If you see a “web page not available” on this video, which is the best critique of tech gadgets that don’t work I have ever seen, please refresh the page.
With so much horror going on in the news, I thought of writing about several issues with titles like Do You Live Near A Superfund Site (we do), or Police Brutality Is The New Norm, or The Endless Nonsense Of Lucrative Bullying And Violence. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, so I tried instead to look a little at the lighter side of bad in everyday life.
Thanks to a good friend’s help (he is a member of this community), rather than blow my brains out over a nonworking AT&T cell phone that turned out to be about as useless as a screen door on a submarine with an equally bogus insurance plan, I can now talk on the phone again. Not that anyone ever calls. But still. My very elderly father’s condition is grave, so at least I have a way to contact family, and they can contact me in case of an emergency. When you’ve been to prison, BTW, nobody calls much anymore, which is not such a bad thing, given my self-diagnosed (and legitimate) litany of mental issues including paranoia, phobias, procrastination, fear, and feelings of total uselessness.
Yesterday I phoned my mother, to check on my dad’s condition, and then, to talk about cockroaches. I had a can of gasoline and a package of matches and was going to, I patiently explained in a detached, almost Annie Wilkes way, where she says, “My little ceramic penguin in the study always faces due South. Now it faces North. You’ve been out.”… burn the place to the ground, to get rid of Satan’s masterpiece creations: cockroaches.
“I can’t handle it anymore,” I say.
My mother, who is from Missouri, spent many years in the South and has the drawl to prove it, explained that fire would not help a cockroach problem. She added, “Honey, people in the South just learn to live with them.” To me, learning to live with these things is roughly as offensive as climbing onto a conference table during a business meeting, and nonchalantly peeing.
My mother told me a story of her next-door neighbors in New Orleans, the ones who loudly fought all the time, who once asked her to babysit, at Easter. The Easter candy was uncovered, or, well, covered, rather…black, that is, with cockroaches, you could hear them walking around the house, my mother explained. “When the people got home, they just brushed the cockroaches off and ate the candy.” The horror, the horror.
We live in an area that self-describes itself as “South.” And since we have cockroaches but not many slugs, or at least real slugs like those gigantic things I grew up with in Oregon, and since a few folks fly Confederate flags and drive lowered vehicles with hubcaps that look like pie pans from Walmart, I’ll go ahead and agree with South. Plus, at least one family member informs me that I now have a drawl, and I am starting to enjoy my own stereotypical characteristics of the area, such as story telling, among other things.
But back to the subject of Hell. ‘A place of damnation, and a world without hope without end,’ I think Mark said that, maybe a theologian can please set me straight, but anyway, Mark was talking about computers when he made this statement, I am pretty sure. BTW, Mark was anonymous, as were writers Mathew Luke and John, I just learned, listening to the fantastic lecture series titled From Jesus to Constantine. For anyone interested in history, I highly recommend this. From what I can gather, had Constantine not converted, our world would likely be very different today. I say that not in a bad or in a good way, but only for the information.
On the subject of Hell, which I am convinced exists right here on earth in my computer, confess with me here: has anyone else ever had a computer day from Hell? Mason and I have a name for these days. “Oh. Yeah. It’s computer day.”
Computer day is black screens and weird colors, shapes and dashes. Messages that say things like “crash dump data being collected.” Computer day is the video above and then some. I tried to screen capture the epic, biblical blue message of doom that I got, one of many, so that maybe a tech-savvy person could tell me what disease my computer has, how long it has to live, if there is any treatment, not for the computer, but for me, in dealing with the thing.
Then, I turned the thing over and found a button on the back.
Me: Look! There’s a button! I’m gonna push it..
Him: It’s just a soft boot button.
Me: What the actual fuck is a soft boot?
I also found a phone number. But, have you ever called one of those things? Where the electronic voice tells you there is a forty-five minute waiting period, if you have a working phone, that is, or else, and this is even better, way more helpful, in fact…go online to find the solution! How? How you gonna go online when the screen is either black or modern art?
I can’t find the screen capture I tried to save, so I looked at some descriptions of Hell and found this:
It is a place of sorrows. (Psa. 18:5)
And I decided that my computer day is not Hell at all.
Hell is not some other place. It is here and it is now, with torment, torture, apathy, violence, greed, lack of empathy or feeling, and bullying of all shapes and sizes.
We live in a place of sorrows. And that is a sad place to be.
Do we, or do we not, live in a place without hope or where hope has ended?