Add a countdown clock and buzzer: Sure, we all know how long Mass is supposed to be, but to have an actual number on it can really make the whole thing less of a chore to sit through. If the Father feels like going long on the homily, it’s gonna cost him some recessional rites time. If he doesn’t get it all in before the buzzer, well, that’s on him.
Put a crossword in the program, and if you finish it before Communion you don’t have to stay for the last song: There will always be the people who attentively listen for the entirety of Mass, sing along to every song, and quietly hope the piano keeps going for all seven verses of the recessional hymn. Those people are dorks. Everyone else will likely spend Mass periodically zoning out and thinking about what they plan to do afterward, or what they did the night before, or how ugly the baby in the front row is. Those people probably aren’t really getting the message, so offer them a carrot – make a crossword puzzle where everyone who completes it has this week’s message or lesson subliminally processed through their head. In exchange for getting it done, they can go home right after Communion. I think that’s fair.
My laptop is six years old. Its speakers don’t work, its battery holds a charge for about two hours if you turn the brightness all the way down, and it’s as fast as about half of the netbooks out there but twice the weight. I still like it, though – it’s a Dell 700M with a 12-inch screen, which in 2005 was unthinkably small for a primary laptop. People would come up to me in college and ask me what it was. That would inevitably be followed by “can you deal with using something that small?” Fast forward the better part of a decade and like half of the PC laptops people buy are even smaller. The thing is positively voluptuous now.
Computers age very quickly, but they don’t actually age. Aging suggests some sort of deterioration in appearance in functionality. People age and part of that is getting wrinkly skin and not being as good at complex motor functions. Computers don’t do this, they run the same speed for their entire life. Cosmetically they can stay unchanged for their entire useful life with some occasional cleaning and proper handling. They never get any worse than they are when you first unpack them. They’re never any less computerry. The only thing that changes is the way we look at them. Continue reading