Jumbo Dumb Terminals of the Future
You are looking at the platform shoes of the computing world. Huge, white jumbo dumb terminals in the 1980 Adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven. During the early 1980s, I actually worked on computers like these when I was a fourteen-year-old computer science student in some ‘special kids’ program at Cal State, Los Angeles. So we can be extremely generous with justifying the design of this film and propose that our hero, George Orr, is dreaming a world of the future but can’t quite envision all of the future, futuristically. So computers, telephones, chairs, Formica, manila folders and jovial bald guys don’t look that much different from the contemporary world where this film was made.
Even back in the late 70s, I am sure that these computers were not that futuristic—but then again I may be underestimating just how innocent the American public was in the 1970s. Remember that the 1970s was the era of the Pet Rock.
A patch of grass surrounding a dead fountain is a few feet south of this street:
This patch of grass, bordered by the busy streets of Crenshaw and Vernon, saw a grown man and woman alone—with two children (one of whom could not walk quite yet)—running around like crazy yesterday afternoon. The drivers passing by usually see some kind of government/corporate-controlled festival happening or some drummers in a circle—or some teens hanging with parked police cars—but yesterday a father and mother went to this patch of grass to play with their children. After the park, the mother held a lecture at Harambe Marketplace (off Crenshaw and Slauson):
This is Khenemet User-t, the mother of my third child, my first daughter. You may wonder why I do not call her my wife. And, of course, my father would deride me with more accusations of delusions of grandeur but just let me say when you find me marrying so easily then you are enjoying a world free of imperial patriarchy, creating artificial scarcity. I envy you deeply. A quick example of this artificial scarcity is the fact that a disproportionate number of marriageable North American people with strong African features are dead or in prison—the physical prison and the mental one. My case is a bit more complicated and when I stop being so damn “pretentious” and “stupid,” I’ll get it right someday—why didn’t I find a good church girl and settle down in the suburbs? Meanwhile, I thought it would be cute to wait around for her lecture to finish. We waited a little longer than expected:
When anyone with strong African features tells you that it is “easy” to get married, be married and raise a family then either a nation of millions have not been doing their job and more Black children need to be underdeveloped in more dysfunctional families—or you are talking to a chum who graduated in the same class as our dear Lady Condoleezza Rice who can afford to fake it.
The events of my life, of course, make me biased but the battle to raise the next generation of African children is the struggle. It should not be treated as a sideline. It is the center. Almost all of my ‘properly’ educated friends and associates who are “doing it by the book” have no children. Evidently, these people wish to rival the negative population growth of the “developed nations.” Much respect to my college roommate Dr. Darryl Dickson-Carr for doing it by the book—and raising children with his wife. Read “Dr. Darryl B. Dickson-Carr: The Satirical Interview” at kintespace.com for more about my homies.
I refuse to buy a new tube television—and those who know that I grew up in the ghetto would smack me for not keeping it real. Every ‘black dude’ needs his big-ass color television—shit, even Hannibal tried to steal the Coliseum out of Rome so he can catch the games.
Tube Tee Vees are old school. They are not flexible enough to integrate into the new, high-definition world, of light-weight, streamlined, personal computing—and I refuse to invest in a new one. It really breaks my heart to know that so few of my chocolate colored associates use computers to free themselves from broadcast television and commercial cable hooked up to a big-ass dumb tube. I can’t escape the sight of people voluntarily fettering themselves to commercial television instead of replacing it with one’s own programming. It’s like listening to the radio exclusively instead of building one’s own record collection. I thought only financially impoverished people do that… Wrong! I was shocked to find that bling-bling folks want to be a captive audience and will go into immediate withdrawal when you turn the idiot-part of the idiot box off. So the picture below should look very strange and foreign to many of my homies:
I know this looks a little primitive folks but I guess I’ve always felt a little different from the other boys growing up: I want to control what comes into my living space and I see that pollution comes in many forms besides what’s on garbage trucks and in smokestacks. So, above you see me rocking Channel 9 and Jean Paoli (Co-creator of XML) instead of blasting another fried chicken commercial. What’s more is that I can pump the same signal to my television from my ‘media server’ in the next room (via long-ass Monster cables). This kicks ass. It beats down yet another news anchor covered in clown makeup trying to tell me about the real world. Dan Rather? Peter Jennings? All whores! It’s all about Amy Goodman, streaming over the web on my demand!
So keep in mind that my media server in the next room also has a DVD player and can output what’s on the computer screen as well. So when my son is playing MS Flight Simulator I can watch him throughout the crib—and, for a brief moment, he has total control of the media intake of the whole house. How’s that for child development? We are all watching him do something. Instead of all of us sitting around doing nothing as chicken-fried couch potatoes.
So the prices for LCD panels look very attractive this year and they come with all the connections. As soon as I get some sugar-momma money from one of my rich friends I’ll be set.
Another production project at FullOnBrawl.com is a campy sci-fi flick that requires thrilling headgear and ray guns to go with luscious space vixens with other-worldly space faces. The comedy is built right into these props that blatantly derive from suburban lawn sprayers and Kenner toys. I sincerely think we need another Plan 9 from Outer Space—and I mean a real Ed Wood movie without a nostalgic Hollywood budget and a sober, sane director/film historian. All the ingredients are in the Full on Brawl!