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Sunday, 28 February 2010
Yesterday afternoon I suddenly found myself, for no apparent reason, without internet connection. What?! Why?! Help!!!
I confess: I have become an addict. I can no longer function without the WWW! Without access to it, I feel completely lost and out of touch with the rest of humanity!!!
Also have to confess, though, that the initial panic did not last all that long. After all, even though feeling a bit snowed in at the moment, I live right in the middle of civilization; and the only thing not in working order was the internet. Electricity, TV, phones etc were all working just fine.
So while waiting to see if the internet would sort itself out, I decided to watch something sobering to put things into perspective.
Nothing better for the purpose than the British film The Rocket Post (which I have on DVD).
The story is loosely based on experiments in the 1930s to provide a postal service by rocket mail to the island of Scarp off the coast of Scotland. (In those days, they did not yet have telephones on Scarp, and they were feeling a wee bit isolated.) For this purpose, a German inventor, Gerhard Zucker, was employed. Being German, he was of course received with some scepticism by the islanders; and at the same time, the German government was not too pleased with one of their own providing technology for the British. The story in the film focuses on this tension - and, of course, on a romantic love story... The making of the film was also surrounded by a bit of drama in itself, because while it was shot in 2001, it was not released until 2006 - three years after the death of the director, Stephen Whittaker.
Rocket mail, exciting though it may have sounded back in the 1930s, never became a big success. (And certainly not on the island of Scarp.)
However, one phrase used in the film hit me as I watched it yesterday. It was in some conversation comparing telephone vs. rocket mail: "Aye, but you cannot send letters by telephone."
Haven't we come a long way since then!!!
After watching the film, I unplugged my modem, plugged it in again - and voilà! I found myself once more reunited with the world wide web...
(PS. Photo of fireworks taken by me at New Year; not from the film.)