Towards Better Democracy

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Mayhem in Paradise


The World Wide Web was once a pleasurable and quiet place.  Earthlink was my email provider. HTML was stable from the beginning. And still is. No corporate presence to speak of. No Google. Computers were still clunky and felt like Model T Fords, complete with handle starter at the front where the radiator is. Computer programmes were written by scientists, NASA and the like. And DARPA was still feted.

MS were on 3.1 still, as now, the Dirty Operating System, (bought for the price of a pack of cigarettes from International Business Machines, still making things the size of a small house) to the fore, like an old prostitute with no clothes on. Windows belonged strictly to the Macintosh (GUI) which was expensive then as now. With the difference that few people used them. Many of the softwares, now gobbled up by latter day tarantulas, were innovative and way ahead of the those companies that subsequently swallowed them whole like whales gathering plankton.

At that point, the Internet, invented by a Brit, was essentially the province of what we now call Geeks. They ruled and were then the plumbers of this new universe.

What is now laughably known as social media was in the far distance; not even a glimmer in people’s head. If you had told us then that politicians would be tweeting to each other like children exchanging lollypops – “taste mine, taste mine, taste mine” – we would have thought you mad. (Can you imagine Nixon tweeting? And I still think tweet is a stupid name, “I t’ought I saw a puddy cat. I did, I did.I saw a puddy cat.”

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was simply one of the Bells. Banks were local, or, at least, only statewide. Truckers were polite as they still are. And drivers were alert and could drive at speed. (Smell the Dragsters – mnmnmn.)

It was ten years before we had walked on the moon and this country was undisputed Lord of the Earth.

Today – I mean on this date you see below – today, was one awful experience. Oath invaded. Stupid name. In my home country, oath is a synonym for swearing. And I mean the deep brown dodo kind of swearing. The default Browser, one of the pillar of rectitude, appeared with yet one more protuberance, like a carbuncle on a crooked nose. The data act in Europe means that the inbox in being flooded with companies I haven’t done business with for decades now flooding in like a large dark tidal wave with some whitewash mea culpa: “We will pave your path all the way to Heaven with our sanctity.” And the Data Minister in the UK tells them, in their hundreds and hundreds and thousands, “You don’t need to do anything,” and warns that they are opening the way to spam. The companies, of course, seek to cover their proverbial, which, oftentimes, they have trouble keeping covered, viz Volkswagen among many of the Unguilty.

In between this wonderful and joyful experience in the new white hot technological universe on which the sun never sets, I have been on the phone, to exchange pleasantries which recorded voices pretending to be polite people and who understand nothing other than a deep, deep Hokey accent. And who offer a menu which offers three choices: Take It or Leave It, or Stick Up your A…   And hang up when they get fed up with you because you speak perfect English but come from somewhere North of the North Pole.

What has been given above is only a sample of the ragweed I encountered on the frothy sea of this virtual world. Bit ironic that. Virtual has another meaning in English but I don’t think they mean that.

So how to conclude this Drama Queen piece? Well, if you watched the WEDDING, you now feel all gooey inside and radiate a halo. Well, at least my wife does. She comes from from a country which is staunchly a Republic and who is fiercely Anti-monarchical. She watched every single programme across every single channel she has access to and, I am sure, to some that don’t exist. Anything possible in a Virtual World.

Good job she lives in a Republic which might easily have been a constituent part of the United States of Great Britain and the North Americas (GBNA). The wedding then might have taken place in what is sometimes called the President’s Palace (You know it as The Whitewash House), in Washington. Can you imagine the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue instead of Whitehall. All those plumes and Beefeaters.

Of course, no Stars and Stripes. And you’d all being saying, “Blimey!”

And one of this is real. I made it all up. Lollypop anyone.

Malcolm D B Munro
Posted on this day, Thursday, the Twentforth of  May, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Eighteen

 

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Filed under: Arts, Media, Music, songs, stories

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