In case you don’t know about the Luddites they were basically a co-operative of textile workers, who tried to rebel against the Industrial Revolution of the early 1800’s. They were hand-crafters & artisans who stood to lose their jobs & livelihoods, as their hands-on work methods became increasingly mechanised. (This movement was reportedly named after a Ned Ludd who developed an earlier bad-boy reputation for destroying machines.) It was a war between age-old artistic creativity and modern technological innovation.
I must admit, rather like the word Luddite, actually. The sound of it conjures up working class attitude, and a cheeky sense of reverse-snobbery: pride in the lower class, and a stubborn refusal to accept innovation or improvement.
Now, there are people still today who hold similar views to this attitude. Frankly, there are times when I do too. Maybe some find it too overwhelming to take in so much change at one, or maybe it’s a fear of forgetting our past & our history. Personally, I love handcrafted items, things that are unique, and one-of-a-kind, not mass produced with no heart or soul. I even joyfully participate in medieval re-enactment, where we specialise in handcrafting, applying some of the various tools & techniques that were used in days gone by. It provides an intimate knowledge, a profound respect of the processes that go into an item’s creation, and thoroughly engaging learning through doing.
These hobbies gives a totally new perspective to what technology has done and provided for us over the years. While I can certainly appreciate all the benefits of technology, it’s also nice to be able to step back occasionally and smell the roses. To relish the feeling of taking one’s time to make or do something simple by hand. Yes, it might take longer, but where’s the fun in rushing? Sometimes it’s nice to be a Luddite for a little while. Just don’t break anything.
And now, for the curious people out there (as well as those who like rock or heavy metal), here’s the clip that started me off. I love it, if you haven’t noticed. You can also find the lyrics here. Well go on now, bet you can’t help but sing along, hahaha.