When you look at the ghost population, the numbers are greatly skewed toward ghosts who lived without television. I would say a full three quarters of us lived before the advent of television, and at least half of us lived before such a thing even seemed possible–before electricity, radio, or monitors. And yet, the GCN (Ghost Cable Network) is by far and above the most profitable segment of the entertainment market, attracting more users than all the libraries, museums, and galleries combined.
When I first saw this statistic, I did have a bit of a fit, lamenting the poisoning of the human mind, the laziness of entertainment seekers, and the death of imagination. I became determined to be a bastion of Victorian entertainments.
The lofty ones, mind you.
But there was a problem…
As it turns out, ghost libraries, museums, and galleries are few and far between. Not because they are undervalued–on the contrary, their rarity assures they are constant sites of pilgrimage–but because they are difficult to fill, maintain, and use.
If you want to read a book that you did not read in life, you must find a library where someone has checked in the memory of that particular book, download the memory, and “read” someone else’s interpretation of the piece, which may or may not be accurate.
If you want to view a painting, similarly, you must go to a gallery that has purchased the viewing memories of a plethora of artists and interpolated them into a fair representation of the original piece. Famous paintings look fairly accurate–Mona Lisa still smiles–but lesser-known artists are difficult to find on the walls and harder to faithfully represent.
Museums have greater success on account of the fact that ghosts are excellent identifiers of artifacts-cum-things we used in life. But even then, there is a hitch that keeps us from full appreciation.
The hitch: Items and experiences with electrical impulse are far, far easier to see, share, and use.
This explains why, as I wondered, and you might be wondering, ghosts do not simply go and walk around alively galleries. When we do, we see a mere shadow of what you are able to see.
It also explains why television and film and live theatre have become our wild successes. We are able to actively share these spaces and experiences with alivelies, because not only can we see movie and TV screens, but we can also watch the outlines of great actors, and their electrifying emotions.
[Remember that time you were alone in a theatre? You were not alone…ohhhh, yes, we saw it all.]
We can also easily channel your viewing experience for display on the GCN, taking whatever electrical and digital codes make up a show, and mirroring them in our world.
After a while, even the bastions of Victorian entertainment wear down. You can only peruse so many grey-scale walls in galleries you once knew before you say, fuck it, I’ll just watch Dance Moms.
We all know the real star was Chloe.
But as it turns out, television is not the brain rotting ridiculousness that a certain segment of ghosts warned it would be. Sure, Lifetime is full of sap, the reality TV shows run rampant, and Friends has its own goddamn channel, but I was amazed to find shows of real quality, as well.
Not only that, but ghosts also make their own versions of alively programming–Deathtime (still full of sap), Dead Friends (still full of Joey), Days of Our Afterlives, etc.–which are quite hilarious.
And we also make our own entirely original shows, such as How Did You Die?, FUNerial, and this bizarre cartoon called Adventures of Birds where Fire Eagle and Steve Sting (a hawk with a scorpion tale) fight mythical creatures with the help, this season, of Raven, hard-boiled PI and birdseed fanatic.
[Who would come up with such a cartoon? Marcus Brutus.]
Not all bad.
Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that these digitisation projects that have everyone so up in arms are actually making books and artwork more accessible on the other side. Maybe throw in a buck or two next time you visit a library doing a scanning project or a museum with interactive maps and displays. My children (and yours) will thank you.