October 13, 2005

Computers and the Culture of

Computers and the Culture of Victimology

Sundry commentators and public intellectuals of various political ideologies have remarked on the modern American culture of—and obsession with—victimology. Every American citizen, it seems, earnestly prides himself on being an oppressed victim—someone who does not deserve his wretched fate. It often appears as if people would prefer the coveted status of a victim to the luck of a lottery winner.

There seems to be little reason why this should not apply to computers as well; with human beings reveling in their supposed victimhood, why shouldn’t inanimate objects also claim some sort of martyrdom?

Or at least the staff computers at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” Headquarters would lead you to believe that these little gadgets are getting in on the victimology sweepstakes.

As you might well imagine, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” possess a treasure trove of computer wizardry. After all, we need to produce one of the World-Wide Web’s least-read “weblogs” in history, and this jolly well takes all kinds of impressive hardware.

Accordingly, dear reader, we own a veritable army of the latest models. In addition, we also have some computers: TRS-80s, Commodore Vic-20s, &c. We’re classy like that.

Pretty much nothing irks us quite as much as the (numerous) times when the computers “freeze.” This occurs with such regularity, in fact, that you would think our laptops were actually Popsicles. Whenever we’re in the midst of typing an important, unsaved document, our computers freeze like Paris Hilton in a Kant seminar.

What’s worse, dear reader, is the fact that our computers—ever hoping to cling to the status of victims—blame us for their sub-par performance. “The computer was not shut down properly,” read their screens after we turn their frozen butts off.

To which, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Um, come on, now; we only shut you down “improperly” because you froze like Sean “Diddy” Combs at a talent competition. We didn’t want to shut you down improperly; we were compelled to do so. Hint, hint: It’s because you froze, you stupid bitch!

Frankly, dear reader, the whole Foisting-the-Blame routine is pathetic. It’s as if we mischievously planned to turn the computers off at inappropriate points because this is such naughty, illicit fun. Boy, oh, boy: Nothing beats the high of switching the ole’ IBM off without authorization! We haven’t had that much fun since they cancelled “Night Court.”

Posted at October 13, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack