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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Blog 53. I suffer from PANTs syndrome, do you?

Being both random and more light-hearted this week I’ll take the opportunity to apologise to those folk who posted comments to Brown Girl over the months. After a year I only just found the courage to delve into the cogs and wheels of the apparatus. After breaking the blog two or three times in the first few months it was too scary to go messing about. But people kept asking if their comments had been received. They never had or so it seemed. Maybe they were floating round the e-stratosphere unable to land. On a whim a couple few days ago I finally went a wandering in the workings, explored the oily insides of the blog machinery and found a tool that led me to a list of hitherto un-opened options. With some trepidation I clicked and up popped a very long list of comments. As there was no sign of imminent implosion of the blog, no ‘error on the page’ or notice that the function would ‘shut down in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seconds' I read all the input. THANK YOU. In future I will try and read them in good time and publish a selection.

For anyone who finds this level of Luddite behaviour and techno-trepidation pitiable, what can I say? I have an aversion to technology that may be verging on a syndrome. If my disorder does not yet have an acronym lets use this for now; Persistent Aversion to New Technologies or PANTs. I tried Terror Inducing Technologies but that wasn’t so good.

Now my lack of car, dishwasher, home internet, TV, microwave, i-phone etc can be attributed to this new and fascinating condition rather than, let's say, my budget. Also the fact that I’ve never been on facebook or tweeted. Or maybe those last two are to do with the fact that I am repelled by the idea of the mass exposure of the grimiest aspects of human nature. Who can tell?

The syndrome might be even more complicated and intriguing than that.

There could be an element of just generally not liking new things.  Maybe that’s why I shop in charity shops rather than high street stores. Actually no. I do that because of the price and also because you occasionally find interesting stuff in charity shops whereas once you’ve been in one high street clothes store you pretty much know what is in all of them. On the other hand I do still ride the bicycle that my parents bought me when I was 8!

How – you ask with a hint of scepticism in your voice – do you cope with the blog? Well, the blog was forced on me by an ongoing problem. Anyone under the age of 35 who came to see me perform would look through me as if I was vaporising when I responded to their request for a web reference of Fb page with a negative. They would back away from me faintly disturbed when they realised I only existed in the real world.

My aversion to technology often tips over into fear and that can become socially disabling. Recently I was talking to a guy from Warwickshire county council in relation to the library event in Leamington. He joked that I should send him a message ‘by pigeon’. Instead of appreciating this witticism, panic took hold. I assumed he was referring to some recent manifestation of internet communication wizardry that had passed me by. The Tweet had been superseded by Pigeon! There was a horrible silence on the phone. My lack of knowledge morphed into a blank of heavy breathing. I was yet again on my own little island of not so blissful ignorance.

Not that me and jokes have a comfortable history. Once while performing at a fundraiser I quipped that if people went onto eBay they'd find one of my kidneys for auction. There was a deathly hush followed by a few titters then relieved sporadic chuckles. A friend later explained that there were enough people in the audience who knew me to hesitate on the question of whether I was mad enough to do such a thing. But I digress (hoorah)

The comments were ALL read before being deleted to make way for more so in future I will navigate to the comments cog in sensible time and publish the ones that say marvellous things.

Many Thanks.

And to fellow PANTs sufferers, the cure is to pretend it’s not happening and eat cake.

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