The Matrix

30 January, 2014

I’ve been to hell and back, except I’m not sure I came back, rather I got a bit waylaid in purgatory. Neither happiness nor an abatement of suffering. I’m the middle (wo)man the mediator between two unforgiving parties, trying hopelessly to find a mutually agreeable way forward. It used to be the unions in the olden days (er, 1970s), who were known for their uncompromising stance on business disputes. But, they have been replaced with a whole new level of opponent, one who makes them look like a bunch of girls fighting over a skipping rope in the playground. Yep, business is going to look back on those good ole days of strikes and sit-ins and remember the personal interactions. The 40 hour face to face negotiations, the egg throwing, black listing workers by names not image, calling people who crossed the picket lines “scabs” and dawbing paint on their cars. The art and craft of beautiful banners, adorned with witty insults that today’s advertising execs would envy. Yes, a proper protest of yesteryear, it bears nothing on the uncompromising dogma I’ve been faced with this week, when out of the blue I got an anonymous message on my computer screen saying, “Incorrect password”.

This brave young couple led a million people through the streets of London, all shouting and waving banners, protesting against the use of fossil fuels.   (Photo courtesy of Greenpeace, 2011)

This brave young couple led a million people through the streets of London, all shouting and waving banners, protesting against the use of fossil fuels.
(Photo courtesy of Greenpeace, 2011)

Years ago, I had one password, it also contained my pin no and life was simple. Despite the fact that most people who visited my house could have easily accessed my finances, ebay, email etc. (because I kept my password/pin on a post-it note on the fridge), there were never any problems. (The only small difficulty I had, was that many of those so-called visitors decided to actually move in, preferring to live off me, instead of stealing from me. They found in this way, not only did I pay for the shopping, but I actually went and got it all as well). In time, my password was forced to morph into various incarnations of the original and these days, with every new item requiring an individual code all of it’s own, I spend my spare time guessing which of the 14,776,336 variables these might be anytime I try to do anything. If I spent this much time guessing lottery numbers, I’d be inconceivably rich by now. At one stage, my darling son Sami and a so-called friend, changed all my passwords to “Youforgotagain1”. Helpful? Yeah, really, thanks so much. In texting skill, this is the equivalent of me changing their passwords to; “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious1”.

Right now the computer, ipad & phone seem to stare back at me, fixed in their calm serenity. They, my modern gurus, equipoised in full knowledge, beam benevolently down at me from their stock images of serene Himalayan peaks and magical sunsets over tropical isles. I sit beneath them, the fledgling student attempting to enter their tranquil world, typing password attempts asking;
“This one oh Master Mac? Is this the keychain to the Universe?”
Uninterrupted in Samadhi, there is no response. Again and again I type, neophyte that I am. The more frantic my effort becomes, the further from utopia I move. Until finally, I bow my forehead in complete surrender, smacking it repeatedly on the keyboard. And in return for my unalloyed devotion, a message appears from above;
“Password accepted.” Flashes briefly on the screen.
“Oh, Master thank you for accepting me.” I am overwhelmed at this initiation into real knowledge.
“Oh Master, might you just send me a humble reminder of the exact keys I just head butted?” I enquire submissively, then hastily add, “Sorry, sorry, it really doesn’t matter at all. I’ll find a mirror and just check the imprints on my forehead later.”
In that euphoric moment I merge with the source of all knowledge and unconditional bliss before me; I’m on t’internet. I click on an app, it begins to open, “please enter password” flashes nightmarishly in front of my disbelieving eyes. Inescapable, my karma has tracked me too soon.

All knowing computer, who is the server and who might the user really be? Millions of combinations of letters and numbers stream through my mind. I have reverted to running DOS, not on a microchip, but deep inside my skull.

I shout, “What am I, some kind of machine ?” in frustration at the universe.
Silence, is my master’s reply.

"There were times when, I have to admit, I lost faith and I thought about giving up and just sending a quick text instead.  It took years of prayer and sacrifice to get back into my email, but it was all worth it in the end." - as this picture so clearly shows.

“There were times when, I have to admit, I lost faith and I thought about giving up and about just sending a quick text instead. It took years of prayer and sacrifice to get back into my email, but it was all worth it in the end.” – as this picture so clearly shows.  Dalai Llama, Darjeeling itunes store, India.  2011

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One Response to “The Matrix”


  1. If it weren’t so confidential, I would confess that I have only recently removed from within arm’s reach my 2011 diary which stored my own crowd of passwords.
    I am glad you are back. this single post makes up for the months of silence. Truly. 😉


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