FTAC – Trend Shift –> 19th Century Modern

I’ve grown to have mixed feelings about high-tech, which perhaps may come with age and associated conditions, not the least of which has involved “de-defragmenting” time in the manner encouraged by all things gadgety and web. In “19th Century Modern” style, I want to read books and write with fountain pens on foolscap. There’s a developing healthy market for that “abandon-the-keyboard!” crowd, and I think that side’s in for quite a bit of unexpected revenue.

In the background, I’ve been looking at, um, fountain pen porn: i.e., monolithic, limited purpose, expressive, gorgeous, varied, eye-catching, eye candy industrial art.

It started with the purchase of a bottle of ink, Aurora black, and the sudden appearance of Fahrney’s Pens advertising beside my Facebook experience.

I started a wish list.

It’s six pages long, give or take, as I type.

And I figured out I could buy just about anything on Amazon.  Of course, the retailers have figured that out too, making Amazon the storefront of stores, which I don’t mind.  It’s the one-click purchasing capability that scares me.

“Windows shopping” online is what it is in its real space guise, i.e., a form of dreaming, entertainment, escape, and recreation.

I’ll post more on this topic, a little at a time, but the inspiration for today’s remark on Facebook was First came the artists, then came the hackers: The strange history of London’s own Silicon Valley – Feature – TechRepublic, n.d. — at least I don’t see one, and I am tiring of the practice in the latest journalism of downplaying the date of publication as “evergreen” seldom means (although sometimes does) “eternal”.

For fountain pen geeks, mine in use: burgundy Sheaffer 440 with a fine point; a medium point Parker 45 Deluxe with chrome cap and gold clip, girth ring, and nib.

The Parker has been with me for 45 years; the Sheaffer represents a pen I lost by tossing a sport coat over my shoulder — it fell out of an inside pocket — while crossing Nebraska Avenue on my way into work at American University (Washington, D.C.) after lunch.  God bless the Internet for a) making identification of the pen possible and b) for making possible the purchase of the same pen model from “new old stock” — same pen, never sold, only cached somewhere and dredged up by Peyton Street Pens — and purchased with that scary “one click” Amazon routine.

As came out while chatting with a friend: a problem revolving around a pen, much less the want of one, is not a problem.

For wisdom, well, there seem to me very few wrong things in life, like losing something thirty-five summers ago by removing a jacket and flipping it over a shoulder, that can be put right for about $50 and a click of the mouse.

They’re very pretty, these fountain pens — not mine, which are rather plain for the field — and rather like guitars: for a given application, one only needs one — let’s not go to the human analog on the that — but one may nonetheless feel compelled to keep looking and liking and wanting.

I should think browsing an entire category online a fine and entertaining (and informative) way to avoid actually writing something paper worthy.

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