Spelling Counts!

orlando

Valentine’s Day is over; next stop, St. Paddy’s Day.  So, as winter clings to the Northern Hemisphere like a drunk clinging to a lamp post, and Mother Nature and Old Man Winter fight it out to see who marks the calendar this month, let’s find a cozy place out of the wind and rain, take a page out of Puck’s book and wonder “what fools [we] mortals be!”

Celebrity tattoos are as common as hen poop in a barnyard, so it’s no big deal that Orlando Bloom got a new one the other day.  You remember Orlando Bloom: he’s the “actor” who played Legolas, a Middle Earth elf with an emotional range of .07 on a scale of 1 to 1,000.  Anyway, it seems Mr. Bloom was having a little trouble remembering his son’s name (Flynn) and, rather than constantly bother his entourage about it, he decided to get it permanently inked into his arm.  Problem solved?  Not quite!  First of all, Standard Written English wasn’t cool enough for Bloom, so he had it printed in Morse code, a form of communication that’s been dead since Roy Rogers roamed the Earth.  Unfortunately, something got screwed up in the translation, and they spelled the name wrong.  Okay, a “dot” here, a “dash” there; it was an honest mistake.  But here’s the good part.  Nobody noticed!  Obviously, tattoo artists are not known for their cryptographic skills and there’s no app I know of that spellchecks Morse code, but … here’s the deal!

You’re an A-list (high B-list?) movie star.
You’ve got a ton of people around you every day with nothing better to do than suck up to you.
Every single one of them has an iPhone, iPad, iWatch, iWhatever.
Yet, not one of them, from your publicist to your personal assistant, cared enough about you to take 30 seconds and say, “Siri, what’s Flynn in Morse code?”

That, boys and girls, is a cold and lonely life.

Anyway, the ink dried, and there’s Orlando on Instagram, proud as a puppy with a chewed-up slipper.  He’s selfie-d a forearm shiver with what looks like a surgical diagram drawn on it, and the teasing caption reads “new #tattoo can you guess who?”

And here is where we veer off into the land of WTF!

Apparently, Orlando’s Instagram audience includes more than a few people who took the time and trouble to figure out his body art was Morse code (Remember: it’s not a written language.) and then were willing to spend even more time translating it. (I doubt if many people can do Morse code from memory, these days.)  Plus, they know enough about the life and times of Orlando Bloom to realize that this was his son’s name and that the dolt had misspelled it.  Then, they felt morally compelled to publicly point that out to him – a number of times.

At last glance, Orlando and son are doing fine, despite the looming years of therapy.  But honestly, folks!  Our world has a bunch of people with way too much time on their hands.

What You Miss When You’re Cyber-blind

cyber-blind

I have a friend who is cyber-blind.  He doesn’t have a computer; he doesn’t have a tablet; he doesn’t have a cell phone.  In fact, he barely has cable TV (and no PVR!)  But he isn’t one of those pompous asses who’s constantly reminding the world that he lives on a higher plane of consciousness because he’s transcended technology.  No, he’s just a regular guy.  And as he tells it, “I missed the beginning of the digital revolution, and now the learning curve is too steep for me to catch up.”  He’s perfectly content, BTW, but the obvious question is: how does he function, on a daily basis, in a world that can’t go to the toilet without tweeting the results?

Here are just a few things my friend is missing:

1,612 Instagram Photos of Food — One of the requirements of an Instagram account is that you must eat at least 9 meals a day.  And I’m certain nobody under 30 knows what hot food tastes like because, by the time they’ve produced the photographic evidence, it’s cold.

16,120 Useless Email Messages — Aside from being cursed at birth, there is no earthly reason why my email account overflows every couple of days and I have to spend at least a half an hour, cleaning up the crap.  Who the hell even uses email anymore?

161,204 YouTube Videos — You start off, in the early evening, clicking on a 3-minute video about how to stuff a Cornish Hen and end up — somewhere south of midnight — watching “Best Of Drunk Girl Fails 2014,” posted by a Ukrainian named Nemski.  Don’t deny it!  You’ve done it, too!

1,612,047 Facebook Homilies — What is it about Facebook that attracts idiot clichés?  Facebook could be one of the greatest forums for intelligent discussion in history, but what do we get?  Cute kitten memes that tell us to “Value your friends, cuz true friendship is purrfect!”

16,120,479 Twitter Trolls — I don’t care how you slice the pie, Twitter is Lord of the Flies with Wifi!  It’s as if Jack the Ripper’s evil twin built a digital playground for all his nasty little friends and then turned them loose on the world.

But the very worst thing in the digital universe is:

161 Passwords — Every time you turn around in cyberspace, you need a new password.  I’m absolutely convinced that Websites demand that these weirdo afflictions have at least 8 characters, 2 prime numbers, 1 capital, 1 lower case, 3 symbols, an emoji, a hieroglyphic, a quadratic equation, a Greek letter, a Cyrillic letter and the first three letters of your great-aunt’s maiden name because they want to see just how obedient we are to our computer overlords!