Tuesday, July 5, 2011

For the Tinfoil Generation

My brother learned to cuss because of the invention of television. Not that people ON television cussed; they didn’t, because it was against the rules (standards of behavior that once upon a time were used to illustrate an ideal of human behavior.) It was people (moms and dads) who were WATCHING television who cussed, at the television, a lot.

My brother’s first complete sentence was, “Dodtamnson’ovenditch.” My brother was three. When the Sony (made in America) television started to roll or  “snow” my little brother knew to practice his cussing. Later, we knew to run for the tinfoil to wrap around the rabbit ears (an antennae system on top of the television resembling runaway coat hangers.)

If you had tinfoil you had power over your television. 

That’s how I grew up. Now when I wrap tinfoil around my computer cord I am mocked, ridiculed, and held in low esteem by my society. It makes me cuss.

For the tinfoil generation, I have compiled a list of discoveries I have made in the high definition/computer age.

1.     Tinfoil use will date you.

2.     Machines get to ask all the questions. When a computer, phone, or pad asks, “Do you want to proceed?” there will not be a “how bad will I regret this?” option.

3.     Machines don’t care how you are feeling.  Your chest pain and shortness of breath upon loosing two years worth of work on your great American novel will have no effect on your computer machine or your husband the computer analyst.

4.     User manuals for machine usage are written by geeks, for geeks, in geekage, under the influence of geek wranglers wearing their geekdom on their sleeve like tinfoil wrapped around rabbit ears.

5.     In the sixties, movies, books, short stories and Ray Bradbury predicted that the machines would take over the world and enslave mankind. We were warned.

6.      In 2011, the machines have won. I can prove it.

7.     The proof:  Just last Saturday, I watched small children wander aimlessly in diapers resembling venom sacks, while their parents stared helplessly into tiny machine screens playing “Angry Birds” or “Solitaire.” The children were chewing on rocks.

8.     I refuse to learn to text message until I evolve retractable spins on my fingertips so that I can tap on those tee tiny keys without pain or typo embarrassment.

9.     Tinfoil is still an amazing human invention, second only to duct tape, oh and the machines, of course.

There’s no conclusion. I don’t know what it all means. Or where we go from here. I only know where we were before, fiddling with rabbit ears, trying to get the screen to quit rolling, so we could watch popcorn make the tinfoil poof up like metal balloon or a Jiffy Pop pimple. Here’s to the Jiffy Pop generation.  What next?

Linda (Text-less) Zern

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