It’s no fun that things you type into a computer and afterwards deem to be garbage and delete are gone forever. There might be something brilliant in there that can plant a seed in someone else’s mind even if your own writing is shite, but nope -Ctrl+Alpha, delete, and exit or do whatever else makes Ctrl+Omega impossible. This isn’t quite a digital version of crumpling up a piece of paper and throwing it behind you as you remain crouched at your desk.
There might be some embarassing or incriminating things you actually do need permanently deleted, but the paper-based counterpart to that is throwing shit into a fire. Even with the ideas lost, that’s still way more fun than a backspace key.
There is much I have deleted myself. There is much paper I’ve ripped up and thrown away too, which is not quite as effective as burning, but no one is interested enough to go through my garbage except in search for aluminum cans. (Pardon me – I wrote “shite” before, so perhaps I should maintain consistency and write “aluminium” out of respect for the Motherland.) (On the other hand, I wrote “shit” in the second paragraph, so perhaps I should strand myself on a mid-Atlantic island.)
There is a lot that I have written, intended to be published here, but then deleted. Poof. (Poof as in disappearing act, not as in derogatory gay term – we don’t use those on my mid-Atlantic island.) Some of it had no direction; some of it was repeating myself from opinions I’ve already driven into the ground with little addition. But if I were a notable writer in pre-digital history – well, for one thing I’d probably be a man – repeating myself on paper that got crumpled up but was still saved would clarify to future historians what my work actually meant. And yet it would still get misinterpreted and used as propaganda to advance to the aims of Fox News. Everything’s come down to fucking Fox News.
There will be traces in the dark corners of the internet of virtually everything ever published on a website, but think of all that doesn’t even make it that far. Think of what’s never even written down, because we assume we’ll just get on the computer after we get off the can, but then disappears into thin air. Romanticize the past and take a pen and pad of paper everywhere you go. Including the toilet. Especially the toilet. And write it down before you’re done shitting, because your poop might be exactly where the idea came from.