Saturday, July 14, 2012

Left Wondering

Paté escargots soup de jour
cordon bleu chic coiffure
fait accompli maison
creme de menthe
Marcel Marceau
meringue blancmange Bardot
gauche gay Paris garcon
gendarme agent provocateur - from The French Song", Divishti Rankine & Greg Champion
French Gucci and New York Taxis, Fifth Avenue
Being that it is Bastille day, I had intended to write about something French. Needing inspiration, I hunted around among my many photographs on disk. I knew I had one of a poster I saw years ago in Manhattan. I snapped it around the time that  the French were angry with America for naming their fries "Freedom" instead of "French". I can't remember why the Americans did this,  but knowing the French, they must have had a good reason.

 In 1985 the French were angry with Australians because they - the French - blew up the Greenpeace flag ship -  "The Rainbow Warrior" -  in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a French nuclear test in the Pacific island of Moruroa. What chutzpah. So French! Australia stuck up for New Zealand and the French then punished all Australian citizens, requiring them to apply for visas if they wanted to visit France.

The poster photo would have been good, but I couldn't locate it. I think it was about a French restaurant and said something along the lines of, "Enjoy the French food without having to put up with all the annoying French people." I decided to do a computer search for the photo and typed "French" into the little box that comes up when you click the Windows 7 start button. You can see the result on the left.

Windows thought I wanted to BECOME French!  It was about to change my PC language. Mon Dieu!  I was reminded of my daughter when she was six. She wanted me to take her to France so that she'd have a French accent. It's a nice language, not as nice as the French think it is, but it seems even Windows 7 has gotten the francophile bug and thinks if you type "French" you want to become one.

Merci, mais pas ...

It's been a confusing week. Hot, chaotic, and puzzling.

I'm left-handed. All the best people are. And in the last decade or so, designers have started taking us Mollydookers into account. Simple things like having the power cord come out of the center-back of the iron, make us feel wanted when once we were shunned. The hand sinistre. The hand some religions use to clean their bottoms.

What did Dory Previn pen in her "Left Hand Lost" song?
left-handed people are impure 
they go against the grain 
left-handed children play with themselves 
and drive themselves insane

And so it was with anticipation that I read this week about Australian entrepreneur John Lambie's alternative to what he calls the "dysfunctional" QWERTY keyboard.  Not as dysfunctional as mine would have been had Windows 7 had its way and turned it into a French one full of acutes, graves and circumflexes.

Not that there's anything wrong with John Lambie designing an alternative keyboard.  As people  abandon keyboards for smartphones it may well be the time to change keyboard design. In fact it has already started. Apple has a ".com" key, and there have been all sorts of other changes including changes on physical keyboards.

But look at this John Lambie one.

The keyboard is in alphabetical order with the letters split over five rows instead of three and .... wait for it. According to the Melbourne Age, "the keyboard  is able to be flipped for easier use by left handed people."

WHAT is it we are meant to do? Does Lambie think we lefties see the world in reverse? That the 'b' comes before  the 'a' in our mirror world?.

I'm quite confused.  I thought of typing this whole blog post  in reverse character order and holding it up to a mirror to see if Mr Lambie has a point, but wisely decided against it. How does he think we have managed all these years? Does he know we read normal books normally? Or does he think we start a the back page and flip the book upside down?

It's just getting all too much. I'm having an Alice-Through-The-Looking-Glass experience.

Even the French are starting to look sensible ...

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