18 October, 2006

Yesterday, today

24 hours late, I know, but this is still worth a mention.

The British Library will retain everybody's submissions, so generations to come will be able to look back and wonder at our obsession with listening to loud music on earphones in public places, grumbling about more pollution while refusing to pay more tax, drinking water out of bottles instead of taps, and expecting pop stars to say profound things about anything other than their favourite colour.

It's the kind of exercise that's been done before, perhaps most famously in the 1930s through the Mass Observation Archive. This was a collection of journals penned by folk right around the UK, commissioned in the spirit of democratising history and empowering citizens, but also to assemble a picture of Britain from the bottom up (this was the time of the Great Depression) rather than the top down.

A different sort of initiative was mounted in 1988 by the British Film Institute, who, on Tuesday 1st November of that year, invited the entire population to keep a diary of what they watched on television, again collecting the results for posterity.

Back then the notion of being able to find out what the country really thought about something, and to take the temperature of public opinion, was a startling novelty. Now the reverse is true, but before blogs become as redundant and passe as Laserdiscs (it could happen!), the least we can hope is that 17th October was a day that will be remembered for centuries.

Your blog can be uploaded anytime between now and 31st October.


Anonymous Euro Bri said...

Do'nt pay enough tax??? Apart from breathing, I am struggling to think of something we do'nt get taxed on in this country. The waste comes from to much money being thrown at every issue this goverment chooses to tackle. Bloated goverment departments and back hander friendly councils have a lot to answer for. The monolithic NHS is a prime example.

10:45 pm  

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