Nostalgic Happiness

August 14, 2014

Surreal-Artworks-Made-by-Xetobyte-1Foggy and chilly this early Thursday on California’s north coast as we wind-down the work week — seemingly, not fast enough, though.
We closing in on the weekend, but at a snail’s pace.

In a couple of weeks, I will ‘retire’ (…do not think it means what you think it means.”) and what happens next is anybody’s figuring. A long time coming, but apparently a short time actually being. In the process of life on this planet nowadays, I think everybody’s getting ready to retire in one form or another.
History is right now — “Mork and Mindy” ain’t no fairy tale.

(Illustration found here).

And apparently, you don’t have to go far to experience the third-world, or some whacked-out police state — just look slightly to Missouri. The situation there is absolutely horrible — reporters from HuffPost and the Washington Post were arrested and slapped about yesterday by the Seal-Team Ferguson PD. We be fucked, boys.

Meanwhile, in Iraq…shit! Don’t go there, pleze.
Okay…

And what really makes me feel better is the soft-longing for days of yore — or at least a nostalgic sense to the chaos of an unfurling world. The good old days — at last in the tools of writing, and, the clang-sounds of happy.
Actor Tom Hanks seems to have the answer.
Via USAToday:

Tom Hanks has a new app out.
You read that correctly, not a movie, but an app.
It’s called the Hanx Writer, and it is a technological testament to a serious disease that afflicts the poor man.
Call it typewriter-itis.
Hanx Writer turns your iPad into an old-school manual typewriter.
It replicates the thwack-thwack sound of metal stamping on paper and the ding-clunk-fripp of reaching the end of one line and starting a new one.
The app is free in Apple’s App Store, though additional typewriter fonts and sounds cost $2.99 each.

“What’s pleasing to my sensibilities is when you have the report of the key being struck, it allows for clear thinking,” the actor tells USA TODAY, noting that his collection of typewriters once numbered 200.
No telling what Mrs. Hanks, Rita Wilson, thought of that.
“I suppose some people who get the app may just be looking for a different sound, but really it’s for people searching for a more personalized experience when writing on an iPad,” he says.
“There’s also the opportunity here to take your iPad to a coffee house and be really obnoxious with all the clickety-clacking.

The names alone sing of nostalgia, such as his favored mid-century Smith Corona Skywriter, whose compact size and hushed operation he says was meant for reporters hammering away on airplane flights.
Hanks is quick to add that his vision for Hanx Writer wasn’t to create a toy but rather a functional tool.
So there’s a delete key and Auto Correct, and of course the ability to forward the masterpiece you’ve created.

When Hanks is asked if he can ever imagine the masses falling back in love with typewriters, the one-time stand-up comedian can’t resist a joke.
“Well, I think Germany just said their government was all going back to typewriters, so they can’t be spied on by us,” he says with a laugh.
“But really, Hanx Writer is just my little gift to the future Luddite hipsters of the world.”

I loved the old typewriters, and if you’re as old as I am, the faint, faraway jingle is loud as a brass band — and I was given a Smith Corona portable for high school graduation — long, long (three million longs later) time ago.
And to be really happy in this totally, freaked-out world, we need an app for that, too.
From Grist:

Hey, global happiness meter!
How we doin’? As NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reports, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) created the Better Life Index in 2011, and is just now raking in enough responses from around the world to draw a few conclusions.
The online interactive tool attempts to quantify happiness using 11 well-being indicators, including education, health, income, and environment.
It tallies responses and then ranks countries by topic area.
For now, Sweden is the top scorer in the “Environment” category, measured by air pollution and water quality (97 percent of Swedes think theirs is great).
Respondents also rank each topic based on its importance to them, and “Environment” tops the list for a handful of smallish countries so far, including Liechtenstein, Papua New Guinea, Andorra, Suriname, and Bhutan.
(Intriguingly, Bhutan is the birthplace of the term “Gross National Happiness” and has actually folded environmental protection into the fabric of its constitution).
American respondents put “Environment” in the middle of their list and “Civic Engagement” dead last (yikes!).
Their top priority?
Well, duh: “Life Satisfaction.”

We Americans are pretty dumb-assed. And want of a happy face — not!

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