An App for That

If you are wondering what new perversion peddlers or “online solutions” to utterly manufactured problems have come up with, I have an update for you.

However, if you have a sensitive gag reflex, please abstain from reading further.

It is…

… drumroll …

a virtual book fair at my next conference. How does it differ from simply going to a publisher’s website?

Well, there is an app. And you have a virtual passport that you can stamp at each virtual booth. And then you see who gets more stamps. Like a game! A tad infantilizing but still. There will be prizes!

What it means to a book lover to be able to wander around among books, touching, looking, smelling, losing yourself in a sea of words as you move along, unfollowed and blissfully alone cannot be explained if you aren’t touched by a bibliophile’s strange yet beautiful madness. To degrade it with apps and games and virtual booths is barbaric. If we can’t have a book fair, that’s painful enough. There’s no need to insult our harmless yet powerful passion with this garbage.

And now please excuse me while I go and vomit.

8 thoughts on “An App for That”

    1. For the first time we are skipping the Scholastic book fair because the whole point is for my kid to spend some time around books, choosing and deciding which ones she want. What’s the point of an online sale? I have an Amazon app for that v


  1. Ugh. I can’t even imagine the mindset required to come up with something like that. I realized early into this madness – when a conference I choose to attend every year at my own expense was reorganized from a 2.5-day, in-person event to a 10-hours-of-content-every-weekend-for–the-rest-of-the-year monstrosity – that the people in charge of making life “covid-proof” have no idea what life is actually about, or what makes it worth living.

    It all comes back to worldview, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, it’s all about the worldview. I don’t want a benevolent outside authority to make me safe from books, friends, family celebrations, travel, restaurants, teaching, fun, church, etc. I don’t want to force anybody to stop cowering in fear but I don’t want them to force me into their castrated view of life either.


  2. I hate the very idea of apps…. they seem like artificial limbs fitted to people not missing any limbs… like training wheels on a train, like an umbrella on the roof of a house… who wants or needs such tiny-minded…. crap

    Unsettling thought – what if Schwabs and Thunbergs of the world (as a class not individuals) thought of smart phones as the substitutes for human contact that they’re trying to make them now years ago?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can understand people deciding to move conferences online. Because you want to give delegates an opportunity to present research they’ve been working on for months or years, because you need that line for your CV, because it’s a rest from Zoom teaching, whatever. I’ve done so myself, but I was naive enough at the time to think that everyone in academia saw online conferences as a necessary evil, as a “better than nothing” option, as a “making the best of a bad situation thing, as a compromise to be scrapped as soon as we can. Thanks to nonsense like this I have come to realize that many in academia would be happy if conferences, and indeed everything, stayed online forever, and that many genuinely think that apps and Zoom functionalities can replicate the intricacies of human interaction. My faculty, together with many Humanities faculties in the UK, is involved these days in an online festival called “Being Human”. Yet it seems that for most Humanities academics these days being human involves thinking that themselves and other human beings are vessels of disease first and foremost, and that these vessels of disease should hence only communicate with each other through screens.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t forget that with the “no travel” thing you also score points on the climate change front, it’s all advantages!!!!


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