Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Inseide Dope: Sweets for the sweet … oldies for the …

The following is excerpted from a piece in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

"For years, people have accused me of being a technophobe, and like many accusations, there’s some truth in it. But, also like many rumors, there’s falsehood in it as well. It all depends, of course, on what technology you’re talking about.

Some technologies are absolutely fabulous. For example, there’s modern medicine. Today, people routinely survive conditions and procedures that not all that many years ago routinely killed them. As for medicine’s sister art, dentistry? All I’ll say is, anyone who extols the virtues of old-time dentists and dentistry never dealt with either one.

Other technologies were always good but now are much improved. Two of my favorites are fountain pens and radios.

Fountain pens? Does anyone actually use them anymore? I sure do, and I’m not alone. Before ballpoint pens, fountain pens were the only game in town, if not the world. But once ballpoints came out, fountain pens pretty much went the way of walking sticks, smoking jackets and silk stockings. But it’s a shame, because nothing can compare with them.

First, they write incredibly smoothly, and second, they never skip. Now, I realize pen skippage may not mean much to most people, but to someone who writes every day, like me, it’s a huge issue. I think a pen skipping — even only a little bit now and then — aggravates me as much as an engine skipping would aggravate a racecar driver.

Plus, all the problems with the old fountain pens — that they leaked or their fill mechanisms malfunctioned — don’t happen with the new ones. Further, not only are fountain pens not disposable, but if properly cared for, they’ll write for generations.

And finally, let’s face it, fountain pens have class. Anyone who whips out a fountain pen can write with real flourish and panache. No one, however, can do it with a ball point."

Read the rest of Mr. Seidenstein's article by clicking the title above

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