Today’s post is half of a “great fake debate” on the prompt of “Books are still important or have tablets have replaced books making them obsolete?”

With tongue firmly in check, I argued that tablets are overrated. Be sure to click the link though to the website to see the opposing viewpoint and vote for you favorite

Press start to read: My book ran out of batteries. A pseudo-serious rant… sorta kinda

Information is power. Governments know it, The Church knew, even your mom knew it when she told you finishing your plate at dinner meant Santa would come to town.

Controlling information is strategically advantageous then, obviously, and history is littered with reminders of controlled information doled out in situations that swayed an alignment with their own.

Don’t let people fool you, behind everything there’s a stakeholder with an invested interest and as it is in Glenn Beck’s wettest dream of dystopia, the best way to control the current is to limit information. Or limit the truth with rambling disinformation as it were, but I digress.

Gutenberg’s press changed all that and brought the printed word to the masses. Literature, News, Science, technology, religious freedom, original thought and knowledge spread like wildfire.

For hundreds of years the free flow of information brought prosperity and with the advent of the consumer version of the Internet the dam burst open once more creating the landscape of today where any wingding with a laptop could write anything and scrape together a book if they held their resolve long enough, but now something threatens that balance.

A man in a turtleneck harbingers the efforts of an Amazonian from the pacific northwest and the coming onslaught to a free press and a return to information control.

He brings with him a tablets. Tablets which create a class system for knowledge. Tablets which create a gatekeeper culture where only the books that the company holding the keys approves of will be released… Right now the big boys are Amazon and Apple and Apple’s already shown us they’re anti-competive (Google voice?) on the appstore and Amazon caved to pressure over Wikileaks and censored the free flow of information.

With books, anyone can self-publish, find a local vegan feminsit bike friendly cafe/bookstore and get the message out there. Odds are few will see it and it’ll go on to live a long life as a dust bunny ranch, but at least the book had a chance.

Given the records of the companies behind eBookstores, what’s the wiser choice?

Books are for everyone, tablets are for those who can afford it… in a country were a large chuck of the population doesn’t have Internet access, what are the odds everyone will have a tablet?

Consider why libraries were created.

To make knowledge accessible to all, but tablets will make them pointless and create a have and have not culture.

I still don’t have a smartphone and I already feel the pinch in this microcosm, extrapolate this to a wider scoop with books and imagine.

And what of bookshelves? How many more American woodcutters working for Canadian companies that ship fresh chopped trees to China so that you can buy a shelf at Walmart must we put out of work? Someone think of their children!

Since you mention children, books have a special place in their learning to read and bonding with parents.

Yet, tablets would destroy what’s left of bedtime stories.

Suzy: Daddy Daddy, read me a story.

Dad: (groan) … ok, let me go get the tablet from it’s cradle in the living room.

Dad runs downstairs, gotta hurry gotta hurry…

Dad: OW!!! Stupid f*ckin table! Bleepbleepbleepitybleep!!!

Suzy: Daddy!

Dad: rabblerabblerabble… coming!

Dad runs back upstairs.

Dad: Ok kiddo, here we go.

Suzy: yay (in five years I’m going to hate you).

Dad: Ok… soo……um…. hmm…. … … …

Suzy: I want a stooooory.

Dad: It won’t come out of sleep mode cupcake… um… it says it charged…. hmm….

Suzy: Did you try to restart it?

Dad: …

Suzy: Well?

Dad taps at the device and finally gives up and removes the battery to restart it.

Dad: Here we go… shit.

Suzy: I coulda learned to read by now.

Dad: Hold your horses kumquat, I just need to install some new firmware… and update my bookstore app… and… delete some stuff… to… make… space… and–

Suzy: Hurry the bleep up!

Dad: Well, if you’re going to be a twat… oh dear, there go the batteries…

Suzy: Augh… you’re an idiot!

Dad: Hey!

Suzy: I wish it was you that was eaten by peacocks on safari instead of Mom!

Dad: Suzy–

Suzy: Stupid fcukin bleepitybleepybleep wanker! rabblerabble

Dad slaps Suzy

Dad: Suzy!

Suzy: I hate you!!! Get out! I wish I was never born!

Daddy: Me to! If only the coin came up heads!

Congratulations tablets, another family destroyed. Did I mention Suzy was 3? And that dad was a recovering scotchguard huffer who blamed himself for being too drunk to shoot Petty the Peacock?

He still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, clutching the pillow next to him, the veins in his temple throbbing as her dislodged left eye flies toward him pleading he step to the left to spare the tangerine ascot around his neck and its matching cardigan she’d purchased before the trip from Donna Karen’s winter collection. In those escapes from night terrors, for a weest of wee moments he sees her next to him again. It’s the happiest part of his day.

Oh, and Suzy never learned to read because the tablet just read everything to her her entire life.

Way to go. Tablets 1, American family 0.

Actually forget about even having a family in a world of tablets.

How will anyone know you’re hip and f-able if they can’t see that they’re reading “Everything is illuminated,” “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” or an unauthorized biography of Charles and Ray Eames?

That time honored classy pick-up line of asking the mousy girl with the hair if that McSneweeny’s is good? Gone. Birthrates would drop in Williamsburg and Seattle!

But it doesn’t end there, the scourge of the tablet isn’t satisfied with forced contraception, they’re going after mom and pop too.

Their main street used book store and the time honored tradition of sharing books or passing them on to others after you’re done will die.

It’s already happening in the used video game business with publishers employing DRM and one time use keys to ensure they will always control the content, it’s availability and at what price you can have it.

And there goes the American tradition of book burnings. Gathering around a church to hit delete on cue just won’t be as satisfying and with nothing else to due on a Saturday night, the south will rise again. Can’t say they haven’t been warning you for a 164 years.

Your parent’s already know this, but nothing makes you feel old like popular sayings going out of favor. You’re like a broken record anyone? Yea.

What about throwing the book at someone? Kiss it goodbye geezer, no one’s going to risk throwing their tablet?

How was that book? It was a real page,er, finger swipe…er?

Tablets will never live up to books. Books are durable and transportable with ease. With a book you pick it up and go with little concern. Get some sand on it at the beach? Shake it off. Fall asleep on it? Wipe off the drool.

Can a tablet give you that sensation?

The feel of pulp, the smell of ink, the tingle in your ear with the cracking of the spine, giving life to dog ears, licking your fingers to flip a page to show everyone around you how un-gressy your hands are, falling asleep under it in a park, or passing it on to a friend, loved one or new acquaintance to see their eyes light up.

And when the zombie apocalypses you can’t burn tablets for heat. So, yea, think about that.

This post origonally appaered as a rebuttle piece