TLT: Just as we remember

 

TLT week six - people at Tate Modern

Image: Samuel Zeller, Unsplash

***

The screens flickered if you glimpsed one out the corner of your eye, and beneath the hubbub of conversation and the ting of teaspoons stirring over-priced cappuccinos, she’d heard the buzz of resistors, the whirr of cooling fans – though the 3D images were pretty realistic.

‘So, Dad,’ she said, head bent over the dessert menu, ‘is that what London really looked like?’

He stared over the recreated metropolis, at the dove grey dome of St Paul’s and whispered, ‘Just  as I remember.’

***

Written in response to Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales prompt. See the photo and join the fun.

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58 thoughts on “TLT: Just as we remember

      1. I’m sure you’re right 🙂 And at least we might be more psychologically prepared than some when the time comes, as we’ve thought through many of the End of World scenarios already 🙂

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  1. I’m there, I’m there! Except I’m also reminded of the 3D reconstructions in local museums or folk museums of kitchens or parlours in days of yore (eg during World War Two, which wasn’t a lot different from what I remember of the 50s…) — almost real until you remember it’s an exhibit, a construct, a physical hologram. Great evocation of how we might imagine the future … heaven help us.

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    1. Well, let’s hope the capital doesn’t disappear under the Thames, but it’s a likely candidate as sea levels rise, isn’t it? Mind you, so’s Bristol I guess – at least the lower parts of it. I loved those models – the kind of dioramas you see in local museums, lovingly created by a gifted amateur historian or carpenter with an artistic eye. Why don’t you see these things anymore – they were wonderful. Can’t think how I stumbled on this link http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/mar/03/london-skyline-1616-2016-interactive-faders-visscher
      but it’s great fun (and a little sad) to see how the city has changed – forgive me if I found this link through you, Chris 🙂

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      1. Haven’t read that one – love the time travel, counterfactual history idea though. But who’s to say things would’ve been better if JFK had lived. Red Dwarf did an episode where they saved his life, only for his affairs to be made public, for him to be disgraced and for a right wing back lash to take place. Who can predict what might have been?

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  2. I see what you mean 🙂 There’s something chilling in this reconstruction business. As if it’s okay to destroy, demolish, ruin, because we can always pretend it’s still there. Very good little story.

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    1. Thanks Jane. Yes, we can reconstruct anything now, and with virtual reality that sense will only increase as time passes. The passage of time will become meaningless, all realities accessible simultaneously. Must be a sci-fi idea in that somewhere 🙂

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      1. It’s already happening, isn’t it? I watch my son, loving playing his computer games, loathing anything that takes effort or time to master (unless it’s a Rubik cube!) Where will the muscians and artists and inventors of the future come from when they’re all stuck to screens? And am I sounding like a really old wind bag now?

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      2. Not at all! I listen to the polemic about streaming, free-downloading of music, pirating of books, art, songs etc and it seems to me that this is yet another case of technology changing faster than morals. We’re used to famous musicians earning a phenomenal amount of money from selling records/CDs. Rightly or wrongly, they expect to make millions if they’re successful so they want all the people who listen to their music to pay for the privilege. They always cite the example of the struggling hopefuls who will never get their chance if nobody coughs up, but that’s just eyewash. They want to be RICH, filthy rich. The really keen young talents will plug away at it because they love it, like writers will write even if they never even get nominated for the Booker. If it just means we have fewer super rich celebs, who’s complaining? I’m ranting hors piste here, but it’s a techy argument, innit?

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      3. It’s a tricky, tricky area. I have an other half who works in film and TV – if people download every production he works on for free, we’ll soon be on the street! And as an aspiring author, I’d like to be able to write more, which would mean cutting down paid work hours and earning a little from writing. I don’t want or expect to be James Patterson (!) but we all have to still pay for somethings, or every artistic product will be devalued. This, of course, coming from someone who accesses Wiki and goodness knows how many other free info sites every single day … 🙂

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      4. I agree that we should all be paid for what we produce and that others consume. It’s probably the greed of musical producers and record companies that has led to the backlash. Something I’ve noticed kids come out with very often is that they have to steal the music they like because they can’t afford to pay for it. They also say, the stars are rich enough to take the strain. There’s a blurring of morals as in many other fields where young people are concerned. I’d like people to buy my books too, just like they buy the big names, but I’m lumped with the also-rans who have to give their books away for free or nobody will read them. Our culture is running on empty in many ways.

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      5. Funny, we managed to pay for music when I was a kid – we might have had to save up for it and I certainly didn’t own hundreds or thousands of tracks like kids had on their ipods now – but we paid for bought it. It’s always the big guys at the top (publishers/record companies) who make the big money, but they would say they take the big risks too, I guess.
        Looking at your reviews on Amazon, you don’t look like an ‘also ran’ Jane! Best of luck with all your writing and thanks for the chat – really interesting 🙂

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      6. Pleasure – your books sound really interesting. The one thing I wish my son was better at is being bored – lots of imaginative things come from boredom. And backbone? Human jellyfish, me 🙂

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      7. You don’t mean bored, you mean deprived of virtual props 🙂 Take away the toys that do their thinking for them and their brains start to work. I like my books and so did some of my children. The others don’t read stuff that isn’t ‘real’. I ask you!

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      8. True 🙂 My son’s a tough one – he reads, but not as voraciously as I did. And he over thinks everything, so rather than read the adventure stories he favours at night, he uses something like The Beano to wind down – they’re like a papery sleeping pill to him. But at least he’s reading something 🙂

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      9. What many children have lost is the reflex to look for entertainment in a book. But having said that, I remember that many of my peers would only ever read a book if there was absolutely nothing else available. So it’s not necessarily new.

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      10. True – I knew lots of kids who were the same. Some still find satisfaction in a book, but many find computer games much more interesting and submersive.

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      11. They say computer games stimulate a part of the brain we bookish people don’t exercise enough. You could also say, books exercise a part of the brain, the imagination, social and cultural awareness, that the computer gamers could do to work at too.

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      12. I certainly have unstimulated parts of my brain! My reactions are certainly slower than gamers I know. I just don’t have the patience for computer games – they leave me untouched emotionally. Whereas a good book … 🙂

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  3. Amazing. I love the implication that the photo we are looking at is a fake.

    It’s funny: the story I wrote ended up focusing on the silhouettes of the people in the foreground, while yours emphasizes the view from the window. It’s almost like we were looking at two different photos instead of the same photo.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. That’s what’s so great about photo prompts, isn’t it? We all pick out different aspects depending on our own style, our own experiences. I’ll pop over and take a look at yours now. Thanks for reading 🙂

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  4. Wonderful! But, maybe I could take the Polyanna viewpoint and hope that the father and daughter are in a far better society and are looking back to the days before we figured out how to avert climate change, hate, and the general mass destruction of ourselves and those we share the planet with. Kind of like the Holodeck on Star Trek – my hope for the future! 🙂 I’m having an optimistic hour. 😉

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    1. I think you have a point, Jenny. They are, after all, still enjoying capuccinos and looking over the dessert menu – the world can’t be too awful. Just devoid of London. Of course, thet could be copying Emperor Nero, fiddling as Rome burned, happily continuing their lives while the world goes down the shute. Let’s focus on the dessert menu 🙂

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    1. Thanks very much – you’re very kind! Just popped along and read your story – liked the idea of people standing aloof from the world, looking down on folk. A great take on the prompt 🙂

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