Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

"Great stuff. Love your work."
Seymour Chwast

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Electric Arthropods

When I'm confronted by anything with a cord, fearing death by entanglement, electrocution or embarrassment, I immediately withdraw into my shell. I have to. It is a matter of self preservation.

As an example of my technical ineptitude, when I try to make a piece of toast, I am toast. The toaster, a simple, useful appliance for most, generally burns my bread to a deep, dark mars black. On those rare occasions when it toasts the slice to the nice ochre color I like, the bread spontaneously pops up, targeting my eyes and blackening them.

No appliance ever works for me. For that matter, nothing mechanical, electrical or technical–big, medium or small–ever works for me. "Just stupid, I guess," is what I used to think about myself because of my chronic inability to use a machine, no matter how carefully I studied the instructions, or how many times I was taught, or how simple an operation it was for anyone else. I observed many people who I did not think were nearly as clever as I operating the very same machines with the greatest of ease. I guess my IQ had nothing to do with it.

That only left one possibility. I did some historical research and eventually discovered the reason for my personal mechanical failure. One dark and dreary night, a long time ago, around 45 BC, all things mechanical, electrical and technical, though still embryonic, clandestinely and illegally convened. They came from all over the world for the sole purpose of conspiring against me, Susan McLaughlin. They voted unanimously to put a curse on me–the Curse of the Low Tech. This pernicious curse was so powerful that it could only be placed upon one person at a time, or else the world would stop.

They chose me, even though I hadn't even been born yet. They issued a dictum and put the static-laden word out to all things mechanical, electrical or technological:

WHEREAS, all machines, appliances and other devices employing technology have organized themselves into the Mechanical, Electrical and Technical Alliance (hereinafter "META"); now, therefore, it is

RESOLVED, that all members of META hereby pledge, agree and confirm, singly and collectively, that they and each of them shall never, under any circumstance, and irrespective of how hard she cries or begs, even if she has a full meltdown, work properly for Susan McLaughlin; and it is further

RESOLVED, that this pledge shall continue in full force and effect for the entire duration of the life of the said Susan McLaughlin, and shall be binding upon her and her successors, heirs and assigns.

You can understand my distress at having a big organization like META against me. I have a suspiciously high rate of non–deliverable emails and Facebook messages. My Dyson vacuum cleaner is as likely to blow dirt as to suck it in. But that is probably a good thing, because if it did, it would probably suck me in to its dusty bowels, never to be seen again. Recently, I have seen many electrical wires quietly slithering up behind and around me, maliciously edging closer and closer in the guise of delivering power to my computer or clock radio. I find their behavior shocking and, indeed, have been shocked repeatedly, almost to the point of electrocution, by these malicious electrical snakes.

The final indignity, though, is this: the only way I can write this blog is to sign in under an alias, so, which I happen to know for certain is in cahoots with my computer (both are members in good standing of META), doesn't know it is I, Susan McLaughlin, composing this post. As you can see, META has continually harassed me, wreaking havoc on my low–tech mentality and kept me in a state of sheer and utter technological ineptitude. But I am sure you understand that it is not my fault, it is theirs - those slimy, ugly, conspiring, bullying electric arthropods. This is why I am going to have to hire a circuit breaker guy to unplug and dismember, circuit by slimy circuit, each and every one of them.

By the way, (our little secret, OK?) the above post was not written by me. It was written by that internationally–known blogger Nasus NilhguaLcM.


  1. I belong to same is genetic I'm certain.

    Ycnan Noslrac

  2. Like your humor and art that depicts your fears, but I know there is a Geek Princess hiding somewhere in you.