Friday, September 25, 2009


Wait a second, hold on -- nobody makes that screw? No plastic substitute?

Oh dear! Nothing 33 inches wide? Only 36 or 32? Golly -- I don't need six sockets? Can't I get two?

Sure, sure -- new stuff is better, faster, more efficient, less energy-consuming. Naturally it costs more, along with higher taxes, higher delivery costs, and sky-high prices for professional installation!

Ahh yes! It's the very latest, newest, electronic, wireless technology!

And it's not just hardware, software, home, office, life-improvement appliances, and fix-it stuff. Just about everything has been wonderfully re-conceived, remodeled, modernized, and standardized.

(STANDARD, just like your neighbor, is what everyone desires, right? And needs, with a warranty policy for a not exorbitantly large additional fee.)

Did you buy the latest phone? One of the new lighter, smaller, super-durable laptops? If you didn't... well ... the model you bought last year can be updated, but ... well ... updating costs about the same as investing in the new version with its Wi-Fi-APC, DTV-DVR-TVO, VR capabilities.


You don't want all that stuff? . You have no use for it? You think it's dumb? You think people look crazy when they're walking on the street talking out loud to unseen companions?

(I'll bet a hundred years ago, your mother's mother your father's father felt the same way and muttered what's that for? And wondered why in the world would anyone want something like that? )

Well, quietly, secretly I find myself thinking -- if I don't get it or do it and stay in tune with the times ... gee, one of these days I'm going to feel like I don't belong here, and then what?

Desuetude? (Ah, I love the mellifluous, echoing, sort of boxed-in sound of d-e-s-u-e-t-u-d- e --the sense it gives, of being FINISHED, in a formal state of DISUSE.)

"Dammit, not I!" says Em.

Complaining, warring with obsolescence is better. Stick to your guns! If you don't have a cell phone, don't get one! If you can't use a computer, you can't go online -- thank your lucky stars!

I'm beginning to think "Dot com" belongs in one of those black holes out there somewhere, in the space beyond space.

1 comment:

Carola in Pendleton, Oregon said...

My pet peeve is that I can't assume that MY favorite gadgets won't go obsolete. I can't buy auto-reverse portable tape players anymore, which (since they eventually break), means that I won't be able to play my talking books on cassette (and they won't convert the older books to CD or MP3). Or I can't buy radios and stereo equipment like my old and favorite stuff. Now they're saying that even the IPOD will go obsolete, and you'll have to buy an IPHONE or something - much less efficient for talking books. Aaargh!!