The Age Of Miracles

I could not put this book down.

Do you know this album by Supertramp, "Crime Of The Century"?

This was long before they had their hits, before they started singing about having kippers for breakfast. As a matter of fact, this was only their second record, and the first was not really the same band, it was from a different oeuvre.

Maybe the best sounding record ever, it sold a million stereos in its half-speed mastered iteration, it’s what made me decide to pop for a Nakamichi instead of an Akai, only the former could reproduce the wail in "Bloody Well Right". "Crime Of The Century" told the story of alienation, of school, of us versus them. This was from an era before parents were your best friends, before your goal was to go to Princeton and get a job at a bank, it was the tail end of the counterculture, before greed changed the entire fabric of our country, if not the world. That was the crime of the century, the brainwashing, the conditioning to be just like them, to sell out and be a productive member of society Jackson Browne so eloquently named "The Pretender".

Movies are dead. Soulless concoctions hyped to high heaven that are two-dimensional enough they can be comprehended by those unable to speak the language. All story, all humanity has moved to television.

It’s the changes that are so fascinating. The ones the elders deny. Yes, those baby boomers who scarfed up "Crime Of The Century" now want us to believe untruths, as our government is hijacked by the rich, as bankers who create nothing roam the earth like the rock stars of yore.

But everything is different. It’s not so much about Facebook and FarmVille than the underlying infrastructure. The Internet itself. The mobile devices, the iPhones and the Androids. That’s what killed the BlackBerry, the lack of possibilities. Like newspapers, it just couldn’t do enough.

Yes, newspapers are on their way out too. News is important. Who reports it is not. As for that thud at your doorstep, it’s not going to happen in a decade. And online hype is separated from truth. Newspapers are a network of PR people and reporters. If PR died, the newspapers would lose half their heft, it’s not news, it’s what’s placed there via relationships.

But what if those relationships died? What if everything was truly up for grabs?

"The Age Of Miracles" is a story about the slowing. Yes, the lengthening of the time it takes for the Earth to spin on its axis. And the attendant effects.

Set in a not so distant future in San Diego, it’s just like today. There are cellphones and e-mail and the routine drudgery of life as well as love, hate and anger. Change one piece of the puzzle and everything’s different.

That’s what the Internet has begat.

But here the source is not man-made. It’s what you don’t expect that comes to change your life.

"The Age Of Miracles" made me think about the human condition. Not everyone is popular, not everyone is a member of the group. Who’s making music for these people? You can’t see their story on the big screen. But they dominate. They’re us.

Once upon a time, art was a reflection of us.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t drive a Benz with twenty two inch rims, I don’t party with a bunch of big breasted bikini babes, my life is not about making it rain at Vegas clubs. But that’s what our mainstream music is about.

And that which is a bit off kilter is nowhere near as good as "Crime Of The Century". Because too many of these people can’t sing or play. Those used to be criteria for making it, no longer, in a world where your best friend parents say you’re a worldbeater, that you can win it all baby.

I’m not saying the end is near. I’m just saying something’s changing. It’s imperceptible to those in the seats of traditional power. It’s got to do with the income gap, but imagine if a natural event altered your perspective.

That’s what "The Age Of Miracles" is about.

The Age Of Miracles Book

The Age Of Miracles Website

(Ignore the stupid video, that’s the clueless book business venturing outside of its purview trying to utilize new media to sell its wares. But you can read an excerpt here:
The Age Of Miracles exerpt

The words are enough, just like the music is enough. The rest is just penumbra. It’s easy to look good, make a video, social network, but all of that pales in comparison to the essence, the art.)

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