Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Twirling, twirling towards freedom and the future

Since I came home, I have begun a relentless, inexorable march towards the 20th and 21st centuries. I have learned to operate our two-remote television, as well as the PlayStation to which it is attached. I learned to use a scanner, bank online, consolidated my ability to use a fax machine and learned to use a drip coffeemaker. I have started to use tags on my blog, got a Gmail account, started subscribing to blog feeds instead of just checking the blogs I like incessantly, and I even started listening to podcasts.

Online banking was one of those things I resisted for a very long time for reasons I can't quite remember, though they probably centre on not being able to acquire the service without having to get up and get my bank card, or maybe I had to make a phone call. Previously I used to pay bills at bank machines, but when I moved to Korea, that meant having to call Royal Bank's toll-free service located in New Brunswick, where I always spoke to somebody who answered in French first and English second, and sheepishly requested English service. Since I didn't get any credit card statements, I just tried to overestimate how much I had to pay, and this once meant paying a $400 to cover a $91 Visa bill until I was gently persuaded to relent.

When I gradually turned my life over to Google, I stopped clicking randomly on blog links and now receive an avalanche of interesting articles from Slate, the Atlantic, several blogs I enjoy reading, as well as a set of heavily liberal, heavily politicized blogs that breathlessly report in nearly identical words every time Sarah Palin so much as flinches. Not since I discovered news on the Internet about ten years ago have I experienced such a revulsion for information.

On the whole, I suppose this reads like the ethereal ruminations of a bumpkin using an escalator for the first time, a deaf man who thinks the world with sound is too noisy, and those two old men on TD Canada Trust ads griping about mobile mortgages, all rolled into one. And it should. I like to think I'm pretty adaptable, and I probably am, but I tend to adapt nicely to bad situations like a mouse living on subway tracks, instead of making even a slight effort to create a better situation.

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