With a record of 17 wins and six losses, the Ridgway Lady Demons girls basketball season ended in Durango on Saturday after a 47 to 42 loss against Paonia in the 2A Region 3 Championship match. Photo by Bill Tiedje Read more...
|Johnson: Technology at the expense of Humanity||| Print ||
I stumbled across my 50s model Kodak Brownie camera the other day and it roused memories from a simpler time and place. “Brownies” originated in 1901 — a simple cardboard box with glass lens, viewfinder and shutter; it retailed for a dollar. I miss “simple,” the days when technological advancement was slow and easy. Fifty years elapsed and Brownies remained a simple box; the Operation Manual was a single slip of paper. The exterior got jazzed from pressed cardboard to soft faux leather, and finally, Bakelite — a miracle synthetic substance that would soon set the entire manufacturing world on a retooling binge. Bakelite marked the beginning of the “plastics era”; without it cars would still weigh a ton, get all of 12 MPG and score zero stars in crash tests.
My old Brownie exemplifies an age of innocence and simplicity — when horses were a viable means of transportation, divorce was a rarity and the single use for batteries was in flashlights. Technology advanced at such a slothful pace my granddad could still operate vending machines and a television until the day he died. Grandma functioned as his “remote control,” which, ironically, became my mom’s first encounter Technological Trauma Syndrome when her antique RCA console color television finally croaked. TVs and stereos used to come packaged in fine hardwood cabinetry that required endless polishing with copious amounts of “Pledge.” Mom’s TV had only two prominent knobs: one to turn it on and one to change channels. It was the proud centerpiece of her living room — one that served her well for over a decade.
Mom lived in Arizona, so I drove down to her rescue and bought a new 19-inch color TV for 195 bucks; it had a strange Asian name and was housed in black plastic with a rather distracting silver frame around the screen. I plugged it in and handed over the remote. “Look Mom, you don’t have to get up to change channels anymore.” She scowled at the plastic one-eyed monster and cried, “It’s so UGLY!” I wasted several hours trying to fit the “ugly” TV into Mom’s old console cabinet — a failed venture that resulted in a compromise to just cover the black plastic with a colorful headscarf and a picture of “Praying Jesus.”
I spent the next day teaching Mom the basics of using a remote control; she was forever pushing wrong buttons that caused the screen to either go black or snowy. In her defense, there was a glut of miniature buttons — labeled with print so fine not even Superman could read them. I tried to cover the buttons she didn’t need with duct tape — cutting a highly intricate pattern that ended up resembling a New York Times crossword. After a great deal of effort and profanity I managed to hide all of the “bad buttons,” exposing only On, Off, Volume and Channel. But Mom gripped the remote with such anxiety and tension that the “bad” buttons got sticky-taped in the “pushed” position. It thoroughly confused the TV and caused the remote to get hot and smell of smoldering wires. I removed the duct tape but its adhesive stayed on the remote, a substance so tacky I had to sling it from my hand — narrowly missing the TV and, sadly, claiming Praying Jesus as collateral damage. Undeterred, I went out and bought one of those oversized remotes for seniors; it had larger buttons, print and, oddly enough, Braille. But alas, it was like trying to explain calculus to a kindergartener. The woman who always balanced her checkbook to the penny couldn’t embrace the new technology of remote control and whimpered, “I just want my old TV back.”
I scoured every electronics/TV shop in central Arizona for a used manual television with knobs, only to discover that manufacturers quit making remote-less sets years ago. TVs had become as disposable as dirty diapers. The next morning I caught Mom sitting in front of a snowy screen, fiddling with the remote and crying. I needed to get back to Colorado so I did my best to write out a few instructions. Mom was a widow; she needed a working television for its Christian channels and “company.” It was sadly reminiscent of the technological frustrations I suffered when programming my first VCR, or with my first computer that only understood “DOS,” or even now with my new digital “Brownie” that came with an encyclopedia-like Operations Manual. Some will argue that Technological Advancement has made life easier. But on the Ultimate level I would add that it will/has made life more isolated and precarious. In reference to nuclear weapons Einstein remarked, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Then, regrettably, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."
Mark Johnson is a restless soul who lives in Ouray, Colorado with his wife, Bobbie. He is happiest when exploring the West's nooks and crannies, hiking, climbing and moun- tain biking. He authors two "wanderlust" based blogs: www.Artfulrvadventures.com and www.Boxcanyonblog.com.
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Final: Ridgway girls lose 47-42 to Paonia after a valiant 4th quarter comeback attempt.
Update: 45-42, Crozier hits 2 from the line.
Update: 52 seconds, 45-40 Paonia
Update: 2:19 remaining, Paonia on top 43-34
Update: Paonia up 43-32 in 4th Qtr.
Update: Paonia up 25-21 at half.
Update: Paonia up 21-19 in 2nd Qtr.
Update: Tied 13-13 end of 1st Qtr.
Update: Teams trade leads early - Ridgway up 9-8.
Update: Ridgway girls are up 6-0 early in Durango.
Follow all the action of the Ridgway girls basketball team vs. Paonia right now on Twitter, @ocplaindealer
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