The web is my Underwood typewriter
December 31, 2003
[Hint: This isn't funny unless you read it in an Andy Rooney voice.]
Did you ever notice how some people just like to complain on the Internet? I hear a lot of talk about weblogs and how blogs are the new journalism and how blogs are going to change the world, and frankly, I just don't buy it. I mean, there was a time when first-person reporting could really change the way that people saw the news, like back when the Stars and Stripes was a soldier's only way of keeping in touch with the home front during the second World War. Today, you just get an email from your loved one at home. I don't know how you tuck an electronic message under your pillow at night when you're on the front lines, but I'm sure Bill Gates is working on it. Meanwhile, all the thousands of bloggers go on, just talking to nobody.
That's not the only thing that makes me uncomfortable about weblogs. So many of them just seem to talk about gadgets. There's your Gizmodo and your Boing Boing and who knows what else, all with these crazy names. I went out and gathered a bunch of these gadgets together to see what all the fuss is about. I have them here on my desk.
There's a USB mug warmer. I don't know who the person is that has a USB port but doesn't have a kitchen, but I suppose some homeless hacker has to appreciate that. I bet Mike Wallace could have used that to warm his coffee while he was talking to Michael Jackson. Anything you could do to keep from getting the chills while talking to that ghoul would help.
Or I could get a camera cell phone. It seems like they want to combine everything into one device these days. I keep waiting for them to combine the telephone with a device that actually lets you maintain a personal relationship with someone. I think if kids today had that kind of connection instead of an internet connection, they wouldn't be off killing themselves like Kurt Cobain. But anyway, now my phone can take a picture. I don't think my life is so important that I have to take a picture all the time.
And finally, there's the texting keyboard for your computer. It plugs in and lets you type phone-style on your computer, which already came with a perfectly good full-size keyboard to begin with. It's devices like this that make me miss the comfortable feel of a good old-fashioned Underwood typewriter.
They probably don't make a way to plug your phone into that.