Friday, February 12, 2016

Incessant Divagation

by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife

I had planned to write this week about visitors to our culture from the future. But I have been distracted by time travellers.

More accurately, I became distracted from what I planned to write, because of my computer's response when I wrote the words “time travellers”. The spellcheck program alerted me that “travellers” is incorrect. I'm sure it will recommend “travelers”, one “l”. I prefer the double “l” spelling, which is still an acceptable though lesser used version of the word. General Robert E. Lee named his favorite horse “Traveller” – two “l”s – and as a transplanted Southern Boy, it's a nod to my Rebel roots that I don't bow to the whims of some high-falutin' technogeek from New York City or Silicon Valley. Take that, spellcheck, I wrote HIGH-FALUTIN' TECHNOGEEK! Deal with it!

Well . . . Spellcheck actually dealt with it, and suggested “highfalutin' techno-geek” when I thought it wouldn't recognize either term. I swear that program is getting smarter. There is so much about computers and the internet that seems designed to confuse and frustrate me that I think about the Terminator movies. My conclusion is that the SkyNet plan to eliminate mankind is in effect right now – but it's not what you think.

The “geniuses” who touted the wonders of THE COMPUTER AGE are not our friends. They are, in fact, Terminators. They are led by Al Gore, who came from the future to invent the Internet. Instead of sending cyborg assassins back in time to kill the Connor family and temporarily rule California, SkyNet has infiltrated our banks, homes, grocery stores and vehicles with microchips and internet connections. Now we're bombarded, not with nuclear warheads, but with fluctuating bank balances, automated 2:00 AM phone calls, declined credit cards, and warning lights that say your car is due for an oil change just 200 miles after the last oil change. Five minutes before the end of your favorite show, the TV goes black. Five miles before your destination, you get new directions. You know you saved an all-important file on your computer, but where is it now? And you've been using that password for years, it CAN'T be wrong . . .

Civilization's destruction is here: not from robot armies and a rain of missiles, but through the sharp rise in stressed-out mankind's collective blood pressure.

And most people do not see the end coming, having been distracted by fantasy football leagues, “Five Amazing Facts About” articles and a legion of new “cute cat” videos. They sit in front of that glowing screen for hours, minds growing numb, bodies growing flabbier . . .

Today, spellcheck. Tomorrow, the world!

Next week [assuming that SkyNet doesn't terminate me before then] I'll explain why time travel is actually more common than most people think, and tell you how to spot a visitor from the future. So be sure to check in . . . unless, of course, you are a time traveller, in which case you've probably already read next week's ramblings.

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