When I was a kid I liked a comic book about a muscular guy in the year 4000 who wore a, well, “tunic”. Kind of homoerotic, but my sexuality was ambiguous when I was eight. Magnus, Robot Fighter was an orphan raised by a kindly sort of Zen robot to be able to break steel with his bare hands. He needed to do this because humanity was being taken over by evil robots run by a mega-corporation, and people needed a champion. Magnus would Karate-chop the robots in the neck and they would go “SQUEEEE!”, indicating they would no longer operate and trouble us. Pretty macho stuff, huh? I needed to click into some of that man vs. tech energy in order to face cleaning out some of the awful abandoned technological garbage waiting for me in THE VORTEX.
As soon as I had opened the door, I knew I had been ambushed. The cables coiled, hissing like snakes. Mice, power cords, obsolete peripherals and manuals for items long discarded lunged at me.
I couldn’t breathe. I grew dizzy. I looked around in desperation to the only organized area, the transfer station I’ve begun setting up to digitize boxes of less-favored records. That calmed me down enough to catch my breath and bolt back out of the room.
Once upon a time you could just plug in a TV, adjust the antenna and get a program like magic through the air. Those days are gone. It took me a month to hook up the TV monitor, the DVD/CD player, the DSL router, and the satellite box to the A/V receiver for the 5.1 speaker system. First I had to read the dictionary-sized manual that came with the equipment. When that failed, I borrowed a teenager. Between the two of us, we figured it out and did the calibration. I still haven’t hooked in the VHS, or the phonograph. Maybe I won’t. I may give up and move away from those formats. I haven’t even begun considering what to do with the cassette player, the DAT machine (digital stereo tape cassettes), and DA-88 (digital 8-track recordings).
I don’t have enough free time to enjoy all the movies and show episodes I record to the dual-tuner PVR as it is. Between what we have in iTunes on the computers and the digital music channels on satellite, I can already access more music than I will ever be able to absorb or appreciate. The time would be better spent singing and playing guitar.
It’s so beautiful outside in spring. I’m glad I stopped to look, think and write. It isn’t so simple to simplify when you have been as immersed in tech as I have. It will take time. I will take the time.