August 2015    
 

OLD BOOTS & BAGGY JUMPERS

GM Jordan

 
 
 

We live in an age with many addictions, from the comfortable lifestyle (eat the rich as long as I can still buy my organically produced avocado’s), to chocolate (yes I will buy fair-trade... it’s how much more expensive?), and blockbuster movies (Man, sequel after sequel.  Directors like Michael Bay are killing the film industry with their regurgitated trash – What do you mean I have to wait 2yrs for the next Transformers vs. Jurassic Park, what the hell am I going to do with the kids in the holidays?) etc.

But nothing really comes close to two good friends of mine, one of whom is addicted to the kind of tat usually bought at chavy seaside locations or car boot sales. The other is addicted to t-shirts, she can spend entire afternoons in boutiques sniffing tie dye limited edition garments as her husband slowly feels his lifeforce draining away. When I bought her a Genki Gear t-shirt for her birthday she made a very strange noise and dashed off to put it on straight away.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Older Boots

Feb '15

March '15

Aug '15

 

 

Genki Gear

Genki Gear

T-Shirts

 

My personal monkey on the back comes in the form of technology.  Tablet Computers, Broadband, Smart Watches, Mobile Phones.  We become slaves to tech, Apple and Samsung have replaced Motorola and Microsoft.  Go to any restaurant and formerly you would see a happy couple, playing with each other’s fingers, staring into each other’s eyes so romantically sickening you could almost see red love hearts and fireworks exploding above their heads.  One would lean across with a forkful of food as the other giggles before playfully sucking it clean in a phallic gesture that is a cross between a vacuum cleaner and ‘9 ½ Weeks’.
Now, NOW those same faces are a glowing not from the candles but the screens of their mobile phones as they rush to share their food, not with each other, but the rest of the world.  Then the same couple who are sitting opposite each other reply to one another’s posts.  Instead of hearts, fireworks and cupids hanging around their lovesick bonces they say it with emoticon’s for the entire world to see.

When I was a teenager you would chat to a young lady on the phone, maybe get a little daring with your chat but now they are texting each other and before long photographing body parts that are not really identifiable without a copy of Gray’s Anatomy and a medical degree.  We are no longer happy to ‘Say with Flowers’ now we expect a movie clip and gif of a bouncing pair of breasts or a scrotum that looks like it has just escaped from a John Carpenter production.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the 1980’s if a woman had sent me any of the images teenagers send to each other now I would either go blind for a week or be too scared to leave the house, I certainly would have needed glasses a lot earlier than my 40’s.  They even send and receive these things whilst driving, driving!  I have enough problems tuning my wireless in the car when I am moving never mind contributing to the world wide web.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

These days I need one to one help learning how to use the remote for my television (which is another bloody Samsung device in the house.), I gave up on 'Angry Birds' because I got so frustrated I wanted to punch the screen.

The problem with tech is that you need to subscribe to one system or another.  Apple operating software won’t talk to Microsoft or Android and vice versa.  The result is you buy the right Smart Watch so that it will talk to your Smart Phone, these are products that don’t really need to talk to each other.  You have a watch so you know what time it is, possible in 16 different countries but at least it was a simple matter.  6pm time for dinner.  Now because the watch talks to the phone it will not only tell you that it’s time to eat but they have so much control over our lives the phone will remind you who you are meeting, what you can eat and because they are connected to GPS they will helpfully remind you that not only are you late but lost.  Then they lose connection with the GPS satellite and because we have stopped learning to use maps and no long have the ability to talk to one another to ask for directions we become hopelessly lost.  All the while your watch is monitoring your heart rate and 2mins after you collapse on the floor having suffered a massive coronary the watch tells the phone to suggest you might want to try relaxing, maybe some yoga or meditating.  Here is a helpful piece of music, imagine you are on an island surrounded by clear blue sea, the soothing sound of the waves.  All the while your heart has exploded in your chest and the only sound you really want to hear comes from ambulance sirens.  Presumably as your life ebbs away the phone asks if not only might you want to talk to God (other deities are available) but possibly send a text, or post your passing to Instagram as an update.

'Swansong' T-Shirts Now Available.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

I used to have a Blackberry phone; it was easy to use and reliable.  The applications were basic, no problems with linking to my watch because pocket watches don’t need to talk to a diary usually.  It had a diary and a proper keyboard, I didn’t have to talk to my phone in a million and 1 different tones to get its voice recognition software to understand me because I simply typed on the keys.
Then my mobile phone provider, the tech company equivalent of a pusher or a pimp, informed me that they were no longer supporting Blackberry and I should move onto an Android or Apple phone.  What they actually said when I sat down in front of their in-store advisor was “You need an iPhone 4”.  I went through my requirements of a phone, I’m not a hipster or a trendsetter.  I have no interest in art applications and because I have hearing problems I am unlikely to need music at the low level generated by most phones and I don’t want to offer up to my 1st born to the temple of Steve Jobs and iTunes.  In fact I text and message more than talk on the phone because I can rarely hear what the other person is saying, the same reason my landline volume is cranked up to 11 just so I can hear friends telling me I really should go get my hearing tested again.

I walked away with a Samsung S5; my soul had been sold to a South Korean company who operate, ironically, out of Seoul.  3 times on my way to the counter the assistants said “Oh, what have you gone for?”  Their faces dropping when they found out it wasn’t an Apple, such is the brainwashing that comes with buying into a brand.  As I stood waiting to pay one of the hipsters playing with an app on his iPhone looked and said, “Of course your basic iPhone is really popular, so popular it’s the muggers target phone of choice.”
Well that’s ok then, I feel confident that should I be heading home one deep dark night and a thug leaps out demanding my money and phone, he will take one look at my model, tut and lecture me on wasting his time with my piece of crap phone before walking away to find somebody worthy of his attentions.

A couple of months after I got my shiny new phone the screen started to flicker but my addiction was so great I could handle it, it wasn’t a problem.  Then it started to switch itself off, again it wasn’t a problem as long as I didn’t lose any information, if my apps were safe, I could deal with it.  But my S5 wasn’t enough, I needed more.  I started looking at Smart Watches, trying to justify the need to buy one.  Feeding the cravings by buying Bluetooth devices that synced with it, by the time I was finished my TV surround sound system could handle my phone’s music collection.

Eventually my tablet died and I took it into the Samsung shop to be repaired under warranty, it was only going to be a couple of days so I was fine with that (I just went passed the computer shops, placed my hands on the windows and pressed my nose against the glass looking at the latest model with a longing usually reserved for normal people who have a yearning for small puppies, Jimmy Choo shoes or heroin).
Several days later I returned to pick up my tablet and showed my phone to the assistant, explaining that it kept switching off and the screen flicker was annoying.  “We will need to send it off, it would probably be a 7-10 working days.” He said nonchalantly.  7 to 10 days, a fortnight... was he insane? I backed out of the store smiling in case he had any other crazy ideas.

Now the flicker has got worse and prolonged use is giving me a headache, the online solution that Samsung kept throwing at me was ‘Do a factory reset and reload the software.’ Didn’t work, then they upped the ante by sending me competitions to win an Galaxy S6.  Numerous people contacted me during a Twitter rant to say they had similar problems and their solution?  They upgraded when their contracts allowed, 1 or 2 bit the bullet and paid hundreds of pounds to buy the new version.  This is where they have us, they control our addiction, they know we want the latest shiny, the latest fix.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

SamsungS6

Samsung, Feeding Your Tech Addiction

Blackberry Venice, could it be an Apple/Samsung Buster?

 
 
 
 
 

Thankfully for me there is light at the end of the tunnel, Blackberry appears to be fighting back.  There are rumours of a new Android based phone with a keyboard.  Images have surfaced online, akin to sightings of the Yeti but still enough to give me hope.  The ‘Venice’ looks good and has all the necessary apps that a writer needs, I want it, no dammit I need it.  Please... Please don’t make me beg, it’s not pretty to see a grown man, beg (ask my ex-wife).  Save me from my addiction, give me the phone; keep the Smart Watch, the heart rate monitor and the pulse monitor.  I want something that won’t risk sending anyone within 5m’s into an epileptic fit... but wait, is that the Samsung S6 Edge... with cordless charging...

Until next time folks, until then I’ll be licking the local EE shop window whilst sobbing gently.

- J.

 

‘Swansong’ by GM Jordan’s is published by Markosia and is available from Amazon and on all good e-book platforms.