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Newspaper Boys Always Deliver
By Joseph Gulesserian
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A Personal Journey into Pop and Technological change in the last Fifty Years.
In Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, Gulesserian takes us on a captivating adventure by combining personal essays and historical insights for an enlightening look at how we got here, and the earlier inventions that paved the way for current cutting-edge technologies. While exploring pop-culture trends, unexpected impacts, and memorable moments in time, this collection of thought-provoking and humorous reflections paints a fascinating picture of the changes half a century can bring—and its implications for what could be just around the corner.
In just fifty years, Western culture has gone from culture to techno-culture—from the swinging sixties to rap, encyclopedia to Wikipedia, slide rule to artificial intelligence.
Newspaper Boys Always Deliver, shares a personal journey of how we got here, in a Book that delivers an eclectic plethora of knowledge, controversy and humorous entertainment in a newspaper format.
Q. Why did you create the table of contents in a newspaper format?
This makes for perhaps the most interesting question, since, quite frankly, when I started the book, I was not clear where I was heading. Admittedly, the book covers a wide plethora of topics that transcends over time with a multitude of subjects.
Perhaps I can better explain this in a way that people can related to. When I usually go for a coffee and sandwich with a friend, we might go through a host of subjects, which could range from our personal lives, careers, politics, technology, sports, humour, business, history and so on. In fact, many of my friends have eclectic interests and are conversational on multiple fronts. Since, after all, how long can one speak about sports, or let’s say, what you can do with smart phone apps, before the topic starts to sound static?
I then considered that with the plethora of information out there, and diminishing attention spans due to competing priorities, I thought then I would assemble a library of information that I experienced firsthand which I felt on my skin, not through folklore or someone on the outside looking in.
I delivered newspapers through my childhood and I really enjoyed the vast amounts of different topics that a newspaper offered and how much it enriched my life, as well as that of many others’. After all, reading the newspaper was a rite of passage, and having one under one’s arm denoted that one was learned, or at least on the way.
While writing the book, I realized that I had to somehow assemble all this heterogeneous information into something that flowed into an assemblage of order, as a way to record the times from a pop and technological point of view, first going back and then forward, delivering us to the present and beyond.
It is at this point that, with the help of a friend’s suggestion, I split up the table of contents of the book like the sections of a newspaper, such as Front Page, Sports, Entertainment and Business and Technology.
And just like our own experiences, when we document and assemble the Journal of our lives and times, it becomes the Newspaper of our collective experiences.
Q. Why did you revisit the original 1960’s Batman Series?
There was a host of reasons I did this; part was that I wanted to bring the so called villains, namely the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, and of course, the lovely Catwoman, into the modern fold of values, morality, and of course, political correctness.
Specifically, I made a tongue-and-cheek case that all these sinister types ended up the way they did, because they perhaps, had unfortunate shortcomings such as in the case of the Joker, where his mother would not rent him a clown for his 6th birthday party, or in the case of the Penguin, he had a disability. Thus, as a result, they had the moral fibre, or cart blanche, if you will, to turn to a life of crime. Since, as we all know, that in the current climate of societal morality, accountability is a phobic word, and victimization is in intellectual vogue, while we are being conditioned to ignore the elephant in the room.
I then wanted to delve deeper into the psyche of Batman and see if he had to deal with the savage within himself to better understand the villains, while, perhaps thinking at a deeper level, as to why the villain turned to crime, and how both these diametrically opposing forces secretly admire each other in some unexplainable way.
Finally, when we re-examine the original 1960’s series, there are things that really don’t make sense. For example, where did Batman purchase all these chemicals he possessed in his Bat belt? And why did Chief O’Hara and Commissioner Gordon completely rely on the cape crusader, and not have the competence to do their jobs themselves? Thus, some things never change, as these ordained incompetent bureaucrats fail and yet collect their entitlements.
Q. Why is the villain discussed throughout most of the book?
I could not help but do the analysis of the villain, since it is victors who write history and ensure that the villain is removed from collective righteousness of prevalent thinking. The villain, in some ways, longs for acceptance that changing their way might bring, but it is the villain that writes the reason for the play. It is the villain that everyone comes to see, may it be in film, professional wrestling, sports, theatre and international politics.
The villain gives rise to the hero, as each examines the other, so they do not have to consider the possibilities of their own respectively flawed ways. Each has a secret admiration of the other, as they super impose their respective roles to better understand each other, and perhaps themselves!
Revisionism within the history is a form of self-flagellation to revisit our victories that masked perhaps our barbarity, so we can atone and realign with our current socially engineered flawed value systems.
As the audience anticipates with great expectations as to the outcome of the dual, they are unknowingly crafting a self-righteous, yet tenuous blueprint for their lives, as they come to point their finger at the barbarity of the event, so they can mask the savage within themselves.
Today, we see the public through Twitter and the rest of the social media conjure a digital recipe of finger wagging, in the hopes that their morality is aligned with current thought. Because, by pointing at the villain, we both deny and hide the savage in us all, as we play out the tragedy.
It is the villain that we come to see, not the virtuous, because the villain is who teaches us how to mask our barbarity and ease ourselves into accepted civility.
The reason we come to see the hero, is to experience the fear of the possibility of the hero’s demise, and it is this adrenaline that we are prepared to pay for, but when all is said and done, without the villain, we are all actors without a script!
Q. Why do you think the moon landing is relevant to the millennials?
The moon landing shifted the parameters of current thinking of the day, in terms of what was available, with relatively older technology compared to today’s super computers. But people forget that there were computers in the 1960’s, and way before, which is discussed in my book. For example, we had technological knowledge of advanced material, pneumatics, physics, precise engineering of metal parts, radar, wireless, solid state circuitry, rocket technology, dating back to the end of the Second World War, and so on.
Social thinking of the day, in the late 1960’s, was that we should resolve our problems on Earth before we spend money in outer space. Very noble idea indeed, but it seems that we have not done so well in solving our problems in the place we call Earth. In fact, we cannot even agree if global warming is cyclical, or is being greatly exasperated by fossil fuels and other forms of man-made pollution.
But here is the relevancy, the moon landing was done with a computer power that could not rival your smart phone, but with a vision, an amalgamation of technology, incredible work ethics and burning desire, we expanded the parameters of human thinking that perhaps has not been equalled in relative terms.
What makes it even more relevant is that much of the amazing technology we have is because we stood on the shoulders of giants that have since passed, and much is owed to them. Further, it could be argued that much of this technology gave birth to the Third Industrial Revolution.
Q. Why did you feel the need to discuss the First and Second Industrial Revolutions in the book, and not just go right into the social media?
Without a doubt, we are on the cusp of the Third Industrial Revolution with the advent of artificial intelligence, the digital revolution, renewable energy, smart cities that will make timed traffic lights look like the horse and cart. Further, all this and more has created a very tech savvy new generation that has embraced all this and created the phenomena of the techno-culture. On one end, we are being freed from the mundane tasks of repetitive labour, while being emotionally addicted to all this technology. Hence, it is a double-edged sword with both joys and societal peril.
But, to really appreciate all this convenient technology, it might be intellectually prudent to consider the people who created the road we currently travel on and pay homage to the shoulders of giants we stand on, such as Edison, Ford, Gates, Armstrong and Jobs, to name a few.
To think all this was delivered without a chain of history to harness the present, disrespects our heritage, and makes the present seem precarious.
Joseph Gulesserian came of age during the seventies, and was exposed to many changing technologies with a career that has ranged from metallurgic to manufacturing, from business equipment to information technology, and brand creation.
After earning his MBA, he taught Corporate Finance, Marketing and Statistics as an adjunct professor at Toronto colleges, and in 2000 established a Toronto-based company that designs and produces health and beauty brands for both domestic and international markets.
Currently, Gulesserian lives in Toronto with his wife.
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