In an incredible display of ‘just my sodding luck’, after posting about how I will definitely, certainly, absolutely, no doubt be posting more often my laptop packs its bags, pops its hat on and clears off, finally breaking like it’s been threatening to do for months. It started by rationing out my time. It allowed me around 45 minutes before completely crashing and forcing me to restart it the hard way. Having gathered the balls to screw with me in such an audacious way, it followed up by refusing to load Windows leaving me open-mouthed and dumbstruck, sitting in front of it scratching my head like you’d imagine a caveman would when transported into the modern world. Never mind the computer, I felt like I was having my own personal Blue Screen of Death moment. It’s not as if I didn’t see this coming, I just presumed I could coax it into stumbling over the finish line every time I asked it to do something. And at this point I was asking, this ridiculous machine currently propped up on my thighs was definitely not working for me any more, the dynamic had been turned on its head. I was now offering myself up humbly to it in the hope it would deem me worthy of viewing that word document I wanted it to open. Something drastic had happened and I hadn’t even noticed. An example of how life itself is changing. It’s no new sentiment to talk about how we now work for machines rather than the other way round but if the thought doesn’t hit you at some point between your ascribed ‘staring at black rectangles’ periods your mind has already been rotted away by iPhone applications and Google’s direct advertising techniques. There’s only one way to stop the grey mush from dribbling out your ears and over your poxy white earphones. Back to The Cave!
We’re going to relinquish all technology. We’re going to have a mass bonfire and throw away all our computers, phones and music players that never work properly anyway and only make us angry. We’re going to live in caves like we used to and scrawl our own mess on the walls for fun! Sounds great right? Come on, let’s go, the way Plato described it we sound much happier in The Cave. How much has technology really helped us understand the wider machinations of our world? Back then we were happy to have the vague shadows playing on the walls and not understand what they were. That sounds like bliss to me here at half 9 in the evening trying to get a webcam to stop making an awful buzzing sound all the time. These are the sorts of modern problems that cause unfathomable amounts of frustration and waste colossal amounts of time. And they’re all so needless.
I’m telling you, The Cave is the only reasonable answer. Battery on your phone died in the middle of an argument with your significant other about who is going to buy new batteries for the TV remote? Back to The Cave! Some weird Czech video streaming site gave your computer a virus while you were hunting down the last episode of the Jersey Shore before anyone else had seen it? The Cave! Did that new application that makes an image of Steve Jobs’ arsehole appear on your iPhone screen so you can feverishly and devotedly press your tongue against it lock up and cause you to lose all the e-mails you sent back and forth with the guy who sits next to you at your desk in that depressing white block in London you work in? Well give me a C… Give me an A…
Putting disgusting inflammatory comments to one side (nah not really, they’ll be back) I am deadly serious about not wanting to need all this technological guff I have not only collected but have come to rely on. Right now I’m tapping this into my laptop while plugged into my mp3 player and even that is too much for me. Right now I count 4 little glowing screens in my reach. There are six piles of cables on this bed alone. Every now and then I have to stop and consider how ridiculous my life is. I don’t want any of it any more. I am totally reliant on things I don’t understand and can never get to work properly. Take them away, burn them and leave me in The Cave, naked and drooling and stupid and happy and free!
Let’s face it, technology is rubbish. Admit it, it’s true. Technology has brought us little but misery and pain. So much so I can barely bring myself to post the drivel in my mind on a website that thousands of people can see instantly as soon as they like and then post a link on Facebook. It’s crap and it never works and I hate it and I can’t seem to live without it. The only way to break the cycle is to go cold turkey. Cold digital turkey.
My laptop finally kicking the bucket (it’s better now obviously… but for how long?!) was not the original jumping off point for this rambling nonsense. The original idea hit me sitting in one of those fancy top floor cocktail lounges. The kind of place where you think nothing of ordering HK$90 drinks that don’t even taste like they’ve heard of the concept of alcohol. A colleague of mine pointed over to the corner to an awkward looking date and said ‘he’s losing her, time to bring out the big guns’. The big guns here, the play-of-the-day if you will was to unsheath his brand new iPad. Amazingly this seemed to engage his unlucky lady friend in a marginally more noticeable fashion than his conversation did. I say amazingly because to me the only reasonable reaction would have been ‘so it’s basically a shit laptop?’ I don’t get them and it’s not just that I don’t see the need or the space for yet another black rectangle of a different size in this world, it’s that I don’t see their worth. It’s either a massive iPhone or a small computer and twice as useless as either of those things. Imagine experiencing a video phone call on those things, two people glaring down at each other all chins and downturned mouths and ‘can you hear me’s. No thanks. I just couldn’t understand how this impromptu show and tell was an accepted topic of conversation on a date or why she was actually impressed with this balding, preening idiot’s new shiny baby. I am totally at odds with this world and I do not want to be a part of it if this is what’s going on and if everyone is okay with it. But the last straw, the part of this sad tableau that sent me over the edge was the little protective, fitted bag thing he slipped his iPad out of. Lovingly undressing it from a, no doubt, easy to wipe down protective sheath most likely bought from one of those glowing, black beacons of smugness known as Apple stores wherein thirty-something media professionals queue up to get their ten minutes rubbing their balls on the new mp3 player or whatever goes on in there. These men (nearly always men) simply live on a different planet to me and I can see no way to reconcile myself with it.
As I am in the minority I must remove myself from the situation and ask you to join me if you so wish. It’s going to be so fun in The Cave. We can sway back and forth, gurn, make noises while we dribble, create imaginary friends from the depths of our subconsciousness and never have to worry about a file downloading incorrectly ever again. Paradise right? Wait, where are you going?