CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Nothing Is Ever Deleted in E-World

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on Jan. 11, 2012.)

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Several weeks ago (Dec. 21) we lamented the loss of a completed column caused by a wandering finger hitting a wrong key. You’ve heard about the monkey that writes a best-seller by aimlessly walking on a keyboard, but CR2S could not redo the original because we do not have a written draft nor plot a column beforehand; flying blind, so to speak.

But even as I wrote of my comeuppance, I felt sure my original effort was orbiting around somewhere in outer space, debris in an electronic graveyard without a headstone.

As so many oldsters do these days when confronted with modern day e-problems, I turned to my boys for salvation and guidance. From 400 miles away, a computer genius consultant of son Russ’ patiently inquired about the whys and wherefores of the hallowed father’s faux pas. While this research was being conducted via cell phone, I couldn’t help but think about the current movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” based on a national best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson.  The protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, is a pierced and tattooed punk prodigy who is a top-echelon computer hacker, amongst other talents. You read there is nothing sacrosanct nor deleted forever.

Voila! After about an hour of back-and-forth technical gobbledygook, the manuscript magically was retrieved in its entirety on screen.

[Now it is Monday, three weeks later and I’m telling you, hey, the day hasn’t exactly been a pleasure. Lately if something bad/weird is gonna happen, it always seems to fall on the day after Sunday. So I’m sitting here with a pain in the head/throat/heart/stomach/groin, wearing a life alert necklace, trying to be courageous and meet another ominous deadline. Then a genius thought: Why not print portions of the original lost column to fill today’s void?]

“I don’t know what you’re talking about sometimes,” is a comment made by some CR2S followers. Then there are those who remark (but not complain) about the need for a dictionary every once in a while.

An admission: Sometimes I have no idea of where I’m going with a thought myself. A theme, if fortunate, emerges from the Joycean stream-of-consciousness trek; which means wandering around aimlessly until a word path is found. As far as the second criticism is concerned, I admit to using four-bit words when the two-bit variety would suffice. Who uses “vainglorious” or “nebulous” in conversation? No one. Guilty. Guilty.

But you know something? This li’l ole wordsmith has had an ongoing love affair with words ever since taking an English lit class in junior college in the day of margarine and Glenn Miller. Chester Hess was the instructor, a skinny guy who was probably gay but that was when the word meant cheerful. Through his teaching magic Chaucer, Cyrano and Shakespeare became as clear as Arrowhead water and Will Rogers.

And since we’re in a clarifying mood, let’s try to address another question: Why the penchant (inclination) for the dark side; too much philosophizing about life and death, the pros and cons of past versus future. Guilty. Again. Just like OJ. The question before the Ultimate Magistrate of Words is whether CR2S should leave Aristotle to Plato or vice versa; read Peanuts instead of Pepys. Is Guy de Maupassant a New York bodega owner selling cigarettes for fifteen bucks a pack? Or a French dude on a street corner wearing a raincoat? In 80-degree weather. (Excuse me while I take a short peanut brittle break.)

At roll call CR2S is both chicken-hearted and Chicken Little. The past has been awfully good to me and yet it doth appear the sky is falling lately. In this era of Big Pharma, there is still no magic potion for all physical woes nor a formula to solve psychological dilemmas. So it’s each to your own destiny. And we try mightily to put words to thoughts while wobbling around without the aid of a safety net.

If the glove fits, you gotta exculpate (acquit). Which means you oughtta give me another chance to be querulous next week.”

Okay, now it’s back to real time: On further review maybe the penalty flag shoulda been thrown. My bad. But time for a “feel good” message from a reader: 

“You ARE a very special person. It isn’t just the car dealers who think so. My mom and I greatly enjoy your columns. Your musings are always witty, thoughtful and candid …” —VM

Trojan CR2S has always been lucky with (female) Uclans.

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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