The machine stops, homage to E.M. Forster.

We live in an age where everything we do is done and made easier by machines. Our clothes do somersaults in a washing machine, then do the backflip in the dryer on a rainy day. We cook, not by fire anymore but by electric or gas cookers or ping food in a microwave. We are entertained by the television that either brings a room to silence or conversation over a subject raised. When our children are not being treated to the world’s view of entertainment, we then buy them machines to keep them occupied instead of encouraging them to climbing trees or using their imaginations; Whilst we ourselves read books by kindle, play games on social media or date on the internet. We take our children out in cars, then give them DVD or DS machines to keep them from getting bored instead of letting them soak up the joys of people watching or taking in the world they live in. Teens sit beside each other and text instead of speaking, this is done in a  abbreviated language invented for such occasions.They go to bed at night where they chat to their friends on social media and then retire to bed with televisions or DVDs instead of resting their technology soaked brains. We communicate from our individual homes via social network sites or face to screen sites, rarely do people now visit  or pick up their telephones and post letters,  AKA `snail mail` is only reserved for elderly relatives who have not mastered the world of technology. Our every need catered for and yet with som many time-saving machines and world opening technology, never has a generation been more rushed, stressed or trapped in their own individual homes and fears.

  Why am I suddenly having this rant? Well, I spent two hours of my life this afternoon talking to machines and pressing buttons for options that didn`t have my option! I applied to start my Open University course that starts in October some months ago, but my form was returned because I didn`t have enough proof of ID for financial support. Then the lost my next form and so I re-filled in another form. I filled in this form, got plenty of proof on my ID and sent it onto our local  jobcentre weeks ago. Today I spent those two hours ringing department after department at the OU and the jobcentre, pressing options, choosing each one and wondering what to do as their options didn`t match what I wanted. Id choose an option, and then a recorded voice told me that they were too busy to answer just now, so automatically music would fill the gaps. Waiting, I would worry about the phone bill as it`s 0845 numbers, and eventually a human answers, whilst they tap computer keys at their end, then promptly told me they hadn`t recieved my form and to try another 0845 number! Eventually, getting through to that number, they tell me that the form was sent on the 20th and so I then had to go through it all over again with the OU. Two hours later, exasperated and no further forward I was left wondering if technology is actually progression or the reason we are all so much more stressed!

“The Machine,” they exclaimed, “feeds us and clothes us and houses us; through it we speak to one another, through it we see one another, in it we have our being. The Machine is the friend of ideas and the enemy of superstition: the Machine is omnipotent, eternal; blessed is the Machine.” And before long this allocution was printed on the first page of the Book, and in subsequent editions the ritual swelled into a complicated system of praise and prayer. The word “religion” was sedulously avoided, and in theory the Machine was still the creation and the implement of man. but in practice all, save a few retrogrades, worshipped it as divine.”
E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops.

About Maith an cailin

Born in the 1960s, I`m a single Mum of a young adult. I am a full-time wheelchair user, who has been single since a marriage breakdown in 2008. I live in a UK remote village, not easy with a disability but this is a honest account of a ordinary Woman with a disability.
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