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Thursday, May 6, 2010

I've Yet to Find Purpose...

The server was down at work the other day; and since both our computers and our phones are intertwined in some black-magicked Information Technology-fashion (I don’t want to get too technical here) there was a substantial lull in my day.

It got me thinking…

When I first started working, right after the first World War – the War to End All Wars, we called it – the office was a markedly different place than it is today. Copies were made by the monks kept in the back room, communications were made by carrier pigeon (they’re extinct now, you know), and you were allowed to smoke at your desk. It’s true! You were also allowed to smoke in theaters, on airplanes, in bars and restaurants, in hospitals, in court – in other words, everywhere. I have pictures of aunts holding newborns with cigarettes dangling from their lips.

But I digress.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of progress. Big fan of portable music, of mobile phones, of movies you can buy and watch whenever you like. Why, you used to have to wait until Thanksgiving to see the Wizard of Oz! Now you can see it any time you like and as many times as you like.

But when that stuff stops working, that’s when you notice just how much you’ve relied on it – and how little you really know about how it works.

The TV’s not working – NOW what do I do? I pushed the button on the remote – hard – but it still doesn’t work. What should I do? Should I push the button again?

I dropped my cell phone in the toilet and lost every phone number I had. Collecting all those numbers again? That’ll take forever. Would it be wrong to just get all new friends?

The server’s down at work and there’s nothing I can do that doesn’t require my accessing something via computer – and that’s when I ask myself: why aren’t I doing something real, like throwing pots or breeding dogs?

My clothes come from stores, my meat comes on Styrofoam wrapped in plastic, and the information I, an end-user, need to be productive is housed mysteriously in a black box.

How did I let this get so out of control?

But what can I do? I’m a cog. A small, undistinguished cog in a large, distinguished machine.

My first thought: rebel. I must rebel.

I’ve got to fight the power. But how?

Going forward, I will continue to buy my clothes in stores; but I will do all my own alterations. I’ve stapled fallen hems before, and by God, I can do it again.

Going forward, I will continue to buy my meat from places where it comes in Styrofoam and wrapped in plastic, primarily because I live in the city and don’t know anyone who raises their own meat.

City rabbits and raccoons are harder to catch than you’d think…

Going forward, I will continue to go to my job, where I will continue to work, on a computer, as I always have, powerless when it stops working…

Working? Wait a minute. That’s it. I’m going at this all wrong! Back to the land! That’s what I need to do. Like my forefathers, I’ll eke out an existence by the sweat of my brow. I’ll sell the house, buy a couple hundred acres on a river, get some cows and some goats, do my own butchering, make my own butter, dip my own candles, raise a passel of kitties.

Subsistence farming, man. That’s where it’s at.

Yeah. No. Not gonna happen.

My rebelling sucks.

26 comments:

reasonably chubby said...

At least you tried. To rebel, I mean. You'll get better at it someday, but for now, eat your TV dinner zapped by the microwave and gorge yourself on The Real Housewives of Orange County. Bravo's going to be showing back to back episodes on Mother's Day. Enjoy!

Pearl said...

Reasonably Chubby, I may just lay on the floor with a box of Lindt chocolates and an episode or 10 of Celebrity Rehab. :-) Oooh. And I'm going to need a blender...

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Don't feel so bad. I won't ever time travel to places like Revolutionary France because of their poor toilet habits. That fact pretty much limits my time travelling a post flush toilet and bidet world. People were just too stinky back then. So please don't fill my head with ideas of losing all the things I count on to make my pitiful existence bearable. Servers go down? Yeh sure they do, in my NIGHTMARES! The satellite only goes down when the weather fairies are mad at me and I can appease them with a sacrifice of bucket chicken. I got things under control. Stop scaring the children.

Pearl said...

So you're saying, Cal, that by sacrificing a bucket of chicken I can keep things running smoothly, that it's the Weather Fairies?! Oh, you Krazy Kanadians! Everyone knows it's a conspiracy between NASA and the Academy Awards judges that wreaks havoc with my ability to reliably get cable.
As for not time-traveling to pretty much THE WHOLE WORLD pre-flushing toilets, you and I are in wild agreement on that one.

CLINK! Ahhhh.

savannah said...

i'm a consumer, sugar. i've learned to live with it. besides, someone has to support all the people who really do stuff. xoxoxoxo

Simply Suthern said...

Work stops when the puter's down. We have become high tech maintenace folk.

Carrier pigeon's are not really extinct. The local 423 BCP(Brotherhood OF Carrier Pigeons) walked and they were never hired back. Seems they refused to carry the digital clipboards like UPS(United Package Smashers) does. They tried Homing Pigeons but they kept carying the packages home and became hoarders. Series out soon on Animal planet.

Pat said...

I forget just how much I need electricity until the power goes out, which is about 3 - 4 times a year. We live in the boonies.

Re: a wet cell phone---I washed mine in my jeans pocket in the washing machine with Tide. I put it in a bowl of (uncooked) rice, completely surrounding it with rice, which acted as a dessicant, for about 5 days and everything was restored on it except for the battery, which was dead. Son #2 ordered a replacement battery online for under $15.

So, hey, there's my tip of the day.

Anonymous said...

Mornin'Pearl. Ah, memories. Had a great aunt, fabulous cook, but she always had a smoking butt hanging off her lip. A family legend. Could that be freshly ground pepper in those mashed taters? I.don't.think.so. Hey honey, pass me the bread basket.

Krëg said...

My uncle is a farmer, as was my grandfather and great-grandfather. I don't recommend it. Although the "homemade" beef is REEEEEEALLLLLLLLLYYYYY good.

The Retired One said...

Sure enough Pearl...
and don't even get me started about my hair..what if we didn't have curling irons!!!??? I'd be like Phyllis Diller. (and shut up you youngin's who don't know who in the hell she is)....but they don't know who Dr. Zorba is then either?!

Pearl said...

Savannah, I must resign myself to my consumin' ways...

Simply, you always crack me up. Am looking forward to the Homing Pigeons' series on their runaway hoarding tendencies...

Pat, that's a really good idea! Will pass that long!

Anonymous, 'morning! I had a boyfriend at one time who grew up thinking that the little black flakes in everything his mother made were a SPICE. And perhaps, somewhere, cigarette ash IS considered a spice!

Kreg, my grandparents were farmers, and before them as well. Hard life with excellent food.

Retired One, honey, I know who Phyllis Diller is and she was pretty dang funny but must admit that Dr. Zorba is not ringing a bell. Was that one of her bits?

Pearl said...

p.s. Please note that I am trying to respond more often. A friend pointed out that I don't very often, leading people to believe I am unfriendly. Personally, I thought it would lead people to believe that I was off somewhere, trying to work up daily humor, but I can see the point. I read all my comments every day, visit as many people as possible all while holding down a job, raising my octuplets and knitting a cozy for the planet.

Hey. Someone has to!

Lo said...

Luv ya', Pearl........keep on blogging.

Tail-Kinker said...

Whether you respond to comments or not, I enjoy your blog immensely. In the mornings, I am very eager to cook my oatmeal, grab my morning caffine and sit down in front of my computer and read your post.

My only complaint is when you haven't posted yet, and I have to eat my oatmeal while *gasp* actually working :)

And then I stalker-ishly check until your post appears.

furiousBall said...

why would you put pasties on kitties? oh wait... i misread that. but please don't open a kitten go-go bar.

Sweet Cheeks said...

You can't become a farmer, Pearl...because Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) refuses to wear overalls. All farmers wear overalls, its in the contract just above the agreement to wear plaid shirts. I'll bet Dolly G Squeakers (formerly of the Humane Society Squeakers) would love a big floppy sun hat though...one with an obnixiously large flower sticking out of the top. What a great life you'd have out in the sticks.

The Jules said...

I fancied getting myself a smallholding.

Then someone explained that it was a type of little farm and I lost interest.

Madame DeFarge said...

Getting back to nature is all very well, but a girl can't cope without her hair straighteners

Petsitgal said...

Hello Pearl,
I have read several of your posts and just didn't have a minute to write a response until now and I must tell you that you are an incredibly witty writer and I love the way you think...if only I could be just like you one day!
I do agree about the communication issues now that electronic gadgets have changed so much lately. It's maddening to rely on the computer, the tv, the cell phone, etc, and I look down on others (sort of) who spend a lot of time staring at all 3 of those objects and I swear I won't be one of THOSE PEOPLE who has to have a cell phone in my hand but yet I have to have the darn phone or else I won't get pet sitting clients and I won't be able to update them about their animal's day and I won't be able to blog without the computer. But at least I don't sit in front of the tv very much...I get irritated with my fiance for sitting in front of the tv on his downtime but I sit in the computer room during my downtime...I don't know how to stop being so modernized and I sometimes wish I could go away from it all for a few days but I sure would bring my cell phone with me....can't live without that....hee...hee....April

Lizzy and Elle said...

Hey there is always Farmville...I think that is the place online where people raise animals and crops...and neglect their kids and animals that actually live in their homes...and need to eat.

My kids...will make the 'real' cat wait for its food because the one online needs to eat or it disappears and they lose points.

Why doesn't allowance (like real money) count as something to lose if you don't feed the poor damn cat that won't stop meowing...

sorry...set off a nerve

Have a great day from Lizzy @sexnfries

Cbellabell said...

Hallelujah. I've had to make an effort to gradually cut the amount of my day I sit in front of some kind of screen. I'd love to take a whole day in some sort of technology rehab where they don't have tv, computers, or ipods. But the next day, I want all my gadgets back. I mean, there's a limit.

Jocelyn said...

And as soon as you starting hoeing on your Back 40 (ya big 'ho), you're about a pitchfork away from raising cows whose meat you won't need to put on styrofoam--cuz how dumb would that be?

宛蓉 said...

TAHNKS FOR YOUR SHARING~~~VERY NICE ........................................

ellen abbott said...

Server's down at work? Can't work at work? Sounds like a good time for a nap to me.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I've always been of the opinion that rebelling is too d&^n much hard work!

Anita said...

Well, I sold the city house and moved to the country. It's not all that bad, really. We raise our own goats and have a garden. We have neighbors that we like and that give us a hand when something breaks down. We can borrow, don't need the phone if we want to talk to them, wave at everybody we see, and say "ya'll" all the time. We have country dogs covered with horse poop and pine needles. We've got all the eggs we'll ever need. I make soap and now actually sell it to city folks. It's not easy, and I spend a lot of time in front of the computer getting the word out about what we do, but it's ours, we get to see the results, and it's fun.
It's OKAY to rebel against the system..get out of that cog!