Sunday, October 25, 2015

Reasons not to use a computer (or a tweed jacket)

I can't picture myself fiddling with wires and transistors and geeky Popular Electronics hobby stuff like somebody who belonged to Ham Radio Club in high school. I became a writer to have a cape buffalo head on my wall, not a mouse on my plastic laminated Scooby-Do pad.

And how did those old-time writers get their tweed jackets to wear out only at the elbows so they could have cool leather patches? My tweed jackets wear out because I spill ketchup on them. Also tweed jackets ride up on the back of my neck when I’m writing and itch. Which brings me to the honest confession of why I don’t use a computer. Like the tweed jacket, I can’t get it to work.

I'm too tough and sensitive to have some pubescent twerp with his mom’s earring in his tongue, who combs his hair with Redi-Whip and has an Ani DiFranco tattoo on his shin, come show me how a computer works. What does the twerp know about Wordsworth and Two Gentlemen of Verona and shooting a cape buffalo?
-- P. J. O’Rourke, “Computers Invite a Tangled Web of Complications,” in Writers on Writing Vol. II: More Collected Essays from The New York Times (introduction by Jane Smiley) (New York: Times Books, 2003), p. 184.

No comments:

Post a Comment