May 24, 2010

A Diss By Any Other Name ...

The other day at work, I was bitching to some unlucky soul who had walked into my cube about how overly "computerized" the operation seemed to have become.  I speculated that 40 years ago, before computers in the work place became the norm, the task I was trying to accomplish would have taken 80% less time to do, because there wouldn't have been five different customized programs and a zillion key strokes to do it. People found a simpler way with a pencil, a piece of paper and a phone call or two in 1970.

The person I was ranting at listened for a minute, then put their hand on my shoulder and said, "Rob, you are a true luddite".  Then they left.

And I sat there.  "Luddite" ... "What the fuck is a luddite?"  Not knowing whether or not I had been insulted, I sat there for a minute and thought it through. Being a child of the 60's, I wondered if they meant I was a fan of the host of the daytime quiz show "Password" ... Mr Allen Ludden himself.  No, then I would have been a "Luddenite".

I Was A Luddenhead, And Proud Of It!

Incidentally, I remember when I was a pre-teen growing up in the land of Country Music, I was always struck by the similarity of Allen Ludden and the Country Superstar, Porter Wagoner, who graced our TeeVee sets every Saturday evening at 6:30 with the always amusing Porter Wagoner Hour.

Porter With Ingenue Dolly 

I was under the impression that they were brothers, or maybe cousins, but as I would find out years later, the only link between the two men was their brief marriages to sitcom slut Betty White.

Anyway, after I had dismissed Allen Ludden, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I was being compared to that delicious cherry lozenge that every child craved, whether or not they had a cough/sore throat ... The Ludens Cough Drop.

Better Than Twizzlers!

I could pop a whole box of these things in my mouth at one time, then walk around for an hour drooling red cough syrup juice.  This might explain my recent diagnosis of early onset dementia.

But if I was being compared to a particularly ineffective cough drop, then I would be a "Ludennite".  So that was out too.

Finally, I went to that well known fountain of all factual knowledge in the civilized world, Wikipedia, to answer my question.  And the result was this:

General Ludd

Apparently, the Luddites were the follower of this cross-dressing clown, who in the first decade of the 1800's, violently opposed the mechanized looms that came into existence at the beginning of The Industrial Revolution. These textile "artisans" became so bent out of shape that they rioted and pillaged until the British government rounded a bunch of them up and shot them.  Personally, I don't think anyone would have taken them too seriously anyway given their laughable taste in clothing.  Perhaps they would have had more success if they had been fronted by this great leader ...

General Zod
Curse You Superman!

So, net-net, it appears that I was insulted!  I was accused of being a technophobe!  But ... at least it was done cleverly.  I guess that counts for something.

Luddite indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Yum. Ludens. I faked many a cough/sore throat for them, cherry and honey-lemon.