And Even More On Typewriters
My relatives sent me the following links, which had me smiling as I was reading them.
First, check out this gadget that mechanically turns the iPad into a typewriter (though it could all be a prank).
Second, here's an article from The New York Times which shows members of the digital generation, young ones who might never have needed to even set hands on a typewriter, actually discover these writing machines for themselves. An excerpt:
“Can I touch it?” a young woman asked. Permission granted, she poked two buttons at once. The machine jammed. She recoiled as if it had bitten her.
“I’m in love with all of them,” said Louis Smith, 28, a lanky drummer from Williamsburg. Five minutes later, he had bought a dark blue 1968 Smith Corona Galaxie II for $150. “It’s about permanence, not being able to hit delete,” he explained. “You have to have some conviction in your thoughts. And that’s my whole philosophy of typewriters.”
Whether he knew it or not, Mr. Smith had joined a growing movement. Manual typewriters aren’t going gently into the good night of the digital era. The machines have been attracting fresh converts, many too young to be nostalgic for spooled ribbons, ink-smudged fingers and corrective fluid. And unlike the typists of yore, these folks aren’t clacking away in solitude.
They’re fetishizing old Underwoods, Smith Coronas and Remingtons, recognizing them as well designed, functional and beautiful machines, swapping them and showing them off to friends. At a series of events called “type-ins,” they’ve been gathering in bars and bookstores to flaunt a sort of post-digital style and gravitas, tapping out letters to send via snail mail and competing to see who can bang away the fastest.
And now, here's a third link, a funny reaction (funny at least to me) that that New York Times article. An excerpt:
When was in high school (and for a time at college), I had to write the majority of my papers on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter. It was this big, heavy, blue piece of shit. It had a delete key that didn’t really work. If I typed on it and fucked up, I had to go use Wite Out and manually redact what I wrote. And I never revised or rewrote anything, because that would just mean typing the shit out all over again. It had disks so I could digitally store text documents, but they didn’t always work. And when I printed a digital file, the thing printed at the rate of a secretary who types 3 words a minute and takes breaks every quarter hour to have a smoke or get plowed by the boss.
I fucking hated this thing. When I had transferred colleges and finally had access to a computer lab at school (I didn’t have a computer of my own), I gleefully took that piece of shit and threw it away. Which is why I am both puzzled and filled with acidic ragefoam when I read about this bunch of pretentious, uppity, cuntfaced, dipshit hipster cockpullers who insist on using a manual typewriter for all their precious Writing with a capital W. If you figured a ludicrous “it’s a trend because I know a guy who does it” article like this was the byproduct of the New York Times, you would be correct:
“It’s about permanence, not being able to hit delete,” he explained. “You have to have some conviction in your thoughts. And that’s my whole philosophy of typewriters.”
There is so much there that pisses me off, I just want to drive to Williamsburg and spray random people with lighter fluid. As if not being able to delete the outlandish drivel you write somehow makes you Ernest fucking Hemingway. These people with computers. They don’t really stop to THINK before they write now, do they? That’s why I prefer the dulcet clattering of my vintage 1908 Weezleburg, which does NOT have a carriage return.
At a series of events called “type-ins,” they’ve been gathering in bars and bookstores to flaunt a sort of post-digital style and gravitas, tapping out letters to send via snail mail and competing to see who can bang away the fastest.
Are you throwing up yet? Do you want to find one of these type-ins and close the door on it and Hoover out all the oxygen until every last person inside lay dying in a puddle of the own vanilla-scented human waste? Because I do!
“You type so much quicker than you can think on a computer,” Ms. Kowalski said. “On a typewriter, you have to think.”
Don’t you just love that quote? As if everything ever written on a computer were somehow invalid because a computer is EASIER to use and, in fact, invites you to constantly revise and fine-tune what you’ve written so that it’s better than when you first typed it out.