MINUTES OF THE LEAD PENCIL CLUB by Bill Henderson

MINUTES OF THE LEAD PENCIL CLUB

Pulling the Plug on the Electronic Revolution
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Henderson, the Pushcart Press's publisher, struck a powerful ``Leaddite'' nerve when he founded the antitech Lead Pencil Club, and his selection here shows how deep the reactions are to the telecommunications bubble of e-mail, telephones, faxes, TV, and radio. This club's themes include prose style vs. word processing, paper vs. cathode ray tubes, intimacy vs. interface, conversation vs. voice-mail--with the No. 2 pencil as the preferred instrument and emblem. The best essays, unsurprisingly, are from the likes of Neil Postman, on computers and education; Clifford Stoll, on the Internet and e-mail; and Sven Birkerts, on the human brain and the ``Electronic Hive.'' Other writers simply echo their arguments and concerns. Most of the testimonials from club members, who have given up TV, computers, phones, etc., tend toward technophobia and nostalgia. This collection also boasts marginalia from John Updike, Dave Barry, Robert Hughes, Alvin Toffler, Nicholson Baker, and others, and postcard-bites from club members worldwide. While salutatory in its skepticism and resistance to Information Age hype, this is, ironically, like much of the Internet--broadly superficial. (illustrations, not seen)*justify no*  Henderson, the Pushcart Press's publisher, struck a powerful ``Leaddite'' nerve when he founded the antitech Lead Pencil Club, and his selection here shows how deep the reactions are to the telecommunications bubble of e-mail, telephones, faxes, TV, and radio. This club's themes include prose style vs. word processing, paper vs. cathode ray tubes, intimacy vs. interface, conversation vs. voice-mail--with the No. 2 pencil as the preferred instrument and emblem. The best essays, unsurprisingly, are from the likes of Neil Postman, on computers and education; Clifford Stoll, on the Internet and e-mail; and Sven Birkerts, on the human brain and the ``Electronic Hive.'' Other writers simply echo their arguments and concerns. Most of the testimonials from club members, who have given up TV, computers, phones, etc., tend toward technophobia and nostalgia. This collection also boasts marginalia from John Updike, Dave Barry, Robert Hughes, Alvin Toffler, Nicholson Baker, and others, and postcard-bites from club members worldwide. While salutatory in its skepticism and resistance to Information Age hype, this is, ironically, like much of the Internet--broadly superficial. (illustrations, not seen)*justify no*  Henderson, the Pushcart Press's publisher, struck a powerful ``Leaddite'' nerve when he founded the antitech Lead Pencil Club, and his selection here shows how deep the reactions are to the telecommunications bubble of e-mail, telephones, faxes, TV, and radio. This club's themes include prose style vs. word processing, paper vs. cathode ray tubes, intimacy vs. interface, conversation vs. voice-mail--with the No. 2 pencil as the preferred instrument and emblem. The best essays, unsurprisingly, are from the likes of Neil Postman, on computers and education; Clifford Stoll, on the Internet and e-mail; and Sven Birkerts, on the human brain and the ``Electronic Hive.'' Other writers simply echo their arguments and concerns. Most of the testimonials from club members, who have given up TV, computers, phones, etc., tend toward technophobia and nostalgia. This collection also boasts marginalia from John Updike, Dave Barry, Robert Hughes, Alvin Toffler, Nicholson Baker, and others, and postcard-bites from club members worldwide. While salutatory in its skepticism and resistance to Information Age hype, this is, ironically, like much of the Internet--broadly superficial. (illustrations, not seen)*justify no*  Henderson, the Pushcart Press's publisher, struck a powerful ``Leaddite'' nerve when he founded the antitech Lead Pencil Club, and his selection here shows how deep the reactions are to the telecommunications bubble of e-mail, telephones, faxes, TV, and radio. This club's themes include prose style vs. word processing, paper vs. cathode ray tubes, intimacy vs. interface, conversation vs. voice-mail--with the No. 2 pencil as the preferred instrument and emblem. The best essays, unsurprisingly, are from the likes of Neil Postman, on computers and education; Clifford Stoll, on the Internet and e-mail; and Sven Birkerts, on the human brain and the ``Electronic Hive.'' Other writers simply echo their arguments and concerns. Most of the testimonials from club members, who have given up TV, computers, phones, etc., tend toward technophobia and nostalgia. This collection also boasts marginalia from John Updike, Dave Barry, Robert Hughes, Alvin Toffler, Nicholson Baker, and others, and postcard-bites from club members worldwide. While salutatory in its skepticism and resistance to Information Age hype, this is, ironically, like much of the Internet--broadly su

Pub Date: May 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-916366-84-7
Page count: 234pp
Publisher: Pushcart
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1996




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