirrored moment alone, when my ancient idea of “instant writing” was haunting me hard, some of it came out quickly in great natural clarity—it was strong, vernal, and maybe the only way out that was reasonably possible.
Because look: I’ve created a mountain range of backed-up work in journals and files and piles of pocket notebooks all to transcribe, and there’s simply no way to gather it en masse together and organize it without stopping, and time, and meanwhile more—the ideas keep gushing forth in their fast-flowing froth and I know that the most likely way of finishing these big legends and books is maybe to write them all out in realtime just as they happen, and instantly with fast strokes & brushthought life is transmuted to word.
Treasure Island, Florida and its environs is one of the best hotbeds of mid-century modern architecture in America—right on the Gulf of Mexico, about a mile from Jack Kerouac’s last home, was an example of every major architectural style and trend from America’s high point.
I’ve been making some trips down there to document what’s left, and I’ve become happily surprised by something else: there’s new interest and hope in historic preservation. Now that mid-century modern is so hot, this might be a very good year for the city.