Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Modern Life is Rubbish

Me, in the cold.
It's time for a new post! This is quite a quick one, but it was something that got me thinking about the mayhem of the modern world.  Earlier today I was trying to write on a PowerPoint slide (I'm such a cool teacher) the concept of a 5x5 table.  I was, as always, in a rush.  Outside, the freezing fog pressed itself up to the windows of my comfy classroom, presenting a bleak grey outlook.  I stared at the keyboard in growing annoyance.  Where on earth was the symbol for multiplication?  My eyes ranged over the arcane scratches on the right hand side keys of the keyboard, and even briefly alighted on the never-before-noted button that makes this happen: ¬ .  In despair, I studied the numerical keys and their multicoloured offerings.  It took me minutes - literally - to remember that it's just an x - one of many examples of a symbol collection we like to call the alphabet.

Obviously this implies that I am quite a stupid man, and to a point this would be a fair assessment.  However, I believe it to be indicative of something bigger than this: the overwhelming nature of modern life.  The reason I couldn't find the x key is that I expected it to be somewhere funky - somewhere where it could fulfill its role as simply a multiplication mark.  I hadn't considered it to be a moonlighting letter.  So totally immersed are we in instant, specific, wonderful gratification (I'm thinking chocolate hob nobs and Google Chrome here, as examples) that we (well, I) end up unable to see the woods for the trees.

There's too much going on, and too much that I can simply demand, like a deranged Pharoah of decadence, to be delivered to me right now.  A website I over-use considerably is Just-Eat, which acts as a kind of friendly meta-takeaway, enabling you to peruse a billion of those fast food menus in digital form (saves opening the top drawer, I suppose) and then order a takeaway, using a credit card.  Yes, gone are the days where an illicit kebab was only achievable if you were lucky enough to have some cash on your person.  Now you can run well into your overdraft with Egg Fried Rice and Shish Lamb Special.  And all from the sorry comfort of your living room.  What hope does poor old 'x' have in this climate?

Perhaps I need to return to simplicity.  Buy digestives, find an old typewriter and go back to Internet Explorer.  Perhaps.

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