This Week In F—k You: People Who Insist On Using Typewriters

04.05.11 7 years ago 145 Comments

We’re in the dreaded NFL offseason. There’s still no real football for months. You’re hurt. You’re angry. You’re hateful. We understand. At KSK, hating things is what we do best, which is why we have the recurring This Week In F–k You series, to soothe your white hot anger. This week: People who insist on using typewriters.

When was in high school (and for a time at college), I had to write the majority of my papers on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter. It was this big, heavy, blue piece of shit. It had a delete key that didn’t really work. If I typed on it and fucked up, I had to go use Wite Out and manually redact what I wrote. And I never revised or rewrote anything, because that would just mean typing the shit out all over again. It had disks so I could digitally store text documents, but they didn’t always work. And when I printed a digital file, the thing printed at the rate of a secretary who types 3 words a minute and takes breaks every quarter hour to have a smoke or get plowed by the boss.

I fucking hated this thing. When I had transferred colleges and finally had access to a computer lab at school (I didn’t have a computer of my own), I gleefully took that piece of shit and threw it away. Which is why I am both puzzled and filled with acidic ragefoam when I read about this bunch of pretentious, uppity, cuntfaced, dipshit hipster cockpullers who insist on using a manual typewriter for all their precious Writing with a capital W. If you figured a ludicrous “it’s a trend because I know a guy who does it” article like this was the byproduct of the New York Times, you would be correct:

“It’s about permanence, not being able to hit delete,” he explained. “You have to have some conviction in your thoughts. And that’s my whole philosophy of typewriters.”

There is so much there that pisses me off, I just want to drive to Williamsburg and spray random people with lighter fluid. As if not being able to delete the outlandish drivel you write somehow makes you Ernest fucking Hemingway. These people with computers. They don’t really stop to THINK before they write now, do they? That’s why I prefer the dulcet clattering of my vintage 1908 Weezleburg, which does NOT have a carriage return.

At a series of events called “type-ins,” they’ve been gathering in bars and bookstores to flaunt a sort of post-digital style and gravitas, tapping out letters to send via snail mail and competing to see who can bang away the fastest.

Are you throwing up yet? Do you want to find one of these type-ins and close the door on it and Hoover out all the oxygen until every last person inside lay dying in a puddle of the own vanilla-scented human waste? Because I do!

“You type so much quicker than you can think on a computer,” Ms. Kowalski said. “On a typewriter, you have to think.”

Don’t you just love that quote? As if everything ever written on a computer were somehow invalid because a computer is EASIER to use and, in fact, invites you to constantly revise and fine-tune what you’ve written so that it’s better than when you first typed it out.

I hate people like this. I hate these unbearably pretentious writer cunts who are like, “Well, I write in the writing barn from 5:30AM to 7:30AM every day, and on my Smith Corona. I couldn’t possibly compose any other way.” Listen, all you typewriting cuntessas out there: The shit you’re cranking out isn’t any better just because you have a steampunk fetish.

Typewriters are good at only one thing: putting words on paper.

And if you want to change those words with BETTER words, it fucking blows.

“If I’m on a computer, there’s no way I can concentrate on just writing, said Jon Roth, 23, a journalist who is writing a book on typewriters. “I’ll be checking my e-mail, my Twitter.” When he uses a typewriter, Mr. Roth said: “I can sit down and I know I’m writing. It sounds like I’m writing.”

“I use a typewriter because I don’t know how to close Chrome.”

In more than a dozen interviews, young typewriter aficionados raised a common theme. Though they grew up on computers, they enjoy prying at the seams of digital culture. Like urban beekeepers, hip knitters and other icons of the D.I.Y. renaissance, they appreciate tangibility, the object-ness of things.

Read that last sentence again. Fucking read it. I did not know there was a DIY renaissance going on. I want no part of it. If someone can easily do something for me, like make ketchup and bottle it, I’m fine with that. I don’t need to do that myself, because civilization has progressed to the point where I don’t need to. And anyone who decides to buck that progress does not deserve to be considered an icon. Not urban beekeepers. Not hip knitters. Not butter churn artisans. Not rooftop alchemists. FUCK THEM, and fuck their object-ness. I hope they get trampled to death by the oxen they rode in to their waiting job at Pastis.

When reached for an interview, Ms. Bervin was sitting in the cafe car of an Amtrak train, where she’d been clacking away on her own typewriter, a German Gossen Tippa from the 1940s, until her cellphone rang.

Could you imagine having to sit next to this idiot on a train? Even Peter King would have every right to blow that person apart. You brought a 90-pound typewriter onto a train and started clacking away for four hours? YOU MUST BE LASHED.

“One reason I type is it simply makes me feel closer to my words,” Mr. Caro said.


“It’s like being a cabinetmaker. It’s like laying down the planks. This is the way it’s supposed to feel.”

No, because cabinetmakers do actual fucking WORK. They don’t sit around their loft all day, typing fan letters to Bell & Evans.

You know why these people own typewriters, right? Because they’re better than you. You, Mr. Computer User. You don’t really “get” what it’s like to be a real writer. EVEN THOUGH COMPUTERS STILL REQUIRE ACTUAL FUCKING TYPING, WITH A KEYBOARD THAT HAS BUTTONS AND MAKES NOISES AND SHIT. You see, to truly know your craft, you have to pony up on eBay for some seventy-year-old piece of shit typewriter. And you must compose your prose on parchment! Yes, fine fine parchment, then roll up that parchment and seal it in hot wax with your family crest. Then your “King of Limbs” review will live on FOREVER.

This would be like a grocery store using only manual cash registers. Oh, sorry. We don’t swipe credit cards here. I need that actual CH-CHING sound, to let me know that my sale had objectness.

People who still use typewriters should fucking die.

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