Sunday, March 15, 2009
Years ago P.C. stood for, 'politically correct' but now it also means something else. I started my affair with my pc in 1999 when I moved to Europe. It became my link home; writing e-mails a cheaper way of connecting over the miles. And, it became my writing partner. I cannot write longhand anymore (not sure that is a good thing). Now, when my laptop slows down or burps, stumbles, swallows text or flickers, I feel panicky and find myself irritated and impatient at its audacity to make me wait a few more minutes to open a window, do a virus check or download a photo. Ten years ago I went to the library to do research, stopped and started a cassette tape over and over again in order to write down the lyrics to a song I was covering, picked up the phone to call a friend, waited for my photos to be printed at Wallgreens and only saw people in the flesh (as opposed to a on web cam). Now I have to STOP and think when I get mad at my pc. How spoiled I am. How. Spoiled. I. Am. Editing my boyfriend's university papers on our first little Mac, I always liked the smiling icon that appeared when you switched it on. But I was afraid of breaking it or not understanding it. There was no internet and it was too big and bulky to carry around. When I go to the States this summer I will take my pc with me like I always do. Write, connect, watch DVDs and continue to indulge my spoiled self. Is it pc to love a pc? I have no idea. What would Kant or Emerson have said about the pc? Would they have used one? Would they have been more prolific? Would Mozart have used music composition software if he could have? Would there have been a pc on stage in an Ibsen or Chekov play? (The setting of A Doll's House might have looked differently...a laptop sitting at the dining room table with Nora and her husband, WIFI and all... or Professor Serebryakov sending an e-mail to Uncle Vanya, Sonya, and Yelena asking them to come meet him in Act III?) The pc is a marvel. An instrument that connects and divides. If Mr. Rogers had addressed computers in his neighbourhood - Can you say, 'does not compute'? - he might have urged his viewers to explore technology only after going outside to explore their city block first... looking to balance youngsters' temptation of a cyber world with the more tactile and glorious one they actually inhabit. In any case, the computer changed my life and the laptop made it more convenient. And, here I sit on this blog.... gotta go-Got a gig. I've got an important appointment with Martin on the Walls for a stroll. Happy pc, everybody.