If there is a Year 2000 crisis, it’s that magazines don’t know what to report on once the year changes and nothing bad happens. That must be it, cause all the other crises that could happen can all be explained away.
For starters: there’s all this talk about how public services may be disrupted. Think about that statement for a second! If you live in a town anything like Green Lake, where I hang my hat, your public services are disrupted all the time as it is! Electric, cable, water, sewer (ick), all disappear for stretches of time with no explanation! If anything, the Year 2000 crisis might stop the services you don’t want, like road construction or that annoying woman who comes on your phone asking for fifty cents when the line you’ve dialed is busy. I’d gladly give up water for a day or two if it means getting rid of her. And besides, if anything does happen (and my last sentence here has just made 7% of our readers clutch their caches of dehydrated food packets in terror) I think we can find our way out of it. And if we can’t, so what? Will you really feel relieved when your branch IRS office is up and running again? When Chef Boyardee comes running out of his kitchen, unable to cook because his power’s out, will millions cry in anguish over the lost Beef-a-roni?
Year 2000 paranoia is way out of hand, and it’s time to stop blaming computers for only having two year digits, lazy COBOL programmers who put the digits there and the media for scaring the hooey out of everybody. It’s a time of action. Now you, gruff and opinionated reader, might be saying, “Why am I reading this #@#! anyway?” You might also add, “What can I do about a clock turning to 2000?” Simple: we can all be non-Y2K compliant.
That’s right, America. Like all your favorite two digit computers, you too can mistakenly believe that the year is 1900 when the year turns over. Those of us in non-compliance can forget all about the endless talk of millennium bugs and millennium fruit and millennium subway fares. We can wear 1900’s clothes and talk about those fellows named Doc and Red and Lefty playing that new sport called Base Ball (or Town Ball, if you prefer). We can celebrate our big war victory against Spain and worry about what those Boxers in China might do next. And we can get set to vote for President McKinley in the big fall election (and maybe those suffragist women should get to vote too).
Sound silly? It should. But it’s not quite as silly as the let’s-buy-a-waterbed-so-we-can-drink-extra-water schizophrenia that’s whacking people in the face like a cream pie (don’t try to understand my comparisons, by the way). Humans have created some pretty great stuff over the years- Shakespeare’s plays, Eiffel’s tower, Herman’s Hermits, etc. Surely we can get ourselves out of any computer mess that we might be in.
And if we can’t, this column is only available on the computer, so when everything goes black you can’t quote me on ANY of this! So long, suckers!!!