Stuff an old man will never understand (does he need to or want to?)

"The gods are just and of our pleasant DE-vices make instruments to plague us."

“The gods are just and of our pleasant DE-vices make instruments to plague us.”

For a couple of days, my iPad would not open one of those ridiculous keypads at the bottom of the screen (keypad? annoyance!) when I opened “Safari” (why ‘Safari’?) to Google something. I was stuck. One search I wanted to do was to find out what movie was being filmed at the other end of The Main Street Garden using the Old City Hall as the set. They kept faking an explosion audible for blocks around inside the old building, and then a crowd of extras would rush in, not out, the front door. Take after take.

The infernal iPad would not give me a place to type in a search for city permits (type? how many hours did I spend 50 years ago learning not to poke at a QWERTY keyboard with one finger?). They had a street blocked, so obviously they had a permit.

For some reason I remembered the little black keyboard I bought to make it possible for me to write even minimally (note: 4-syllable adverb) on the iPad. When the iPad is resting on that thing, it won’t open a keyboard on the iPad itself. So I found the keyboard—15 feet away on the kitchen counter—and turned it off. Voilà! The iPad opened a keyboard. How was I to know the two gizmos were talking to each other even half a room apart?

That seems spooky. Unnecessary. Inconvenient. Absurd. And ultimately (4-syllable adverb) incomprehensible.

The movie, by the way is a Zombie movie. We took a walk across the park and got there just in time to see a bunch of guys dressed unmistakably (5-syllable adverb) as Zombies come out of the building. I’ll never see the movie, of course. I’m 68. Why would I see a Zombie movie. Except the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956, which I will use in class.

I have a cute little 2012 Honda Civic I bought on December 31(paid cash for—some things I do understand, such as how you pay double for a car when you finance it—and, more importantly—how impossible car payments would be when I’m forced into retirement next year).

I do not remember a car my father owned, my late ex-wife owned, my partner the organ-builder owned, or anyone else’s car I ever used

Information the way God intended it should be shared.

Information the way God intended it should be shared.

on a regular basis (including mine) that did not have a “dome light” that turned itself on when you opened the door. So they’ve been standard equipment on cars for at least 60 years (I don’t remember if the ’47 Ford my dad owned before the ’52 Plymouth had one or not). Here, suddenly, I pay cash (lots of cash) for a 2012 car that does not have one. Oh, the light is there, and I can turn it on manually, but it doesn’t go on automatically.

This has been a particular pain in the ass (literally) as I have struggled to get in and out of my car with a cane and/or crutches for the past six months. I’m sure one of the little buttons on the steering wheel controls the automatic illumination, but I can’t figure it out.

Why have they turned a simple thing like having a “convenience light” come on when you open a car door into an electronic puzzle? Do I sound like my dad did when he was 68? Well, of course.

Fortunately when the *^+#-ing car turned on its dashboard warning light that told me I needed to check the air pressure in the tires (yes, it came on automatically!!!!), I found the express service center for the closest Honda dealer. Here’s something straight out of “Bizarro World”: the Honda dealership and its express service center are separated by the Aston Martin dealership. Honda→Aston Martin→Honda. I kid you not. So I’m going to go over there today and ask them how in blazes you get that stupid little light to come on. Of course, that’s going to happen right after my 9:30 AM physical therapy appointment when Grady is going to tell me I can finally quit using the damned crutches so the “convenience light” won’t be so important.

Then there’s Netflix, Spotify, iTunes, and “The Cloud.” I won’t even begin with my confusion about all of that. I won’t begin because I don’t understand any of them well enough to know what my confusion is. Voodoo. That’s what they are. All of them.

My dad was baffled by the remote control for his TV. Well, actually that’s not a good example for anything. I am, too. Why can’t I get a remote that simply turns the TV on and off, changes the channels and the volume, and starts/stops a CD video I want to watch. What are all of those buttons for?

Well, Dad should have stayed around for “Orange is the New Black” and tried to watch it on his computer. But then, I don’t suppose the infernal electronics would have bothered him nearly as much as the Lesbian sex, had he been able to play it.

So you can have your gizmos. I’ll stick to Frescobaldi, music of the 16th century played on an instrument that has one electronic component—the blower.

About Harold Knight
Retired English prof, SMU. Old man. Musician. Passionate about justice, equality, freedom. Therefore, I am a fervent supporter of and advocate for the Palestinian People as they struggle to survive genocide. That also means, of course, I have no use for US 45.

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