WHEN IT STOPS BEING FUNNY – Marilyn Armstrong

How funny or witty can you be when reality — your existence — has gone beyond whatever we imagined was the ultimate degree of ludicrousness? When your future expectations have been effectively annihilated?

That we have a horrible government (it makes me ill thinking about it) is bad. Awful. Unspeakable.

But all the little things that should be easy are also obscenely complicated. There’s no reason for it — except the people with whom one is dealing are incompetent. Not because they can’t do the job, but because they don’t care.

Is this all part of the overall feeling we have that our country is going to hell? That trying to be better isn’t worth the effort? We already know we aren’t going to be rewarded because no one cares about the quality of our work.  Or us.

I have learned that when anyone “fixes” something, the new version is going to be harder to use and less functional. This includes hardware and software. It includes medical care. It includes any form of communications. It includes things like logging on to my computer.

I didn’t want to have a password for my computer because no one uses it except me. Garry wouldn’t go near it. It’s too heavy to haul anywhere and I would have to be dead for someone to try to figure it out.

But I gave up. I put in a password. Yesterday, Microsoft sent down a new version of Windows 10 and now, I can choose one of three ways to sign in. I can use my password. I can use a numerical key through Microsoft. Or I can set up facial recognition.

Thanks. If I didn’t want a password at all, why do I now need three choices of new ways to slow down my computer?

I turned off Alexa on each machine on which it has appeared. I refuse to use voice recognition or Skype. It takes me at least three tries to make the robot in the computer understand what I’m saying. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how many times I say it, it isn’t going to understand.

Moreover, I don’t need Alexa to take charge of anything, thank you very much. Please, take Alexa, Cortana, and Siri away. Make them disappear.

I don’t need electronic solutions to stuff that isn’t a problem. If I add these electronic solutions, they will become problems. It’s like the electronics in your car. You don’t have a key, so if the computer malfunctions, you not only can’t drive your car, you can’t even open the door.

Why is everything so needlessly complicated? Why does every simple task involve hours on hold, getting disconnected? Why are they making toilets require Bluetooth or WiFi? Are they going to analyze our shit to make sure we’re getting the right amount of roughage? Do I need the toilet to talk to me?

Why am I arguing with robots or people who know less about the problem than I do? Why won’t people believe anything I tell them?

I’m tired of being mad. Tired of arguing about stupid shit. I’m worn out. I am not ill, dying. I’m not going to have a stroke or heart attack. I’m exhausted from endlessly dealing with a million idiotic things that should not need to be dealt with at all. By anyone.

I’m tired of the incompetence of people who have jobs when so many competent people could use a job.

It’s not merely that we have a stupid government. It’s that we are becoming a stupid country. Not “stupid” in the sense that we don’t have brains, but stupid in the sense that we don’t use them. Brains, that is.

I’m having trouble finding this funny. That worries me. If I can’t laugh, how can I keep going? Laughter is the one thing that makes life livable. Take it away, and life will totally suck.

I used to say when comes the revolution, I’ll be on of the first up against the wall. Right now, not only does that seem likely, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. It could save me from trying to try making another appointment with a doctor.

Lately, even watching comedians isn’t funny because the news isn’t funny. It’s tragic, sad, depressing. And getting worse. I no longer think it can’t get worse. I’m positive it will get worse. I try not to think about how it could get worse. I just want it to not get too much worse until after I’m gone.

It would be just our kind of luck for both of us to live to 120.

22 thoughts on “WHEN IT STOPS BEING FUNNY – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I feel your pain. I still watch Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert, but it’s hard to find much humor in the Donald Trump/Republican shitstorm we are living through and my normally optimistic veneer is becoming tarnished by pessimism about things getting better.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We were watching Jim Jeffries tonight and he said, straight up, this stuff just isn’t funny. And Colbert hasn’t been all that funny and he isn’t even trying to be funny. Some of the stuff going on is shockingly not funny. And I’m too old to think I can wait until the world turns back to something normal. I don’t think I’m going to outlive this mess.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’ve pretty much stopped watching (online) comedy routines, since most of them are now angry comedians and not funny ones. They have turned that anger into a routine, foul mouth and all, and it falls way short of even amusing. I guess there is just too much going on outside those walls, and it sort of seeps into their routines. Understandably.

        It’s one thing to watch another government in another country disintegrate, one oops at a time, but to be part of that process, well, that’s another thing entirely. It feels like we’ve lost our balance, somehow.

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      2. Laughter is a collateral damage victim. i’ve found it painful watching the comics, especially when they’re talking to Cheeto Head’s people — people I want to avoid.

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  2. i agree, certain politicians are now beyond a joke, just embarrassing. I also avoid all those new computer gimmicks. Our computer man set up ma computer and gave me a paaüssword, and that is OK. Since that time a few years ago I now got alternative extras which I avoid. My apple computer has a password which I reused at the beginning, but realised it does not work well otherwise. my telephone has face recognition which I have found quite good. It works almost always, but I also have a code

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My voice is hard for robots to recognize. NOT just my computer. Any computer, any robot. It’s something about the tone of my voice which is deep for a woman, but doesn’t sound like a man. Also, weirdly, I have fingerprints which are so generic, they are literally “everyone’s” fingerprints. How do I know this? I work for 4 years for a company working on building a fingerprint identifier for security. My fingerprints could never be identified. I got used for years as the test case. If it could identify MY fingerprints, then it would identify almost anyone else. But this makes those fingerprint ID units really useless for me. I haven’t tried face recognition because I don’t have an I phone and didn’t see the point for my mini iPad — which I never use.

      Mainly, I don’t need more things that will glitch and fail. There are more than enough things in my life that don’t work and I don’t need more complications. I could get rid of the password, but if you need to restore the computer, you really NEED a password — one of the discoveries I made restoring this machine. But one more key? Setting up the camera and hope it knows me when my hair is up or down? I don’t think so.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I never bothered with voice recognition, but face recognition is really something else and I was surprised myself how it works. I have an iPhone, which is also my memory in my golden oldie years, and face recognition I discovered is 99% sure. Even Mr. Swiss can no longer get into my phone. There are always clever clogs that managed to break it I suppose. I also discovered that a password is really necessary for a computer. It is all the extra choices that you get every time there is an update that annoy me. I suppose the ultimate will be to prick your finger and let some blood drop on the keyboard to get into the machine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was my understanding that that annoying password is not to protest your computer from family, but from someone hacking in. Which is usually the whole idea anyway, to keep the hackers out.

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  4. I have stopped listening to ANY news programs. I have deleted them from my email. I have always been politically active but the daily STUPIDITY of this admin is making me sick. Literally. Anxiety, sleeplessness the whole bit. With the Supreme Court under attack, I am terrified. Thank you for writing, clearly and pointedly, what I have been wanting to write about but could not.

    Like

  5. “Why are they making toilets require Bluetooth or WiFi?” HUH??! Um…glad I’m OUT of the technological loop. When my toilet starts making me ask questions to use it OR answer endless inane questions for the same result, I’m going to start going in the bushes. *F* that noise! And you share the same concern that I do…how long do we HAVE to keep living in a world that is going increasingly insane? I don’t want to make 75 most days, and some I don’t want to even make 60. I can’t afford it for one thing (insulin has gone up in price AGAIN…now they want $100 for a 10 oz vial of the stuff) and I use a LOT of that. But. We have been gang-pressed into the circus where the ring leader is that psycho looking clown Gacy used to paint. And we’re in the freak show because we’re folks that actually still use our brains.

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  6. Oh my another tpost with so many hot buttons. I have reduced TV news watching to 30 minutes of local news in the morning, zero national news and very little on the net. I just can’t take what is going on, how they present it, and the fact that we have to know all the bad news that is happening all over the globe. Absolutely everything is negative, and then add to that there is zero common sense left. Heck, I’d go back to crank car windows in a NY minute, and stop updating every piece of technology every time a 20 year old decides they need another app option. I have to stop there or I’ll launch into an entire post. Just know you’re not alone.

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