Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Machine Creates the Need?

I went to the movie theater to watch a movie with my dad today. He originally wanted to watch part I of Che (and he's seen the full version twice already), but I convinced him to watch Slumdog Millionaire for his second time, my first. We got to the movie theater a little late, but as I entered the theater where it was screening, I came to a very dark room with the screen was completely blank, not even on active black (when there's a projected black image). After alerting the theater people about it, the trailers ran again, only to have another blank screen. As it turns out, the theater switched to digital hard drives that held the movies, and the hard drive was down at the time. They eventually decided that they couldn't fix it in time, so they gave us free passes and our choice to hop to another movie playing at that moment.

But the hard drive crashing made me think of the great Italian film, Cinema Paradiso and the days of movies on multiple reels. One of my favorite scenes of the movie was when two towns shared a movie and switched reels mid-movie, so one town saw part two before seeing part one. I thought I was lucky to have the luxury of seeing my movies in sequential order whenever I went to the cinema.

In this instance, being able to see a movie wouldn't be so simple. I don't think that this theater could or would be willing to go to the nearest (and competing) theater for to lend them a hard drive of a movie that just won some very prestigious award. It made me think that maybe the old-school use of movies on reels would have been an easy fix, that is, if they even had the equipment for that kind of technology around.

For the majority of this new year, I have been without Internet access at my house. "That's okay," I thought, "I'm busy doing other things like working on 'Amish Work!'" that is, things that don't require electricity for me to do (save for the lighting at my house, I guess). I was perfectly content to have an Internet-free household, or at least I was going to prove that it wasn't THAT big a deal I went without.

Boy, was I wrong.

I never realized how quickly my Inbox filled up when not checked during the week for an extended amount of time, or how I NEED the Internet to do things such as pay my credit card bills, transfer money in my bank account (to this day, I have yet to set foot in the Credit Union in which most of my money is kept), or even find out which cable company would be the cable carrier for my house just so I could have internet access installed in my house.

Sure, there are places where Internet can be accessed, such as a local library or school, but it's a little scary how dependent we've become to the creature comforts modern technology has afforded us. Take this blog, for example. These words were written a day before and set to post on Wednesday, as I am scheduled to write this Wacky Wednesday entry. If I don't do it today, I'd have to stay at work later or write this entry during my lunch break just to post. My blog colleague wasn't able to get his Monday entry up for the same reason I write this on Tuesday.

It's scary to imagine such things like this blog or one's social networking lives would come to a complete halt if we aren't given access to something that most people still don't consider a necessity. I'm a bit afraid to think that a lot of my daily happenings is reliant on something that can be so fleeting.

I would otherwise consider throwing it all away to live a more lo-fi life, but I couldn't imagine all the emails that would pile up during that time.



  1. But, after you deleted all the spam, how many real e-mails were left?

  2. None. That's because you never send me love letters via email anymore. That is to say, it's not baseball season right now.