What I Want for Christmas from The Eleventh Plague

Wow. That's probably one of the weirder titles I've written here. The fact is my book doesn't really contain anything I or anyone else would want to have. No cool gizmos. No hi-tech wonders.

In my book, society completely collapsed around 2024. The story itself takes place about sixteen years later, once the population has stabilized at about a quarter of what it is now. There's no government. No utilities. No infrastructure whatever. There's just scattered pockets of barely functioning micro-civilizations woven together with scavengers, slave traders and loonies. It's a rough world.

Of course if you're the type that looks on the bright side, there's also no traffic, advertising, ringing cell phones, or smog. There are no politicians, no reality TV shows, no Dane Cook movies. No internet time sucks. No one sits in an office all day long doing a job of dubious usefulness.

So, in an inversion of this week's theme, if I had to choose something that's gone in my book to magically disappear in real life, I'd choose... TV. Yeah, I'd miss Community and 30 Rock and Project Runway, but I think it would balance my life greatly if I at least had to leave the house to be entertained. I think I'd spend alot more time reading, writing, chatting with friends and playing with cats. I think my life would be a bit quieter and a lot more productive.

How about you? If you could wish one piece of our day to day technology out of existence, what would it be? TV? Internet? Cell phones? Something else?

Jeff Hirsch
The Eleventh Plague
Coming from Scholastic, Fall 2011

Find me at jeff-hirsch.com and @jeff_hirsch


Angie Smibert said...

Yup, I gotta say TV, too, but a particular part of it--the 24/7 news punditry / chatter that doesn't really cover the actual news.

Anonymous said...

First, I cannot _wait_ to read your book!

Second...yeah, T.V.


Summer Frey said...

I already don't have TV. But I'd never wish away my computer, so...um...electric can opener. Yeah. That things gets so groady.

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm going to hate myself later, but I would have to say video games. As much as I love to play them, especially the ones with well told immersive stories, there is no greater time suck in the world. Well, maybe blogging, but that's too helpful, and fun.

Gertie said...

You do realize that would mean no more Glee, right?

Yeah, you probably did realize that.

Jeff Hirsch said...

Thanks, Deb! I can't wait to get my book out there and into people's hands.

Summer, I'd love to hear about life w/out TV. Seriously, it's like this strange distant land I've heard about but never visited. What are you doing while the rest of us are mindlessly watching Glee?

Anonymous said...

I would say all fossil fuels (and that means coal too, so this aint no steampunk fantasy neither). I want to take it all the way back to current solar and gravity (acknowledging that muscle is solar).

Lauren M said...

I'd have to go with cell phones. I know they're really hand for communication and all (I don't discount their importance), but I feel like everyone is way too attached to their phones. I'll sit with a group of friends, and most of them will be on the internet or texting someone else; it feels like they're not paying attention to where they really are (and the rest of us feel kind of neglected!).

Jeff Hirsch said...

Wow, you're thinking big Kenny. Pretty damn near pre-industrial level

Yeah, I see what you're saying about cellphones Lauren. The etiquette around them is pretty awful. My only thing is I have a terrible sense of direction and I don't know what I'd do without Google maps always in my pocket.

Jemi Fraser said...

Call waiting :) Can't stand it!

And video games. I never play them, but I see the huge negative impact they have on our kids. I think adults can handle them, but there's too much out there that kids are playing.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I am so excited to read your book, Jeff! I think I'm going to say cell phones. I teach high school, and they are a plague! :-)

Jeff Hirsch said...

Thanks Shannon! Wow, I can't imagine teaching HS these days given the ubiquity of cellphones. I bet it can be maddening.