Thursday, February 27, 2014

Kid Grimm

image borrowed from bing

Kid Grimm

“If I’m going to kill you, you’ll be awake,
you’ll be facing me, & you’ll be armed.”
--Malcolm Reynolds

Kid Grimm, 
Reginald to his mother,
was a short drink of water;
it left him with a hair-trigger temper
& big knuckled hands that loved
to hover over the twin Colt Peacemakers
strapped down to each leg.

Like a lot of pistolero punks
scattered across the Southwest,
he was a handsome lad,
with long curly blond hair
& piercing green eyes;

at first fresh off the farm,
still having the faint odor of cow dung
on his expensive tooled leather boots,
& perhaps the odd hay blade tucked
up within his rolled pants cuffs;

but that gave way to dandy duds,
starched striped shirts, long gaudy
scarves cinched up with a gold skull,
black suit, with a tailed jacket, gray
silk vest, & silver cufflinks.

He began practicing with his father’s
Navy Colt when he was ten, spending 
his allowance on ammunition,
firing thousands of rounds, forever
standing out in the barnyard blasting
at brown bottles, jars, & jugs--
assassinating them all. 

He became a bona fide gunfighter
before he was 15, killed his first man
out in the street with the whole town watching;

he had a pine stick, they say, that he called
his death stick, and it had 30 notches carved
into it, with room for 30 more.

He did love the ladies,
& the whores all over town
loved him, loved his looks
& his fat wad of cash.

One night the year before
he shot a miner in the groin
for disrespecting Miss Annie,
one of his favorites.

He enjoyed gambling, 
had a real passion for it; 
poker was his game,
until the night it became
his unraveling,

when Claude Haven sat himself down
at one of the beer-stained green felt
covered tables directly across
from the Kid, slapping a fat pile
of greenbacks alongside a tall stack
of twenty dollar gold pieces. 

The Kid’s jade eyes lit up,
shining with mescal & arrogance.
He drew for an inside straight,
but the cards betrayed him.
He was all in, 500 bucks in the pot,
so he put on the glower & the bluff--
but old Claude had a full house,
aces over tens.

The Kid exploded, howling
like a wasp-stung bear,
as his big hands dove down
for the waiting Colts, dangling
from his waist like twin silver cocks;

it seems that Haven was prepared,
he had one of those terrible tiny
one-shot derringers, spring-loaded
under his coat sleeve, just above his right wrist.

The French pop gun made its small noise,
and the hot slug parted
the Kid’s eyebrows, burrowing
like a tick of lightning knuckle-deep
into his brain, so

before the Colt twins could bark death,
death itself leaped ravenously upon him,
taking his youth, devouring the light.

Claude Haven played the Big Man
for about a month until two half-breeds
backshot him in alley in Tombstone.

I wonder what he said to the Kid
when they met up in the town
of Glory?

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blackthorne--Scene Twenty-Four

image borrowed from bing


Cinemagenic Twenty-Four

Shave & a Haircut

“The best reason I can think of for not running for President,
is that I’d have to shave twice a day.”--Adlai Stevenson.

1(sound cue) harmonica lullaby.
2(medium two-shot)
--Barber: I’m Barnes, what’s your pleasure?
--Hunter: I’m Buck, a shave & a haircut would be much
3(medium shot) Barnes checks a red kettle on a pot bellied stove 
behind them; it’s steaming. He is a tall man with wide shoulders
and large hands, with an erect posture, balding with a shiny pate,
wearing a thick salt & pepper mustache with mutton chops, a short
white barber’s jacket & an orange bow tie. 
4(medium close-up) Barnes lays out three chrome pairs of scissors,
and two straight razors--then commenced to strop a thick leather
5(sound cue) the sound of a straight razor blade slapping against
the scarred leather. 
6(medium close-up) Buck props up the Sharps against a small table,
still within reach, then thumps his black hat on a sideboard; part of
a china cabinet with a marvelous collection of pocket watches in it.
--Buck: kind of warm in here with that stove--mind if I open the door
a mite?
--Barnes: sure, kick her open, it’s a fine morning.
8(sound cue) piano & violin. 
9(medium shot) Buck opens the door as the two cow bells
10(close-up) Buck whistles shrilly. 
11(medium wide shot) Cheewa slides silently into the shop, & lies
down under the table, watching the street.
12(two shot)
--Barnes: I don’t hold much with dogs in my shop, mister.
--Buck: he’ll mind his manners; he won’t mess up your sawdust
13(hold the two-shot) angle on the barber over Buck’s shoulder;
--Barnes: what if another customer comes in?
--Buck: he never bites unless I tell him to.
14(mediuim close-up) Cheewa curls up a lip & growls.
15(close-up) Barnes setting his jaw in resignation.
16(medium two-shot) Barnes latches a barber’s striped apron
around Buck’s neck, then pours out hot water from the red
kettle into a brown ceramic bowl; dips then wrings out a
steaming cloth.
17(sound cue) banjo & accordion.
18(tight two-shot) Buck closes his eyes as the barber places
the steaming cloth on his face.
--Barnes: I don’t like dogs.
--Buck: don’t tell him that--he’s very sensitive. 
19(medium two-shot) Barnes begins trimming Buck’s long 
thick hair with a shiny pair of scissors.
--Barnes: what was all that shooting about, up the street
a while ago?
20(medium close-up) Barnes is massaging Buck’s face through
the hot towel;
--Buck: couple of fellas took to scuffling over one of the ladies
at the CHINA DOLL.
21(tight two-shot) Barnes lifts off the hot towel, & Buck’s
beard is sparkling & steaming.
--Barnes: anyone get hurt?
--Buck: one of the bully guards got himself shot.
22(medium two-shot) the barber picks up two pairs of scissors
& returns to cutting hair.
23(sound cue) scissors snipping & clacking:
--Barnes: which one?
--Buck: the big ugly one.
24(tight two shot) angle on
--Barnes: Ramos? I hope to hell it was Ramos.
--Buck: we didn’t get around to exchanging handles.
25(sound cue) blues guitar double slide.
26(wide two-shot)
--Barnes; so you were there? did you get in on any of
the shooting.
--Buck: I was there.
27( open up wide shot) cut to angle behind the men, with
the black dog still watching the street:
--Barnes: I heard some glass shattering before the shots;
damn place is a chamber of horrors, it ought be torched.
--Buck: did you say chamber of whores?
--Barnes chuckles.
--Buck: I been in worse.
28(sound cue) saloon piano.
--Barnes: couple of men a week get killed or crippled
in that pusshole.
--Buck: doesn’t this chickenshit town still have a sheriff?
31(sound cue) soft guitar strumming.
32(medium two-shot)
--Barnes: oh yeah, we got ourselves a sheriff, Joe Hopp--
wears a tin badge, has a deputy, locks drunks up in his
jail & everything.
33(cut to medium wide shot) Barnes is silent, trimming now
on Buck’s skunk-striped beard.
--Buck: but?
34(medium close-up)
--Barnes: but nothing, it is Cash Bronson that runs this town.
Joe Hopp is very aware of the dozen gunslingers Bronson
employs--& if he ever meddled into the goings-on at the
CHINA DOLL, Bronson would squash him like a cockroach,
wiping his brains off the boot like it was cow shit. 
35( two-shot) angle on
--Buck: so Bronson makes the law here?
--Barnes: I didn’t say that; it has nothing to do with the law--
it has everything to do with the power. 
--Buck: what the fuck--there’s a Bronson in every town. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets OLN134

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Desperate Hound

image borrowed from bing

The Desperate Hound

Try not to be influenced by other’s opinions, because
too often it is tragedy that mantles the temptations of
this world.”--Sneaky.

Max was getting old,
just another useless Labrador Retriever
forced to retire, no longer able
to go bird hunting with the Master.

One morning Max was lying 
on the back porch talking 
with Slick & Sneaky, 
a pair of Siamese cats.

Max: I’m really troubled by my infirmities, &
I must find a way to feel better.

Slick: I hear you, old fellow. It must be painful
to have the grouse & quail, the ducks & geese
taunting you.

Sneaky: You were once a prince among retrievers,
& now the Master is training Molly, your silly
Labradoodle daughter to hunt with him.

Max: Who could have guessed that a one night stand
with Colette would turn out this way?

Slick: Life can be cruel, for sure. Every bird in this area
makes fun of you--you should hear some of the things
they call you.

Max stood up, & shook himself, his ears flapping
& his collar jangling:
--Believe me, I have heard them, & it gives me fits
& nightmares.

Sneaky: So, what can you do about it?

Max: I have a plan.

Slick: Oh, tell us all about it, maybe we can help.

Sneaky: Yes, Maxie, what’s up?

Max sat back on his haunches, & pointed
over at the long whitewashed chicken house.
--Those wild birds are now too fast & feisty, 
but those dumb chickens would be easy pickings.

Sneaky: Bad idea, old boy, those tame fowl are
the Master’s pride--not only do they provide tubs
full of eggs daily, they also win him blue ribbons
every year at the State Fair.

Max: I just don’t care any more. I need to taste
bird in my mouth, to spit out wet feathers, to suck
a mess of eggs.

Sneaky: Are you talking about just being an egg raider,
or actually killing some chickens?

Max: Both.

Slick: Wow, that’s heavy, man--when were you planning
on doing the dirty deed?

Max: This very night.

Sneaky: What makes you think you could get away with it?

Max: I have seen Fritz, the fox, hanging around again--I’m
sure he’ll get the blame.,

Slick: Now that is smart! Can I come too?

Sneaky: Please, Slick, don’t get involved in this
dangerous folly.

Max: Come to think of it, I could use some help--
you could jump through a window & unlatch the door
for me; that would be cool.

Slick: I could easily do that. Count me in--I’m down
for this caper.

Sadly, Max & Slick did get into the chicken house that night.
Max leaped upon some plump hens, and tore them to pieces,
while Slick kept Ralph the rooster at bay.

Help, help, oh someone help us, Max is killing our sisters;
came the loud squawks. 

Max did not stop once the murderous mayhem
began, he went into a killing frenzy, mesmerized
by the dark deed--slaying dozens more of the
helpless poultry, and it made him feel glorious.

Just then the Master appeared in the open doorway
with a bright lantern in one hand & a shotgun in the other.

Max stopped his terrible tirade, looking up at the Master
with pitiful sad eyes, his muzzle smeared with blood.

Sneaky was outside standing on a tractor when he heard
two deafening blasts--the first shot like the bang of Thor’s
hammer, followed by Max’s piercing dying yelp, & the second
shot that thundered out across the barn yard.

Slick had miraculously escaped, but he never returned to
the farm--spent the rest of his life as a feral cat out in the
forest. Sneaky had heard from Sid the squirrel that a badger
had killed him last winter. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Invasion of the Animal People (1962)


OK, OK, now let’s endeavor to unravel this bizarre conundrum. First of all back in 1959, American film director Victor W. Vogel went to Sweden and shot a co-American/Swedish film in English, running 55 minutes, released in Sweden as SPACE INVASION OF LAPPLAND, aka RYMDINVASION I LAPPLAND, then released in America with the title TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN (which was a bullshit title to begin with since the movie story takes place in Sweden in the winter, and one only sees the midnight sun over there in summer). To add to the legacy of this film, in 1962, schlock producer Jerry Warren bought the rights for the film, reshot scenes in Los Angeles so that he could put in John Carradine as the narrator, and changed the title to INVASION OF THE ANIMAL PEOPLE. 

Victor Vogel was a film editor at Universal in the 1940’s, but by the mid-50’s he got bored and asked if he could do some directing. He was assigned THE MOLE PEOPLE (1956), with John Agar, & it was a modest success. He went on to direct 78 films, but 75 of them were television shows; feature films were not his bread & butter it seems. He did direct THE KETTLES ON OLD MACDONALD’S FARM (1957), and in 1959 he squeezed in some time to go to Sweden & shoot TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN, in between shooting TV episodes of MIKE HAMMER, LARAMIE, SHOTGUN SLADE, & M SQUAD. He, therefore is mostly known for his television directing. 

Getting back to TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN, it starred Barbara Wilson, Sten Gester, Robert Burton, Bengt Blomgren, Ake Gronberg, & Gosta Pruzelius. 

Barbara Wilson was an American actress, who appeared in 21 movies between 1955-1995, which included CAPTAIN FATHOM aka TOBOR (1955) BLOOD OF DRACULA (1957), & THE FLESH EATERS (1964).

Robert Burton was an American actor, who had a very busy career, appearing in 157 films between 1952-1963. He died at age 67 in 1962. Some of the films he did included THE BIG HEAT (1953) TAZA, SON OF COCHISE (1954), JUBAL (1956), THE TALL T (1957), I WAS A TEENAGE FRANKENSTEIN (1957), and his last film was THE SLIME PEOPLE (1963). 



Can Earth stop the onslaught of Beast- Men from space?
Could it happen? See for yourself?
Monsters walk the earth in ravishing rampage of clawing fury!
Giant apes run amuck in ice death attack controlled by alien brains!

The cinematography was done by Hilding Bladh, a seasoned veteran who had lensed 69 films between 1935-1964, including HELEN OF TROY (1951), SAWDUST & TINSEL (1953), and Ingmar Bergman’s DREAMS (1955). The very cheesy special effects were done by Odert von Schoultz.

A Viewer wrote, “The technical credits are strictly from hunger, with the too dark cinematography unleashes a hideous torrent of unsightly horrible fade-outs.”

The film score was shared by Harry Arnold & Allan Johansson. Arnold scored 43 Swedish films from 1952-1971. Johansson was an actor, who only wrote music for two films, this one and another in 1945. An insipidly sweet title tune was sung as a romantic ballad by the Golden Gate Quartet. 

A Viewer wrote,”The blaring musical score sporadically drowns out the banal dialogue (a blessing in disguise).“


Jerry Warren was the producer/director who bought TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN, rewrote & added a series of nonsensical scenes, and changed the locale of the story to Switzerland, which makes the Sammis, the Swedish Laplanders, even more lost in time & space, then cast John Carradine as the “Narrator”, standing in a classroom, twitching a pencil, and uttering some of the most innocuous dialogue ever written. Carradine, who appeared in 340 films between 1931-1990, felt that this film was, “one of my worst.”--this from an actor who appeared in films like THE GARDEN OF ALLAH (1936), MR. MOTO’S LAST WARNING (1939), VOODOO MAN (1944), THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD (1957), THE COSMIC MAN (1959), SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE (1960), THE WIZARD OF MARS (1965), BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA (1966), & THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES (1968). 

Narrator: “Memories are diminished as the passage of time provides a past--and it equally brings us to the future, & without a future, there would be no present.”

It was said of Jerry Warren, “He could always be counted on for delivering the lowest common denominator in horror films.” Some of the 11 movies he released as producer/director included MAN BEAST (1956), TEENAGE ZOMBIES (1961), TERROR OF THE BLOODHUNTERS (1962), ATTACK OF THE MAYAN MUMMY (1964), CURSE OF THE STONE HAND (1964), THE WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN (1966), & FRANKENSTEIN ISLAND (1981). He died at 63 years of age in 1988. 

Jerry Warren once said, “In Hollywood it is the Producers who rule, they are the ones that have it all.”

Synopsis: In the American version, the film starts out with Diane, an American beauty who seems to experience an ET visit late one night while in bed. She was awakened to a horrendous shrill noise that apparently only she can hear; confused, in pain, panicked, she rushes outside in her nightgown, and sees some very strange lights in the sky. Paramedics arrive, and take her to the hospital, where she is in shock, so much so that she becomes catatonic, sort of, & is unable to recount her strange experience. Her doctors, baffled by her seizure, postulate that perhaps her condition has something to do with UFO sightings in the area that same night. 

Diane, suddenly, recovers completely, & makes the important decision to pursue her life’s dream of becoming an Olympic figure skating champion, deciding further to move to Sweden, meeting up with her uncle, Dr. Wilson, a famous geologist. 

Now this is where the two films merge, for in the Swedish version, and Dr. Wilson went there to investigate a reported meteor landing; and Diane, his niece, was already there, and already was an Olympics star. The uncle’s associate, a dashing Swedish doctor, Dr. Engstrom, is immediately smitten by Diane’s beauty, & he tries to hook up with her; she, coy & sultry, plays hard to get, and we are treated to a hazy shower nude scene as she prepares for dinner.  But the budding romance is put on hold when it is discovered that a herd of reindeer has been mutilated.  They drive some ice cats out to look at the dead reindeer, and Diane comes along in her evening gown, to see things for herself. It was her who discovered the first monster track, easily 3’ X 4’ wide. “This creature must be 20’ tall,”  said one of them. This excites the scientists, who fly to the site of the meteor crash post haste, located in the mountains in the far north part of Lapland.

Diane, is true ingenue-style, stows away in the plane, which really irritates the scientists. 
When they try and decide how to deal with her:
Dr. Engstrom: Well, it’s your niece, doctor.
Dr. Wilson: Well, it’s your expedition, doctor.
Dr. Engstrom: No, it was my expedition.

 The scientists investigate the meteor crater, and decide it must be a space craft. Before they can return to their plane, suddenly an enormous hairy creature appears, definitely abominable, standing somewhere between 8 feet & 15 feet tall, with powerful tusks & jaws, looking a bit like a Halloween version of PREDATOR, and massive feet; kind of a kin to Yeti. The hirsute beast destroys the airplane, kills the guard watching it, and all the action happens off screen. All of the shots of the monster were low-level & pointed up, allowing it to look larger; kind of a cheapie version of the famous Orson Welles shots in CITIZEN KANE. 

The scientists send Eric & Diane on skis to make it back to the Laplander’s village & bring back help. Meanwhile one of the Swedish scientists gets too close to the craft and the aliens zap him; they look like the white-faced hooded death figure in Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL. Meanwhile Diane falls down and sprains her knee, so the couple take refuge in a survivor’s cabin. He builds a fire, and she sheds her “wet clothes”. He leaves her there & skis off toward the village. The monster had been watching, it seems, and it peeks in the window, causing Diane to scream. Oddly it is the hero, who had skied away from Diane who hears the scream, then he continues to ski downhill away from her on the way to save her. He does return in time to find her dressed, and before they can escape, the monster pushes an avalanche down on the cabin, & only Diane makes it out. She then wanders all night on foot, while the monster patiently tracks her. Technically, many of the outdoor skiing scenes were fairly well shot, and there was a real sense of place for the locale. But all the day-for-night scenes were not processed well, & they did come out too dark & shadowy; often so much so one could not tell what the hell was going on. 

The horn-dog beast begins doing a King Kong imitation, displaying sweet & tender gestures toward Diane. She screams a lot, and passes out, and he carries her in his arms back to the craft.  He introduces the terrified skater to the pilots of the spaceship, & they seem to dig her too; making me wonder if there was going to be some kind of kinky sex train pulled here. But lo, & behold, the wily Laplanders have already saved Dr. Wilson, and dug Dr. Engstrom out of the snow, which seems to really piss off the monster, who attacks the village and tears up cabins & teepees with his bare hands. A soldier fires his pistol at the monster several times, but bullets do not phase him. He tosses part of a cabin roof onto the rescue plane, and destroys it too. 

Meanwhile the aliens have managed to frighten Diane into another long screaming fit, & then she passes out in the snow. They leave her & head back to the space craft. The Laplanders do not like it that the monster flattened their lovely village, so about two dozen of them light up torches, and head out on skis to locate the beast. We see the monster return to the vicinity of the crash, pick the unconscious Diane, and wander around for a bit until it gets dark & the angry laplanders with their dogs & reindeer, wearing their funny hats, find them and attack. The monster drops Diane unceremoniously, and although he could not be hurt by bullets, it seems he was not fire-proof. The Sammis light him up, and he falls backward into the crater. The aliens see all this on their CCTV remote screens, and immediately they batten down the hatches, and take off before the villagers can get to them. 

As the spacecraft, still looking like a glob of aluminum foil lit up with candles, is taking off, the four protagonists are standing and watching, and although they do not wave good-bye, Dr. Wilson says, “Well, let’s hope for better luck than they had when we set foot on some other world.”  Eric & Diane walk hand in hand as romantic silhouettes into a morning sunrise that stood in for a midnight sun to the jerky strains of the title tune. 

Looking up the film on Rotten Tomatoes, this is the first time that I ever encountered 
.000% on the Critic’s approval, and 20% on the Audience approval, with NO Critic’s reviews at all, No audience reviews, & No quotes. 

A Viewer wrote, “There has never been any film quite like it, making PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE look like GONE WITH THE WIND.”

Trivia:  The budget for the original Vogel film, TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN, was only $40,000.00. It was filmed in Stockholm, Abisko, & Bjorkliden, Norr Bottens Ian, Sweden. A poster for this film is displayed on a punk rocker’s wall in the movie BLOOD & SEX NIGHTMARE (2008). The scientists fly to Lapland in a SAS Convair Metroliner,
the Trygve Viking, but when they land it’s in a Swedish Army Noorduyn Norseman. It is said that only the American version of the film made it to video, and that the Swedish version was rare, with only a few 35mm prints extant; however, the DVD that is available presently, has both versions of the film on it, released by SOMETHING WEIRD VIDEO plus a short that shows the festival in Lapland where women bite the testicles off reindeer, & several trailers for Swedish Sexploitation films--LOVE, SWEDISH STYLE--MAID IN SWEDEN--SAPPHO, DARLING--SWEDEN, HEAVEN & HELL--& TO INGRID, WITH LOVE. Besides the fetching short LAPLAND REINDEER RITCHUAL, there is an additional short entitled SWEDISH TEENS RUN WILD.

In the re-edited American version, INVASION OF THE ANIMAL PEOPLE (1962) there was an added 26 minutes of scenes that had very little to do with the scenes before & after them. In one of the new scenes, one of the scientists points to Lapland on the map, & he is actually pointing to Greenland. Microphones & boom shadows are visible at times. THE ROYAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE is written on a hand-painted paper sign pinned to the door.

A Viewer wrote, “I know this is supposed to be a cult classic now, but I can’t easily rate this movie; it’s so bad, it’s good, so the rating would be somewhere between 1 star & 10 stars.”

From my perspective, TERROR IN THE MIDNIGHT SUN was silly, but watchable, much like a lot of other Drive-in movies that were released in the late 1950’s; cheesy, silly, illogical, almost ridiculous, still I would have made out with some chick at the old El Rancho Drive In in 1959 while it was on the screen; giving it a rating of 2 stars--but after Jerry Warren bought it, re-edited it, turned it into a mish-mash of total absurdity, it emerged as a first class piece-of-crap cult film that would be technically rated at --2 stars, & yet provides us with giggles & guffaws with its SCIENCE FICTION THEATER status. So this film, or these films, represent a bizarre transformation that is not usually encountered in the world of horror & science fiction. I am grateful to have been asked to review them, but will not rush to watch them again. 

Word Processing

image borrowed from bing

Word Processing

The last time somebody said,”I can write so much better
on a word processor,” I replied,”They used to say the
same thing about drugs.”--Roy Blount, Jr.

Hemingway always wrote everything in longhand,
as did I, & still do, because
there is something essential for me
in seeing those words for the first time
in my unique & personal scrawl.

I’ve always been a Bic-boy, writing in pen,
though these days it tends to be with
a 1mm black-lined rolling writer ballpoint,
having given up writing in pencil in Junior High,
even though several creative writing teachers
insisted on it half a decade ago--
when typewriters were still a staple tool;
the second great joy for me while writing
was to watch my words appearing so neatly
typed on a blank page. 

For years I used an avocado green 
Underwood portable typewriter, and
you had to pound those keys soundly
to get dark even results--which I regretted
when I graduated to an electric typewriter,
& after suffering with overtyping repeated
letters, one learned a softer touch.

My typing skills slowly improved as most
of my vocational career played out in offices,
at a steel desk, with a typewriter being
the primary note & communication device.

I remember the excitement I felt,
the naked joy, when I was finally issued
an IBM Selectric typewriter, complete
with an auto-correction function--
and then the actual anger I experienced
when the VA reclaimed all those beautiful
machines, & replaced them with the
early models of Apple computers.

Very few of us even had a clue about
operating computers, so we were forced
to endure several 8 hour training sessions
that covered “everything we needed to know”
about our new systems--but most of us
could not stay focused, could not process
more than 2 hours before we interfaced
with dreaded sensory overload, and immediately
after each official government class
we would have to resort to begging
the few computer geeks among us
to perform impromptu in services 
with the rest of us;

then after what seemed ages, an eternity
of frustration & ignorance, we began
to possess marginal skills, & much like
trained chimpanzees, we could perform
certain functions by rote.

Add to this the active conflict 
of owning an Mac computer at home
because our children had learned their
skills on the free Macs given to their schools,
and by then working on PC’s at the office,
it was like shifting between left-hand
& right-hand drive twice daily, plaguing
us with active cognitive dissonance. 

It has been our children who have taught
us the skills to barely comprehend
the latest technology, & we have had to
accept our subservient role graciously.

So the bottom line becomes
it is sort of enlightening to realize
that older folks can continue to learn
new skills, and can peripherally participate
in the saccadic swirl, the overwhelming
constant introduction of new communication
devices, & even though we probably will not
camp out over night in a line to get one of them,
& we may never come up to par, we will putter
away at our own pace, expanding our sphere
of fellowship to every corner of the planet,
even though it is evident that we will only
utilize our own computers at the same
rate as we have habitually used our own 
brain--at less than 5% of its capacity. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over on dVerse Poets MTB

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