Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Mother vs Technology Part II

I hate it when people who know nothing about computers or internet culture speak about computers or internet culture. When I rule the world, there are several people on TV who I am going to feed to my crocodiles.

Has anyone seen the show 'The Sarah Connor Chronicles'? For anyone out there who has a black hole where their Science Fiction knowledge should be, it is part of the Terminator franchise. And it's actually really very good. However, one of the screenwriters is on my crocodile list, for the crime of heinously misrepresenting both the internet and the 'yoof' culture.

What is even more confusing, is the fact that I am 99% sure that the majority of the crew of The Sarah Connor chronicles are nerds. And those that aren't nerds are instead hardcore nerds. And nerds like the internet. So how is it possible for a show created and broadcast by nerds to make such a grievious error?

Oh right, the error. Well, picture this. A eight year old boy is sitting at a TV, playing an RPG on what is presumably an XBox and speaking into a headset to another RPGer. So far so good. Right up until the moment the boy speaks. What, gentle reader, does the boy utter to his friend across the headset?

"No, what are you doing, are you a noob? You don't want to get owned! Ah, brb, I gotta afk for a minute."

No. just no. That is a bad scriptwriter. Very bad scriptwriter! Bad! No snausage for you!

When I saw this I grabbed my head in my hands so fast that I accidentally slapped myself. Who did the research for this child's character? Have they been alive for more than five minutes? Who out there honestly thinks that internet abbreviations and slang are really spoken out loud? The day people start saying 'brb' 'afk' and 'lol' in civilised conversation is the day that I 'foatemano'*. What's even more disturbing is the fact that this was written, proofread, edited, printed, distributed, rehearshed, acted, filmed, edited again, and put into the final cut, all without someone stepping in and simply saying "Er, no."

However, the fact that the little boy had to ay eff kay because there was a Terminator at the door about to fill him with bullets is FRICKIN' COOL enough for me to forgive the above error. You get away with it this time, Terminator franchise, because you give me cyborgs.

But. There are others. Oh yes, other criminals who need to meet my crocodiles. Another such offender can be found on the show 'Grumpy Old Women'. It was an Xmas special, and the grumpy old women were complaining about the complexities of giving computers as Xmas presents. All well and good, I suppose that the concept 'plug and play' is just a bit too much for these ladies. I was willing to overlook their technophobia, right up until one of them had the audacity to say -

"And then they give you a playstation that's not compatible with your software and it all goes horribly wrong from there..."

Wot? Wot?! Not compatible with your software? It's a playstation! It's a separate entity! That makes no sense! You plug one end into the wall, you plug the other end into the TV, and you're goddamned off!! Don't you old people start making up problems that don't exist now, or I'm going right outside and getting the hose. There is no software incompatibility anywhere in this equation, except in your miiind. Your mind! A mind soon to be ingested by crocodiles. Crunch.

Now. I realise that I have just spent about ten minutes just ranting about two tiny small teeny misrepresentations of computers in the media. It's not like anyone died. But, it is things such as this that are the reason why people such as my Mother are currently running around yelling about identity theft.

Yes, there is a link, I swear. Allow me to explain.

My Uncle has spent months conducting research, and has created an online family tree for my famiily. It is on Now, since my Mother knows as much about technology as chavs do about their ABC, this has been causing her some grief. And by extension (read: her getting scared and yelling at me), it's been causing me grief too.

She is convinced that we are going to have our identities stolen and that we will all be replaced in our sleep. For the tree (which you must be invited specifically by my Uncle to see) lists each family member's name, date of birth, and city/town of birth.

EGADS! Are you shaking yet? I am. Sort of. Well, not really. Okay, no, I'm not shaking.

Naturally, my first response was to say "Tell him to take us off the tree." to which she replied "I don't want to cause offence." no, no of course not, you don't mind shortening my life-expectancy by waking me in the middle of the night by shouting "REPLICANT" but we mustn't cause the distant Uncle offence. No. That would be stupid.

So I tried to tell her that no one has ever had their identity stolen from having someone know their birthday. Foolish, I was, foolish. The conversation played out as thus -

Mum: "Alice, If you were going to steal someone's identity, where is the first place you'd look?"

Me: (is almost knocked unconscious by the obvious rhetoric) "Mum, if I wanted to steal someone's identity, I would go straight to So then I could find out that you were born on the 29th May in Nottingham. I would then go straight to the hospital you were born in, and demand that they give me a copy of your birth certificate. AND THEN I WOULD BE YOU."

Okay, I didn't say that. I said

Me: "I would go through your rubbish, because a surprising amount of people throw away both their bank details and national insurance numbers without destroying them first. Then I would spy on your house to determine when you left it, then I would break in and steal your important documents. But it would be much simpler to just phish you, because you don't know what that means and there is a reason I do not let you check your emails unattended." (cue explanation that has nothing to do with fish)

But this was not the right answer, children. The right answer is ''. I am an ignorant scamp.

Please. Every time you misrepresent computers in the media, a technophobe goes mad and a Raevyn gets shouted at. Please, think of The Raevyns.

*freak out and tear every mother**cker a new one


Anonymous Dazron said...

Regarding your first point, I do believe that, whilst being an undeniably poor piece of dialogue, people do, in fact, say nerd speak out loud. I myself call my Wiff a 'Noob', not without some Irony it has to be said, but there you are. I have also heard on many occasion, the phrase 'OWWNNNEDD!!!' screamed down my very own headset. Bloody kids.

4:00 pm  

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