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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Typing Pool 

Image hosted by Photobucket.comDespite the myriad classes the library offers, many patrons refuse to use computer word processing. Because one of the library’s missions is to help these people left behind by technology’s inexorable advance, the library offers typewriters for these public to use. Because repair and service contracts are increasingly hard to come by, however, the number of typewriters in this system has lately dwindled down to one. I’m afraid soon our last typewriter will become out of commission and these people will be forced to adapt. In the meantime, this typewriter is in great demand, and there is always a line of restive patrons waiting to use it.

I thought that these patrons preferred the typewriter because they didn’t know how to use word processing, but the security guards informed me that many patrons refuse to use computers because they're fearful government or some other sort of agency or organization will monitor them through the computers.

One woman complained to the guards that every time she went to use the typewriter she would fall asleep. She blamed this on her enemies, many of whom happened to be competing for the typewriter in line with her, rather than on the hot, rather airless glassed in office where the typewriter resides. Another woman claimed that she and Vice President Dick Cheney collaborated on an invention together and it’s an issue of national security that she contact him. Every day, as soon as the library doors open she races to get in line for the typewriter so she can write Dick Cheney long letters.

Because there are so many paranoid people in line eager to pound out their manifestos, complaint forms to government agencies, etc., the situation can become volatile. Because of the high levels of paranoia, many in line consider eye contact a prying act of aggression, and fist fights and shoving matches erupt occasionally. I've also found that conspiracy case nuts are the least tolerant and most dismissive of conspiracy theories that differ from their own. In any case, the desk near the line for the typewriter is the best seat in the house for paranoid watching and conspiracy theory eavesdropping.

Comments:
What a remarkable post! As someone who has recently "hit upon" the peculiar nostalgia/difference that typewriters engage, I came across your post quite by accident, a search of Google Images by "typing pool". I'm engaged in a project that involves the use of this "analog" technology, called Sloganeer. Anyways, your insights and experience with your typewriters are remarkable. Thank you!

- Rob Labossiere
http://www.robertlabossiere.com/
http://www.sloganeer.org/
http://www.klooj.net/never/
http://www.klooj.net/hmv/
 
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