Carol called a local TV repair joint to have them come look at our 21″ Panasonic that has developed a severe case of the unwatchable squigglies. The guy called back and left a message – barely containing his laughter – informing us that our television is “a throwaway model.”
Now, honestly, my first instinct was to throw the thing away. Actually, my first instinct when any machine dies is to take it outside and beat it with a sledgehammer until it is little more than plastic and glass dust. While such violent outbursts are extremely satisfying, they can frighten those around you, so it’s best to reserve them for when they are really needed.
But I know I’m old, because I remember renting a damn 19″ TV because they were just too new and expensive to actually buy. Now I’m told anything under 27 inches costs more to fix that to buy new. In a few years everything we buy will be “a throwaway model.”
Of course computers have always been that way. Upgrading an old computer is a pointless exercise in masochism, best left to poverty-stricken hackers in Kosovo, nomadic sherpas in the Himalayas, and kids in the Los Angeles school district.
I suppose soon we’ll have disposable cars, houses, families…all those things we used to be saddled with for the long term. Just throw them away and buy a new one, it’s cheaper. And all that plastic and glass dust is good for your immune system…
Speaking of immune systems, why didn’t anyone tell me ozone was a deadly gas? I’ve had this “air cleaning” machine two feet away from me for a couple of years now. Maybe that explains the constant hacking cough and bleeding toenails.