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The Brutality Report - Goddamned Fucking Shit that Doesn't Fucking Work Right

Why can't all machines just work all the time? Why do so many stupid, stupid fucking things always have to not work? Seriously--WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?

Why can't all machines just work all the time? Why do so many stupid, stupid fucking things always have to not work? Seriously—WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? WORK YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!! WORK!!!

Over the course of a lifetime grappling with stupid fucking non-working bullshit, I've acquired some coping skills:

- In 1976, enraged over the loss of a nickel, I executed a flying Jet Li karate kick on a gumball machine in the lobby of the Menands, New York Two Guys department store (I was immediately escorted from the premises by security (my mom)).

- In 1993, humiliated by a stupid electric razor that kept nicking me, I smashed the clippers into an impressive debris field that recalled the many smoke detectors I'd knocked off ceilings and the many, many alarm clocks I'd swung, like bolas, into the nearest wall (they wouldn't shut up!). Even though the detectors and the clocks were just doing their jobs, it all felt like part of the same continuum of me Not Taking Shit from any machine, and the fact that I had to spend a night with a two-thirds shaved head seemed a meager price to pay for justice.

- In 1998, angered by its refusal to honor the full randomness of its Random function ( I kept a chart), I finally punched my 20-disc CD player in the face.

- In 2002, driven into an immediate Grand Mal panic attack by a blaring, malfunctioning alarm system, I wound up beating the control panel into blood-smeared wall junk, leaving me with scabby street fighter knuckles and a damaged nervous system.

- In 2006, sick of taking shit from a noncompliant, decade-old laser printer, I yanked out its power cord, hauled it to the backyard, and tossed it into space with one mighty overhand heave. I was angry enough that I half-expected a burst of Hulk strength to send it sailing over the nearby rooftops. Instead, it hit the ground with a pathetic crack and lay there for a week as a warning to all the other appliances in my house.

Inasmuch as each of these incidents represents a solo stand against the forces of inertia and surrender and the creeping Terminatorization of America, these are some good memories. I think we can all agree that I showed a lot of bravery.

The problem now is that the Gremlins plaguing my life have less and less of a physical presence I can get my hands on. The code on my award-winning blog, for example, has apparently altered itself in ways that make me look inept. Sometimes the posts rearrange themselves after the fact. I know just enough about HTML to know that this is one of those things that can't actually happen in reality, the same way your sock drawer can't change into your silverware drawer overnight.

Some of this is just the price of living in a highly advanced capitalist megacivilization. Blogspot, Gmail, and Word are all owned by publicly traded companies, and subject to the ceaselessly churning demands of stockholders. Change for the worse is inevitable. But just as many privately held companies seem subject to the law of shittification. Last month I attempted to gain some insight on a small earthquake through the miracle of integrated social networks, but Twitter’s new mobile interface wouldn’t let me search through it on my phone. What if I'd been trying to warn people about Iranian Basij gunmen hiding in the bushes? How do I punch Twitter in the face?

Previously - Freakouts

@sammcpheeters