Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Return of the Mac

I have a distrust of anything cleverer than I am, which is why I live in a remote crystal castle with only the corpulent assistance of Stacey for company. It’s not that she’s dumb, but she does have a tendency to break things down into rather simple terms of ‘edible’ and ‘not interested then’. But when machines show more intelligence than I possess, that is when I start to worry, as proved by this story about computers may be able to fool humans into believing they are intellectual. I simply require my computer to be dumb, to be able download porn without anyone noticing, and show me pop-ups of genuinely fabulous things, like a full-sized Scott Speedman, or the home address of J from 5ive for $3.

Anyway. At the other end of the scale, Macintosh machines are evil in the extreme; far too clever by half. Anything that looks that friendly and welcoming instantly rises my ire. Cyanide smells of almonds. Domestos comes in a friendly yellow bottle. Macintosh computers look like a big Quality Street.

At least PCs have an air of drunken elderly bachelor, stumbling through their programmes with an air of instability. I can relate to that. Macs remind me of a prissy airline stewardess doing their job with a reluctant smile, where everything’s just fine until the second before a crash. This is where they cheerfully tell you something is wrong, but won’t tell you exactly what. ‘An error has occurred!’ she’ll say with that fake beam. ‘What kind?’ you’ll ask. ‘Oh, just an error. No need to worry about it. Another cup of coffee?’ She doesn’t elaborate, but you know she’s already hidden the only parachute under her seat.

But not only that, Macs talk to you. Or more correctly, they talk down their nose at you to tell you off for leaving files open, or you shouldn’t be doing this or that. We had better stop this before it spreads: what could be worse than a talking microwave, outfitted as a Jewish mother? ‘Oi-vey! You’re not eating this junk, are you? You’ll never grow up to be big and strong like your uncle Erving. How am I meant to become a happy grandmother when you’re not big and strong, huh?’ Or worse, the final fusion of the gay and the closet, where your wardrobe is the personification of that shrill, hideous queen you hate in all pubs: ‘What do you think are you wearing, girlfriend? Mmm, I can sense TopMan about you... and you think you can get away with that skinny t-shirt? Honey, you ain’t been skinny since The Spice Girls were number one! Come on, reach in – there’s a mu-mu up the back with your name all over it, sister...’

Lets just burn the bloody Talking Tupperware before this madness begins.

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