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Replication Errors

Posted by Dirck on 24 August, 2010

Before diving off the deep end into the main thrust of today’s posting, a quick note about last night’s meeting with the no-longer-prospective repair client– I was indeed the only one there with a fedora, which may say something about my home town’s ability to keep up with fashions. I have now got to apply myself to a Remington syringe-filler, having persuaded him to make sure there’s no satisfaction to be wrung from the manufacturer’s warranty on his Faber-Castell Ambition before letting an unqualified ape technician poke at it.  As I have no idea how extensive that maker’s warranty is (could be vast, like Lamy or Cross, but could be sadly limited), I’d rather not get the commission immediately than void anything.

Now…  yesterday’s picture of me and my son at the nearest of the Western Development Museums has put me in a reflective mood.  He was, as I’d hoped he would be, absolutely wonder-struck by the great locomotive– his favorite television programme involves steam engines.  I know that he will soon loose access to the memories of this experience, but we’ll add more as needed.  Watching him, I recalled my early visits the the same museum, which was newly opened at the time and rather more shambolical.  Experiences like this are what make us recall our childhoods fondly, and I am able to say that I had a pretty good childhood (apart from the fact that there were other children in the neighbourhood, whose intrusions on my carefully designed games I frequently resented).

I hope in the way that all half-way decent parents do that I can give my son a similarly happy childhood, filled with joyful experiences which he can take down off the shelf once in a while and enjoy the recollection of.  However much I might want to, though, I can’t give him the same experiences that I had.  Apart from the fact that his brain wiring is not the same as mine except in the most general way, the events of which those experiences are made cannot be repeated.  He may have joys, but they will be different.

The main example of this sort of thing is Museum Movie Night.  For reasons that elude me, around the start of my second decade, the museum a short distance from my home ran a series of black and white horror movies in its theatre.  My first exposure to The Creature from The Black Lagoon and The Incredible Shrinking Man come from that series, and while it probably served to derange my imagination, it was also a fun night out with the family.  I notice looking at the link to the museum that they are still doing something of the sort even now, but it won’t be the same.

At the time of my memories, there was no such thing as a home theatre.  An old movie might appear on broadcast TV, but failing that one was pretty much stuck with reading synopses and looking at stills.  To have a venue to see an old film in something like the original format was a rare treat, one understood and shared by all attending as a special, and it’s a treat that in the current age can’t be replicated.  Our current TV is a “mere” 32-inch job, but it is a 16:9 high-definition screen and we can access most films ever made, either on DVD or on-line.  The treat, if treat my son considers it, will have to lie in the novelty of a story not yet seen.  This isn’t a bad thing, and of course the treats of my own generation are much different from the previous; I am happy that my father’s treats (no V-1 overhead today!) were unavailable to me, frankly.  Nonetheless, the good stuff that made me the sort of person I am is simply not available to my son.  He’ll have to reminisce about different good stuff.

And that means… he’ll be an entirely different person!  Not simply a replica of his dad!  I’m not sure I like the sound of that.  The best I can hope for is that he’ll have more fond memories than bitter, and will be inclined to be what I think is a good person.  Such is the way of every generation, and I guess most men who come to fatherhood eventually re-invents this particular wheel of understanding the nature of the developing personality. 

I do have a plan to help him along the right path, though.  In addition to regular subtle lessons of correct behaviour and morality, and the occasional nifty hat and decent outfit in size Tiny, I plan for his fifth birthday to present him with a city skyline made of cake and cardboard, a viewing of one of the less alarming Godzilla films, and big rubbery lizard-foot overshoes.  There can’t be anything wrong with that, can there?

Today’s pen:  Parker 45 with a UK-made steel medium point fitted
Today’s ink: Diamine Majestic Blue

One Response to “Replication Errors”

  1. […] I do, after all, predate commonly-available home computers and cordless telephones.  I’ve previously pondered the impossiblility of giving my son the same sort of joys in his near future as I enjoyed in my […]

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