is it too late?

If I weren’t such a techie klutz I would save a lot of time. I bought a new software program today and spent way too much time trying to download and activate it. I called for email help and then for chat help. I must say that young hackers, or whatever they are called, are delightful the world over (hey there, New Delhi), all phenomenally patient. The combination of such smarts and such tolerance must be difficult to find. i am so grateful to them.

What else did I do today? I condensed my Christmas generic blog to one page so I can mail it to computer- illiterate friends, keeping the postage cost as low as I can. What’s going to happen to them?

There are people who still write and mail or deliver cheques, though they have to make a special request for a cheque book. There are people who still can’t shop online because they don’t have a computer or wifi. There are people who still rely on a landline who cannot get an app to ease their way through life. My challenged son is one of them, and he’s not old-old, but he will be. As for me, though I am a klutz with computers, I would never have made it this far in my writing career without one; I could never have afforded a secretary to do the work. But I don’t own a cell phone. You happy multitudes, stop and think what services you take for granted, and stop, if you have time, to think how you have subsumed your life. You are your cell phone and you are addicted.

Does anyone remember Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793)?

Well, obviously I didn’t. I paused to look him up and all these years I had him confused with another italian playwright, a little younger and critical of him. Carlo Gozzi (1720-1766) based a lot of his plays on fairy tales. He is perhaps best remembered now as the source material for the operas, Turandot and The Love of Three Oranges. The pIay I want to mention is The King Stag, also based on an earlier tale. I actually wrote a modern children’s play of my own, never produced, inspired by King Stag, . I thought of it recently when I was considering how dependent people have become on their iPhones and how much of their identity the phones contain. In King Stag a statue (bust) of the stag takes on the responsibility for the king’s decisions. In mine, the king yields his decision-making to his computer which takes over his entire identity and memory. This is no longer a fairy tale or a fantasy; it has actually happened to anyone who has given over his time, life and ID to an intelligent phone.

I don’t have a cell phone, so I’m still me, klutz that I am.