November 2, 1992 [Tetsuo, the Iron Man, Legend of the Overfiend/Urotsukidoji]

At work today I had to use something called "Cricket" or "Cricket Graph"--all I know is that I needed to turn some data into graphs.  Not my greatest strength--but hey, when you're new, you say Yes to everything.  Thank God I had an Apple computer.  Scooted things around on a little screen that looked kindly on my common sense and rewarded it by leading me where I had to go--after a few wrong turns, I'll admit, but I'll be generous and blame me, not the Macintosh.  Here at home, my Smith-Corona snaps away at these words--while the computer waits at work.  Someday, I'll bring one home--the new Performa looks sturdy, almost stocky, like a minor Star Wars robot waiting to help.

--But what if it's a Twonky?  The old movie rises up from the 1950s, a Hans Conreid revenge-of-the-machine vehicle about a living TV that takes over his life.  Tetsuo, the Iron Man was taught this lesson with a viciousness that makes David Lynch, even those old Andalusian Dogs, Dali and Bunuel, seem kind and serene.  The movie literally inserts the machine into one's life--one's body, which cringes and shivers and shrieks in terror and ecstasy, a fetish savage as a circular saw cut loose at maximum speed.  It is ugly and hopeless--like Legend of the Overfiend, another Japanese outrage, a bursting rotted stew of blood and tentacles, as though the world had lost all signs of human making and been given over to monsters that chewed everything into a wet, tortured mass.

I'll admit it: I watched both of them, kept going until the end.  But I was smart enough to eject the tapes and promise myself to get them back to the video store right away tomorrow morning before I calm my nerves at work with a machine that has a little Cricket inside.

(Editor's Note: Like the Constant Viewer, I'm thankful for the Bug's Life that Steve Jobs promised, and send my sympathies to his family and friends, with a vow always to save before closing.)


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