Thursday, March 13, 2008

Glengarry Glen Beck

David Mamet goes all John Dos Passos on us and announces that Thomas "Kidney on Ice" Sowell is "our greatest contemporary philosopher."

Could it be true? Witness:

When I bought one of these small, cheap, old-fashioned cathode-ray TV sets on sale to watch while on my exercise machine, I had no idea how high-tech and computerized even these obsolete sets had become.

Nor was this a blessing. I could not even turn the set on and get a channel without reading a 60-page instruction book. If the truth be known, I could not do it even after trying to make some sense out of the instructions.

The next time my computer guru came over to help me with my computer problems, I asked him to set up the TV set so that I could turn it on.

After he went through the instruction book and waded through all the high-tech options — none of which interested me in the slightest — he set up the TV so that I could do something as elementary as turn on the set and choose a channel to watch.

Contemporary might be, uh, too strong a word.

When I had to have a new radio put into my old car, I told the man who installed it, "I didn't go to M.I.T" and wanted the simplest radio to use that he had.

Yet even the simplest radio he had in stock came with over 100 pages of instructions — and nothing on the radio that said "on" or "off." In fact, none of the buttons on the front of the radio had anything to indicate what they were for.

The man who installed the radio turned it on for me. But this was an old car that I did not use very often, and I did not always want the radio on when I was driving.

Since he had not told me how to turn it off, I just turned the volume down as low as possible, rather than go into the 100 pages of instructions.

Organs are for closers!

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