Quiet Desperation

A numeral, a letter, and unsure what's better

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What's 5G? What happened to 4G? Is 5G better than 4G? Is 6G next?

Will the commercials for 6G be better than the commercials for 5G?

The commercials for 5G give me a headache. Especially the ones that feature “Lily,” who stands behind a podium now because of internet trolling.

By the end of the commercials I still don't know what 5G is.

Someone in marketing assumes we all keep up with this stuff.

A year ago I wrote a column about new technologies that I don't need. I don't need any more of them.

My internet is fast enough.

My car doesn't have a screen on the dash. My car doesn't have cameras. It doesn't drive itself, park itself, wash itself, or change colors.

An Italian automaker is experimenting with cars that can change colors like chameleons. You drive a red one today and a blue one tomorrow. At midnight it's purple.

The Japanese are a step ahead. They're working on “mood” cars. Cars that will change colors according to the driver's mood.

You'll be able to tell how the woman in the car next to you is feeling because her car will tell you.

Does anyone draw with a pencil anymore? I draw with a 2B. It's softer than a 2H. I never draw with a 4H.

I know someone in 4H, but it has nothing to do with pencils.

Lily probably makes 5K every time one of her 5G commercials is shown.

It would take no time at all to find out what 5G is. But I'm stubborn.

But there are a few technologies that amaze me. I have self-published two novels and a compilation of short stories this year.

Which reminds me of something Nietzsche said: “Every time I climb I am followed by a dog named Ego.”

Once these books are written, proofed, and formatted, the files are forwarded to a print-on-demand company. Books are then printed as they are ordered. Right now.

Self-publishing does have its drawbacks. Bookstores won't carry the books and newspapers won't review them.

Additionally, they're the kids at the card table on Thanksgiving: looked down on.

It would be nice to have a publisher. Have someone else pick up the checks.

But that someone else would want me to make changes I wouldn't want to make, design the cover, make me go on promotional tours, sign autographs and talk about Faulkner at cocktail parties.

Self-publishing accomplishes all I want. Sure, it would be nice to have big house behind one of my books, but I don't.

There's a film, “Sideways,” about a couple of men who have a dirty weekend in California's wine country before one of them, Jack, gets married.

His friend Miles is an author who spends the film sweating out his editor's ability to have his book published.

Ultimately, the book is rejected. Miles's reaction is to drink from a spit bucket in a winery's tasting room.

I will never drink from a spit bucket. Or jump off a roof or stick my head in an oven because my book was rejected.

There was a time when I thought I had it all. A bicycle, a baseball glove and a transistor radio.

Each one gave me limitless pleasures. Those were the days, Mary Hopkin.

What's 5G?

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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