Headlines remind us every day that DUI, driving under the influence, is dangerous. But writing under influence (WUI) risks a crash of the word processor, and that includes WUI of MSA. Multiple system atrophy is a new name for what used to be called OPCA, olivopontocerebellar atrophy. Whatever it is called, there’s still no known cure.
Maybe tomorrow. The cure may come at any time. Until then it is an unsolved mystery worthy of Lee Child, John Sandford or Arthur Conan Doyle.
Word processors are like typewriters the way pipe organs are like pianos. They can do more things, users can pull out more stops, and the keyboards of both are light on the fingers. My MSA fingers will no longer punch the keys on a manual typewriter, but they don’t have to in this age of electronic invention, a chip off the old writer’s block.
One of these days, they say, writers won’t even have to type because what they’re thinking will be absorbed electronically into a word processor. Copies will go silently to the government spy bureaus, known as Obamascare.
The intention seems to be to store all the words written or spoken on electronic devices, a concept pioneered in the United States by Father Divine during the Great Depression. FBI records list him as “George Baker alias God.” He was an African American preacher and advocate for the poor who took the name Major Jealous Divine. He also claimed to be God. Stenographers accompanied him everywhere, recording every word he spoke.
I think it was about 65 years ago that I attended a couple of his banquets for the poor. As a newspaper reporter I qualified as poor, but I was there to explore one of the few opportunities for African Americans and other Americans to get to know each other, even a little bit, in the 1940s and 50s. That’s about when I first joined the NAACP, an organization that gained nothing from my membership and a painfully mixed blessing from the membership of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her endorsements were powerful, but limited in geographical, political and racial scope.
So, nobody has to be God to be taped by the government. And no, copyright won’t protect you. That is not, however, why I am not writing as much as I used to. This science fiction disease, which intercepts and mangles messages wired from the brain to the fingers, which intervenes in the breathing process like wind tunnel fans thrown into reverse, awaits cure. Maybe the government can take it over and use it against the enemy.