Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we put the "fun" in Pagan! Oh, wait. It doesn't fit. How 'bout this? We put the "fun" in funeral! Spot on.
Speaking of funerals, what do you think of PowerPoint presentations?
I don't know how I missed PowerPoint until about 2006. I was strictly a Word kinda gal. As a writer, I never needed PowerPoint. As a teacher I use it sparingly.
But I've had to sit through PowerPoint presentations by the fistful, and ... pardon my vernacular ... what the fuck?
The presenter throws up a slide and then reads it word for word. This happens over and over and over again. I can read! Why is the presenter here? He could have just forwarded the PowerPoint.
Have you ever sat down for a meeting with a sheet of all the PowerPoint slides, and you leafed through it and counted them? When you got up around 60, didn't you just want to swill some laudanum and make the world go away?
When I was a kid, school teachers used to show film strips. They would put on a recording, and then wind a still-photo set of shots through a projector. This was sort of like a PowerPoint, except the audio was not identical to the video. They complemented each other.
Now striplings, I know ... I know ... times have changed. PowerPoints are an easy way to impart vast swaths of information. Fie, I say! The pox take PowerPoints! May they be scoured clean by locusts. May their first slide perish mysteriously in the darkest part of the night.
I went to college before the advent of Microsoft Office (if you can believe that). Some of the professors at Johns Hopkins (notably the paleontologists) drew on chalk boards while they lectured. Most of them just stood at a podium and talked. I had a professor named Charles Singleton. He was about 80 years old when I took his "Dante's Inferno" class. He shuffled out onto the stage and sat down in a chair. A grad student would place a microphone where he could speak into it. And then Charles Singleton talked. For 90 minutes, with a few water breaks. No slides, no script. Call me weird, but I loved it.
I wonder if Christian preachers are using PowerPoints in their sermons? Anyone know?
The moral of this diatribe is this: Either talk to me, or let me read what you want me to know. Don't stand with your back half to me and read off a slide. Worse, don't lob a slide at me and say, "This is the form you'll have to fill out, it's not as complicated as it looks." NEWSFLASH! Seeing it splayed on a big screen makes it look as formidable as the Minotaur.
PowerPoint ... the slide show gone bad. Convince me I'm wrong.