Have you noticed how things tend to fall apart in groups? The other day, the remote to one of our televisions quit working. I put new batteries in it, and it still didn't work. Today I bought a new remote, but it doesn't work, either. So the only thing I can think of is that the little device in the television itself, the thing that communicates with the remote, has gone collywampus. It would probably be expensive to fix, so I might as well put that money toward a new television. But now I'm wondering which thing in the house will break down next. Things are a pain in the ass (or arse, for those of you who have no ass.)
Still, new things though they will be, I want to replace the television, and get a new camera. Currently, I'm leaning toward a SLR camera, rather than trying to go digital, since digital would require a computer upgrade, and a digital camera is pretty much useless without a computer. I'm very wary of buying things that are dependent upon yet other things to be functional. The web of things easily grows tangled and ensnares the "owner" of the things completely. Eventually, I'm sure, all things will be dependent upon all other things, and we shall all be trapped by our dependence on the sum of these interdependent things.
I try not to think of that day. I remind myself of W.C. Williams' observation-- No ideas, but in things. I recall Richard Wilbur's poem, Love Calls Us to the Things of This World. These truths do not comfort me. The things we have now, however useful or pleasurable they may be, are different from the things we once had. Sluggo, for example, is kin to a Grecian urn only in that they were both made by humans. In all other ways, this humming, glowing, unstable cluster of devices with which I am sending messages into the world, and receiving messages back, is of an entirely different order than the products of earlier technologies. Should Sluggo be dug from the ruins of my house two thousand years hence, I doubt greatly that he will inspire any poet to rapturous verse.
But, again I maunder. I am going to go distract myself from thoughts of the fragility of modern civilization by watching television, assuming that one of them works, and the cable doesn't go down, or the power fail. But whatever thing falls apart next, at least I will still have my unbroken sense of irony.