Search This Blog

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Miss Pencils

I've never bragged about being computer savvy. I'm not. In fact, I have two documents I can't send at the moment because I can't seem to turn off the "underline" element. I highlight the text from top to bottom, click the hell out of the Underline icon and nothing happens.

I lost my car manual long ago. It tells me what all the buttons of my Mercedes do, way too many buttons, just like my computer. Way too many buttons like my home alarm system, thermostat, and TV remote control. Even if I had a manual for these things, they'd be too thick to read in any button emergency.

My iPhone and iPad are different. They explain themselves, communicate telepathically. Here, tap this. Yes, that's it. Good girl. You're there now. My other devices taunt and insult, ignore me. I hate them. I hate complicated things that look down on me, live without my input, require no intimacy.

What ever happened to the good ol' pencil? You didn't have to call the Geek Squad when your pencil broke. It didn't get viruses. It didn't crash. It didn't cost much more than a postal stamp.

And what was so wrong with typewriters? Or at least tell me, why do we need so many buttons? How many fonts do we need to communicate? Why can't we choose one margin and tab setting and live with it? Why do we need so many useless confusing features?

There's an underlying premise to all advertising: Convince consumers they need what they don't. Selling is just that. Pushing a choice that will make the seller money. Food and clothing aren't just that anymore. They're necessities broken into a zillion unnecessary options. Choices gone awry. Viral. Expensively so. Grocery stores and malls give me hives. There's too much sensory input, price tags everywhere, carnivorous kiosks, blinding strobe lights and hypnotising ad campaigns. How many versions of ketchup do we really need? How many brands of sanitary napkins? C'mon.

So I'm about to send one hundred pages littered with underlining to an editor because either my button's stuck or I'm still stuck in the pencil era. He'll probably decide I can't be represented if I can't operate my own equipment, if a simple button has me baffled. I can't say I blame him, but the ultimate insult would be for him to reject me by snail mail. Plain stationary. Cursive. All in pencil.

No comments:

Post a Comment