Sunday, 7 April 2013

This shrew is not for taming

When I was at University I had a friend who made me look diligent. Really. She wasn't what you would call good at remembering to prepare for talks so, to avoid issues, she would find the nub of the expected response and, as a good contrarian should, argue the opposite. Who piece de resistance was arguing that the female character in The Taming of the Shrew was exactly opposite to the conventional view, i.e. Katherina wasn't tamed, she manipulated the situation to get exactly what she wanted. She used the patriarchal misogyny to her advantage. A fab view, though not as good as when she argued that Lady Macbeth was actually not as bad as people made out. I learned a lot from Louisa.

And most I haven't forgotten, why would I, it was a good, sound and interesting perspective on life.

Last week I had a bit of a technology collapse, which is why I'm writing today on a 1999 HP Jornada rather than either my beloved Galaxy SII or jail-broken Kindle keyboard (as they are now known, apparently). First the Galaxy died, quite horribly with a gasping rattle as it descended towards the river of Styx and its final journey to technology hell. This was a bit of a pain but I commandeered a phone from my elder offspring as they were visiting Contrary Towers, more of that in a bit. Then the Kindle died. It might be the battery. It might be that it didn't like being summarily abused and treated with the contempt that only e-readers deserve. Unlike real books, which are revered. Though are less convenient on long journeys. Bugger.

Back to the SII...

My life doesn't revolve around that device, but it does provide me with twitter, tethered interwebz access, alarms, note taking, music, books, texting and of course, phone calls. I did warn people that there was a chance that I may not have their numbers as I'd not recently backed up to the SIM. It happens. What I got next was the usual:

  • You should have got an iPhone
  • My iPhone backs numbers to the cloud
  • My iPhone just works
  • Blah, bloody, iPhone
  • Why don't you get an iPhone?

Not wanting to offend my boss, a good friend and even someone I might be meeting for coffee this week, though I doubt he will after me ranting a little. Anyway, as I said, not wanting to offend but seriously guys: Just no. I'm not ready to be a sheep. I'm not ready to follow the crowd. I'm not prepared to spend a small fortune on a piece of technology I will be forced to comply with rather than use.


I give Apple their due, they make pretty phones and goodness do they understand how to instil slavish, feverish and dogmatic devotion in their disciples. I mean customers. But seriously, and I'll say this one last time: They aren't that good.

Got that? Good.

I realise that there may have been a certain amount of poking the tiger's cage as it's well known how I feel about Cupertino Crap. Though it did amuse me that the week before the ethernet failed on my pretty little iMac, the one I lovingly call the iBastard. The look of disbelief that Apple devices actually conformed to the first rule of electronics was astounding... Everything fails eventually.

Whilst talking with my lovely flatmate a thought occurred: Every one of the people (let's call them men) that told me what to do was, wait for it... A libertarian. Err, so I'm being told what to think and do by people that think you should think and do what is right, not what others say.

The irony drippeth.

A couple of days later one of them retweeted a superb picture from tweeter_anita that really summed my thoughts up. It said simply

Spread anarchy
Don't tell me what to do!