If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'. - Bob Dylan
I blame it on my age that I don't like change. I say I am set in my ways, that I don't have enough brain cells left to learn new things. That...well, I say lots of things, I guess, with the comment at the top of the heap being, "I just don't like it, okay?"
However, I remember how many changes took place in the workplace because of greed, to get rid of employees, or because the change was going to cause a boon for someone high up in the good-old-boy network. The changes didn't improve the product, lower prices, or enrich life for anyone. They were just changes for the sake of change.
I remember when all the trees were removed from one side of the tree-lined road where my parents' house was--they'd already been removed from the other side--for the sake of widening the road. The road was never widened, but its sides certainly are naked.
Twenty-some years ago the corporation where my husband worked "enhanced" the retirement program. It was the first time I ever knew enhance and rape were synonymous.
Then there are self-checkouts. I avoid them when I can, but sometimes I really don't have the time to wait in line at one of the three registers out of 27 that Walmart opens on Sunday afternoon. When I say, Hey, those ones you do for yourself are a good thing, I also remind myself that, No, they're not. They took away jobs and human contact and--here's a word fast becoming obsolete--service.
Some of the things that haven't changed, i.e. the us vs. them finger-pointing between separate factions, where the money goes in traditional publishing, and appalling covers are ones many of us wish would go away.
But they won't.
I know I sound curmudgeonly here--remember that age I mentioned?--and maybe I am. Indie-publishing has been great for a lot of writers. Many readers (myself included) read almost exclusively on electronic devices. I buy a ton of stuff from Walmart and Amazon. Because it's easy.
I'm looking out the office window this morning. It's a view that hasn't changed, other than seasonally, for at least 30 years, and it gives me unimaginable peace. I'm so glad, even with all the changes in publishing, that I still have the best job in the world.
But I miss bookstores. And cashiers who call you by name and say thank you. And that tree-lined road.