KEYWORDS: records, computer, record, phonograph, antique

Old Phonograph, The

David Berg

—MONovember 6, 1975DO—NO.362

(We had just called a meeting of the KC's to find out what was the matter with the new Paris WS blob and why it couldn't produce and what caused its stats and books to be so delayed, when I had this dream.—You now know the results: "The Administration Revolution!"—Hallelujah!)

1. I WAS READING SOMEBODY'S REPORT from London and I came across this item: 300 pounds for a record player—and I thought, "My Lord!—What kind of a record player could cost 300 pounds?" So I said, "I want to see that record player!"—And they showed it to me.

2. IT WAS A HUGE OLD-FASHIONED MONSTROUS THING like some real rich people used to have when I was a kid‚ with a gigantic cabinet nearly head-high and about that wide as well and about three feet deep, and it had slots for all the records standing on edge. It was the big old-fashioned phonograph type of record player that you had to wind by hand!

3. AND THE RECORDS!—THEY WERE MONSTROUS! I can remember when we used to have big thick records about a quarter-of-an-inch thick, but these were half-an-inch thick‚ and it seemed like they were wooden, too, of not much value. It was just like an exaggeration of some of those old old record players they used to have.

4. SO I SAID, "I WANT TO KNOW WHO IN THE WORLD WASTED 300 POUNDS ON THIS ANTIQUE!—This thing is an antique! Why in the world did they waste 300 pounds on this antique and all these great big thick old records?" Hey, you know what?

5. IT JUST DAWNS ON ME THAT THAT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH OUR COMPUTER and even the book project. Isn't that funny? It wasn't till I told you that dream that I got the slightest indication of what it was about. I thought‚ "That's the silliest dream!—Why should I waste time telling Maria about it?" But it was so clear!

6. SO MAYBE THAT HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH ALL THE MONEY THEY SPENT ON THAT DAMNED COMPUTER storing away all those old ancient heavy big thick MO Letters, treasuring them just because they're antiques.—And you had to have this big old ancient antique phonograph to play them on because nothing else would play them.

7. THOSE BIG OLD RECORDS COULDN'T BE PLAYED ON ANYTHING ELSE. So you had to have this big expensive antique to play them on—which reminds me of that computer!

8. RECORDS! RECORDS! RECORDS!—THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT: Records of all the Letters and reports! They're all stored in that machine! All these old big thick records standing these in the slots all dusty! I said, "This is ridiculous!"—And I woke up!

9. THIS IS SUCH A CONFIRMATION of the extravagance, delays and futility our computer has caused in slowing down the stats and the republishing of the old Letters!

10. THREE YEARS AGO I began begging our Publications Deptartment to republish the old Letters in book form so all the kids could have them, some now so scarce they're like collector's gems!

11. BUT FIRST they thought they should be organised and combined according to subject matter, then they insisted they should all be retyped and re-edited and re-illustrated and computerised!

12. FINALLY after a year of delays I begged them to republish them just as they were in original form just like they were first written, mistakes and all, to get them to you when you needed them.

13. BUT NO, they said the computer could do it better and faster—that was two years ago! Last year I said let's publish them now as is, but they said that would be a shame, as the computer already had them half finished‚ and all the money spent on computerising them would be wasted.

14. SO WE WAITED—and they're still not done!—Just old dusty records standing useless in that damned old phonograph‚ and antique out-moded computer that's been a terrible delay and expense and still can't produce or keep up with God!

15. I SAY let's publish the old ones now when you need them in our New R expansion—all about pioneering‚ road teams‚ new colonies, new disciples, new leaders, etc.! Damn that old phonograph!—And we did!