Sunday, July 11, 2010
It seems though, I cannot avoid the onslaught of messages designed to inflame the inner whacko who lurks just below my public surface. No matter what I do or where I am, "they" find me and another needle is stuck in.
Because it has been so damn hot this past week, staying hydrated has taken center stage. I can ill afford the frothing foam it would take to tear off a decent rant of the theocratical or political kind. So instead, today I will choose a less controversial bone to pick, but one that has stuck in my craw from the first day I saw or used one.
I saw my first remote, oh, at some point in my early teens. One of my more well to do buds dragged a few of us over to his house to see the new "Color TV" his dad had paid seriously too much money for. The color images were shaky but the screen was way big. Must have been at least 20" across. What really caught my attention was the gizmo that sat on the coffee table. About the size of a paper back book, it shined with a golden hue. I picked it up.
Not one of my buds heard me. They were too busy oohing and aahing over the faint colors that faded in and out as the signal fluctuated. The better off dad had not figured out he would need a seriously just shy of an inner galactic antenna array on the roof to draw in a decent chunk of TV rays.
Oh shit. What did I do?
All my friends turned to face me.
My better off friend said, "Mike what the Hell did you do?"
Standing there in a growing panic I collected my wits by looking down at the hefty metallic box in my hand and finally said, "Uh nothing. Just pushed this button. What the Hell is it?"
The better off friend's eyes grew large when he saw what I had in my hand. "My dad is going to kill me. That is the remote control. He said to never touch it. I'm in it deep now."
"Remote control?" All of us were now totally awestruck over this new gee whiz example of American ingenuity. Suddenly I felt unworthy hold even a small part of it. I gingerly set the golden remote back on the coffee table.
As it turned out, the remote did break. Or something broke and it just happened to coincide with my ill fated clicking of the remote. It cost my father some money. My allowance dropped from the princely sum of $2.50/week to the less princely sum of $1.50/week for the next year. I did not whine or complain either. By that time of my life on the planet, I had learned well the lesson of personal responsibility even when it was accidental or not even my fault. Learn to suck it up and move on. And besides, Mom was always there to sneak me some extra cash when the situation warranted it. A day at the local theater, or heading over to the first mall in Maryland to gawk at all that James Bond architecture.
Ever since that day I have not trusted any control that is not firmly implanted in the device it is intended to control. I learned that day a higher price does not necessarily mean better quality. Sometimes you pay big dollars just to be the first one to have the latest technological breakthrough on the block and stay ahead of all the other Jones' in the neighborhood. I learned that day that the "Popular Science" and "Popular Mechanics" mags that sat so prominently near the toilet in their own little mag stand did not tell the truth and nothing but the truth. New technology should never be trusted until it has passed from "new" to boring. If it's boring, it probably has become dependable.
I could have lived my life just fine without the remote in my life. Unfortunately I have no choice. They seem to be a obligatory gadget that comes with almost anything that plugs into the wall. There are remotes for everything. Lights, TVs, stereos, fans, and even ones for car stereos. That one really puzzles me. But I guess if you are steering the car from the back seat, having a remote handy might be a good idea.
I could live with remotes better if the manufacturers included a duplicate set of buttons on the object being remotely controlled. Unfortunate though, it seems that many of the electronic wonders coming out of Best Buy and Radio Shack will not work to their fullest potential without the remote. It would appear the conspiracy of the overlords to turn us into meat puppets includes the notion that to bend us to their will, they need to keep us on the couch whenever possible.
How to do that? Well, give us a small box with more buttons than are really needed and then put no buttons on the TV. That way they ensure maximum couch time and can be assured their subliminal messages of domination are being received in the perfect controlled environment.
I can just imagine that somewhere out there in the galactic pucker, some low level overlord bureaucrat sits bored on his own couch. Attempting to liven up his otherwise dreary existence running the Universe for his overlords, he pushes a button on his own remote and suddenly mine disappears or the batteries go dead. And he chuckles.
Anyway, that's the way it is here on Sam Page Road today...........................