“What we’ve got here is failure to…um….”

Didja ever notice, in this swinging Information Age of ours, that each time you’re compelled to communicate in a slightly different form than that to which you’ve grown accustomed (e.g., iPhones, PDAs, Facebook) you have to learn how to cry/crawl/toddle/walk/run all over again? Kinda defeats the need and desire for immediate, concise communication, don’tcha think? Me too.

Take this blog. Please.

Because if I have to learn one more line of ASCII characters, HTML code, or  cPanel jargon, I will never actually communicate — talk/ write/ gesture — again. All we do is read manuals, watch tutorial videos, and email the computer gurus in our lives whose sad lot it is to hoist us out of whatever learning-curve quagmire we’ve fallen into face-first after misunderstanding what we’ve read /watched/ been told.


Now I know why the Yellow Pages are crammed to overflowing with web site design businesses. It’s ’cause everyone wants a web site, but no one has the time to learn how to build one. These designers are the first to say, “All this code stuff is easy. Anyone can do it!” So you take their word and you look at the code and a half-hour later you’re still looking at the code and then you suddenly channel your kindergarten Reading class when first you cracked a Fun With Dick and Jane text and start weeping & shaking the same way you did all those happy, care-free years ago until your teacher got disgusted & sent your crying a$$ out in the hall.

Communication in corrections is a lot different. More stable. Traditional, if you will. The librarian’s communications arsenal consists of an impressive contemporary array of techno-wonders, including:

1     A corded land line

2     A battery-operated two-way radio secured to their person from a belt clip

3     A ‘panic button’ alarm, either mounted to the librarian’s desk or to the wall behind the office chair

4     A God-given ability to yell, scream, or holler

Recently, corrections has made communications advances that have launched all Departments into the latter half of the 20th century. These include:

1     An email system for staff to annoy each other with

2     Voicemail (in case email isn’t annoying enough); and

3     A severely-filtered internet portal, allowing librarians the whole of the commercial web at their fingertips, provided that the web they use is limited to certain government home pages, the Google search engine, and Wikipedia. This is because Security Comes First.

I’d tell you more about communications technology in the prison library, but I have to go watch a WordPress video on how to save this blog entry.


2 thoughts on ““What we’ve got here is failure to…um….”

  1. Well, I’m very impressed by this blog so far and I enjoyed the sound clips from “Cool Hand Luke” … Paul Newman was great in that movie.

    Is coding the web site that difficult – really? Because I was thinking that I need to beef up my web design skills (which at this point have been limited to using FrontPage about 4 years ago and nothing since). Should I consider taking the XML class at SJSU?

    • Dear my Lady, we thank you for your most kind, humbling compliments as pertains to our modest-yet-earnest efforts to make Jailfire both inviting and useful. How do you like our post-Gothic Halloween color scheme? The webmaster advised against the black motif for the blog, warning that only “gambling parlors & porno sites” use that color. But I would not be dissuaded. Having visited those aforementioned sites more times than I’ve been to the loo, I rather like black. Makes me feel at home….As far as “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ve never had the happy chance to watch the film; I have, however, read the Mad Magazine satire several times and–as the English would have it–“That’s as near as, dammit!”

      Now — as to how you should spend some of the remainder of your time with SJSU, no less than the Jailfire webmaster himself assures me virtually each week that “All this web stuff is easy. Anyone can do it!” But this is from a young man who’s already taken all of the classes that you yourself are deliberating over, and now he applies his myriad and sundry skills to his own year-old web-based web design business.

      My learned counsel as a wise man from the East is to take every web design class you can. I’m sure it will do you good. Then perhaps you might return in a years’ time & help me build this God-awful wiki I’ve been wrestling with for nearly three unfruitful months. As the webmaster can attest, I’ll pay you well….

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