I Love Technology, and Other Lies
At the start of every one of these "Editor's Corner" columns, I remind readers this is the only place on the Sussex Patch site where I am free to express my own opinion.
"So," Smith wrote lovingly to his readers, "please remember that fact if you happen to disagree with my opinion. After all, there are lots of places and ways on the site for you to express yours, and just this one for me."
Now friends, that is an example of self-deprecating humor. You see, if you think about it, the statement is actually critical of me and my failings, not you and your opinion. One day, all will be blessed with an appreciation for sarcasm.
When that day comes, no one will be offended by my writing something like that. Such a cut-to-the-bone quip will simply produce a whole lot of silent, knowing, self-satisfied smiles.
With that prologue asserted, I begin this column (intended to be slightly humorous for those who are still catching on) -- "I Love Technology and Other Lies."
Know that I am a cheerful curmudgeon. And I must tell you, I will argue with conviction that this is NOT a contradiction in terms. Yes, I am a cheerful curmudgeon.
I see the absurdity in so many situations that absurdity is the norm against which I judge lunacy and idiocy. Is it not clear that I have a sense of humor? Let's take the topic of, oh-- say, the wonders of modern technology.
For instance, those modern ever-on, ever-interrupting, hardly reliable, easily breakable, expensive as bullion and obsolete immediately upon being acquired things . . . the doo-dads, the Iphones, the Iphone equipped with G4 (yeah, I don't know what it means either), but I know all of the above. Again: Ever-on, ever-interrupting, hardly reliable, etc., etc., etc.
Now, that reality with which we live today, my friends, is absurd. Am I wrong?
What is lunatic is that we not only tolerate it, we accept it as the norm. What's idiotic is that all of us -- ALL of us -- must absolutely have them to do our jobs, take care of our kids, plan our trips (AAA Trip-tiks used to be high tech) -- and by the way, can kids still read a map? How about a compass? Once their cell phone loses power, or a signal, could they survive a few days lost in the woods?
If you're old enough to remember having a single, reliable, well-built, black, wall-hung, dial phone, typically in the kitchen, and plenty enough phone power for the entire family living in the entire house-- a phone provided free, remember, and fixed free by a Ma Bell guy who came to your house, remember?, at an appointed time at your convenience, remember?, then I ask, why is what we have today so wonderful?
We multi-tasked with that heavy old phone that was built like a tank. Heck, with a well-placed whack! with just the handset you could knock out a burglar cold in the middle of the night. Try doing that with your uber-expensive, business card size wimp of a phone. If you look at it wrong, it ceases to work. I still have a working dial phone in my basement that was made in 1958. There are a lot of people made in 1958 who are long dead-- that's how good phones once were.
If you say "handset" to the children of today, they think you're talking about some tennis move. In fact -- and this is God's truth -- the other day, I mentioned the Apollo missions to a man in his twenties. It produced nothing but a blank stare. "What's that?," he asked.
But guess what? That boy can text with two thumbs at the speed of pee out of a dog who's been left inside all day with a water dish that was full in the morning.
He can upload, download, sideways shuffle and turn inside-out any kind of photo, video, mp3, mp4, mp17, mp92 (they're all coming, believe me) or video conference clip that is sent to him by someone else with a purple streak in their hair (Note: Hair does not naturally come in purple), while simultaneously surfing the web to find the lowest price at all Ford dealers within a 20-mile radius for the car you just mentioned, and while tapping on the phone -- to temporarily interrupt those operations -- see live video of the latest riot at Mayfair Mall or some goof para-sailing off the roof of the First Wisconsin Tower. (Sorry, it will never be the US Bank Building to me. It was hardly the Firstar Building to me.)
Of course, the guy snuck into the skyscraper illegally by finding the construction plans for the building online, learning the doorknob and lock specifications online, studying lock-picking via an online site set up by the American Brotherhood of Thieves, an organization that won the right to function through a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Wonderful world, this . . . for criminals.
I don't know about you, but I think June and Ward Cleaver did a pretty good job raising their kids. And yes, they all had to wait 20-seconds for their TV to warm up because nothing was "instant" back then except a crack on the head by the principal of your school if you smarted off. And the only thing more certain than that was your parents learning about it from school -- somehow within milliseconds -- and then backing up the principal when you got home with no supper, or if on a bad day for mom or dad, perhaps a belt lash or two.
Now, the principal and your parents will be put in jail.
So, I love technology. In fact, I thought aluminum cans were an awesome replacement for steel. And though I appreciate pop tops, I'm not sure what was so difficult about punching two triangles in the top of a can to get the soda or beer out.
I do know that you only bought a can opener once (or you were given one for free by your local bank) but, that every single person pays extra money every single day for every can that has the fancy pop top. And our Bauxite is running out. Aluminum is made from Bauxite. I don't know why I know that. Kinda like the kid referenced earlier -- he doesn't know why he's never heard of the Apollo missions. I guess we're even.
So again, I love technology. Don't you? Wanna hear some more fibs? Yours or mine? Smile already, dang it!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, yet another way you can express your opinion on the Sussex Patch website!