May 21, 2024
‘I write all my poems with a quill by candlelight’: John Cooper Clarke on the joy of life without tech

The punk poet has no smartphone, no email, not even a computer. Everyone should try it, he says

Back in the day, I used to feel a degree of sympathy for those who had been ­compelled to become computer ­literate. I would see these guys in the city, ­struggling home with a rucksack loaded with technology, ruining the line of their Hugo Boss suit. It looked like a ball and chain to me. So I stayed away. Whenever anyone mentioned ­computers, I would say: “What do I need a computer for? I’m a poet.”

Later, when mobile phones came out, I was sitting on public transport next to two girls when I heard one of them say to the other: “My boss has just bought me a new mobile phone.” I thought, yeah, I bet he has. If he’d put an iron collar around your neck, would you be happy about that, too?

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