TAT-style stories to "Machine" picture
The man is a workaholic and his girlfriend\wife is distraught because she is losing him to his computer. She is crying because he no longer pays any attention to her and she fears that their once happy and productive life together will be ruined by his obsession with his job.
... Just a few more strokes of the pencil, a little shading here, cross-hatch it there... Good, Keith Haring eat your heart out. An expression of modern electronically-induced angst all in one quick cartoonish picture. Now, what to put in the women's thought-bubble... Something that would express the loss, the abandonment of a woman scorned for a machine. Something about hell hath no fury... no, not quite campy enough, needs a little zing, make them think, and make them laugh. Hmmm.... maybe a little bit of camp lite, toss in the kinda fifties-ish reference. Say "Well, now that he's got [the computer] he'll be home more for Wally and the Beaver..." Yuck! Hmmmm..... I got it, "It's better than being a golf widow, at least he's home..." Still pretty bad, it needs some work.... "Honey, are you still drawing that damned cartoon... it's been hours... When are you going to be done?" "Oh damn!"
The woman, Jen, has just lost her major psychology paper on the effects of computers on teaching in modern schools. She has called on her friendly neighborhood student assistant, Hank to recover it for her. She had not followed the advice of the computer center and saved every 20 minutes, so she lost 50 pages of text. She is sure that there is nothing that she can do to recover this paper, because she hadn't saved the document when a monumental blast of lightning destroyed part of the generator at Haverford College and rendered the college without electric power. She called her good friend Hank to come to the rescue, since he new a lot about computers, and he had a portable generator. This paper was due in 50 minutes, so Hank had very little time to waste. He donned his white hat and took the nearest security cart up to Stokes with his generator in the back seat. He hoisted the generator onto his shoulder and entered Stokes 8. There he started up the generator and hooked up the computer she was working on. Knowing that he had very little time before the generator's power supply fluctuated, he hooked up the computer and turned it on. Then, he entered the computer's hard disk drive directory. There he found a file called MW012345.tmp and printed it on the screen for Jen to see. Sure enough, it was the file. He changed the name of the file to IGOTIT.DOC, hooked up the laser printer to the computer, and printed out the document for Jen to turn in. The picture shows Jen's relief and joy at seeing the recovery of the file by Hank. Hank, of course, is confident all the time of recovery, and thus, you never see him sweat. Jen slipped in the mud on the way over and ruined her title page, but the paper itself got in on time. Everyone lived happily ever after.
The woman is watching the man do her statistics. She is having a hard time with the statistics and is afraid they won't work. She is upset because she has been working hard on the project and can't seem to get the data to run correctly. She is frustrated with the computer. She is afraid to watch.
Jim has just gotten a new computer through a grant for the research he's been doing, although he is a handsome fellow now, in high school Jim was a social outcast. Now that he has the new computer, the increased power which he has will make it possible for his research to proceed uninhibited. When Betty met Jim he was a bit of a social recluse and she worked hard to get him to break away from his research and to become more of a well rounded person. Now that Jim has received this new computer he has the ability to really explore his project and has turned Betty down when she asked him to go to a social function. Betty worries that Jim is going to become the social recluse that he was before, and she will loose what little human aspect of him she has been holding onto. Jim doesn't realize what he is doing and has become entirely consumed by his work.
As Steve worked on the computer, preparing the program that would decode the US' operating codes for the warships in the Gulf, and thus enable him to control the outcome in that war-torn region, Aurora, handcuffed to a metal pole ink the middle of the bare room, wept. "How could this be happening to me?? Less than one week ago, I had actually thought myself in love with this fiend! How could I have been so blind!?" The daughter of an extremely important military official, Aurora had met Steve Aaron, or so he had called himself, last week at a friend's party. They had gotten "better acquainted", and within a week, Aurora had, however inadvertently, mentioned the location of her father's safe, where all the warships' codes were kept. She had caught Steve in the act of stealing those files, and he had been forced to kidnap her. Now in an abandoned warehouse on the edge of town, Steve was busily putting the last of the codes in the computer. Soon, very soon, it would all be over. Suddenly, sounds of sirens were heard. "The police!" They were at the metal door, now banging it down. Steve leaped from the computer, reaching for the gun, but it was over. Aurora was rescued, all was safe. The End.
Once upon a time there was a very happy couple named Dick and Jane. One year for Dick's birthday, Jane gave him a personal computer as a gift. Dick was thrilled and spent all of his time learning its different and numerous features. Gradually Jane realized that her gift was a big mistake because Dick was spending all of his time with his new toy, ignoring Jane entirely, and even forgetting to walk the dog, Spot. Jane wept sorely for a time, but then found solace in the daily ritual of dogwalking. In the end this event proved to have been a Good Thing, because since Dick and Jane never spent time with each other again they didn't have children and Jane was spared the sorrow of losing her offspring's hearts to Christmas Nintendo. The end.
The woman is upset because the man is spending all of his time at work on the computer and is not paying attention to her. The woman will remain upset in this stereotypical relationship with the man wanting to work and the woman wanting a relationship.
The guy at the computer is really into his work. It looks he doesn't care at all about the woman who is obviously very upset. I think the guy has just created something horrible with his computer. Maybe it is the crucial piece of technology for some nuclear weapon or something. He probably works for the government in some lab and is really adept in the field of computer science. He probably doesn't get out much. The woman works in the same department, but she has a conscience. She is really concerned about the bad thing the man has just done. She wants him to stop, knowing that if he goes through with it, lots of people might die. He is just as aware of the ramifications of his work, but he doesn't care. She is upset because he is so callous. He just ignores her.
It was his attention to structures, complex and almost crystalline detail that drew her to him. The recursive stories that passed over cups of coffee, the critiques of Tharlie's organization, the schedules and graphs and outlines that spilled out of his briefcase like leaves in Autumn. He was an architecture student at GW, almost a year into a two year program, and although he never mentioned it, she could not conceive of him doing badly. Eve was one of C. Brown's regulars, the nicest, she grew to believe. Shorter, but not too short, sandy blond hair, but not too blonde; slight frame, light complexion, glasses, truth be told, he was not too anything accept regular. Wednesdays and Fridays from nine to eleven o'clock in the evening, he came in. When she first noticed him, he had already silently staked out his own table, and shine or storm, he would consistently be there, going over his notes, reading over some letters, perusing some of the treasures of that case.
More and more, they began to speak. His name was Paul, hers was Alex. He came to C. Brown's for lunch on alternative days, but Alex didn't come in until two. He had had a master's degree in French Literature in, and he had a need to laugh. She had a sense of humor and a sense of something unplumbed that lay beneath his hopelessly New England wardrobe.
One day, he had moved from his regular seat against the window in the corner to a seat on the other side of the bar. This new place was identical to his old one, except that it was squarely in her section. Jenny, the waitress who had the other half of the tables pointed this out to Alex. "That, my dear, is a sure sign of interest. Don't just stand there. His regular is an Irish coffee with cream." Jenny said that Charlie had grumbled about the time that Alex was spending with "that guy, you know, the quiet guy in the booth", but she had threatened spiritual and bodily harm should he even think of reprimanding her. So, she would serve him when he came in (never more than thirty seconds before or after nine), and when things were slow, they would sit and talk, her chin leaning on her tray, him talking over his wandering doodles. At the end of the night, when she collected the cocktail napkins, it seemed a shame to throw his away. He never took any trouble, a scratch here, a line there, circle, cube, connection, but the resulting patterns were so intricate, so light and still suggestive of such depth, she very well may have fallen in love with him through those alone. One day, he came in, no longer a student. He was completing his program early and was being hired by a local firm. Over half hearted protests, she announced it to the bar. The other regulars offered their congratulations from their individual isolated stations. The waitresses clapped. Charlie brought him a milkshake. He had grown accustomed to his face, he said later, "Ahh, he's okay." They spent the rest of the night laughing and talking about space and definition until closing time.
Okay, to finish this story will take too long. The idea is this. Eventually, he redoes the bar and she gets a position at Georgetown teaching intro. French. They move in together and she starts to notice things. He has his little desk where he drafts and plans, she looks at his drawings and can't quite figure out everything there. The guy is really into organization. His clothes, his room, he prints out these little schedules for her and he always follows them, to a tee. She cooks and he cleans the kitchen after working late. One night, she's sick and can't sleep. She never hears water run, but the kitchen is spotless the next day and everything is in the exact same order. He visits her at her classroom and offers some rearrangements. Somehow, he gets permission from the administration and does it. The room is really wild, acoustically nice. Somehow a thirty person class becomes a handful of people. Students start keying into class like never before, however, their written work remains the same. Alex feels like there are forces that she cannot describe that working as she teaches. A visit to Paul's desk reveals extensive plans for their apartment with details for the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, she is happy. They never fight, never have any disputes. The only problem is that he exhibits a lack of spontaneity. Everything has to be planned. He gets disturbed whenever things go wrong, whenever the unexpected happens. If she has to change plans he would rather postpone then knock it down in the same day. She secretly suspects that he carries out the prearranged schedule whether she is there or not. She follows up on the buildings that he does. He gets more and more favorable reports. People in projects of his talk about things going more smoothly than ever before. They talk about how things always go as planned. Paul visits Alex's office, and offers to redo it. Not knowing quite why, she refuses. Maybe before that, he does the President's office. After which, the administration does radical reversals in policy that end up in an extended position for Alex and more money for her apartment. She starts noticing in class, that students can always answer questions on what happened in the story that they have read, but seem unable to go beyond the most basic analysis, no no no she notices that they never stumble, are never unsure, never do two people have the same answer to a question at the same time, her classroom] dynamics are always the same. One day, she deliberately begins reading from a story other than the one assigned. The students have trouble answering questions, but never key into the fact that she is reading from a totally different story. Then, the inevitable comes. Paul announces that he has designed and built a house for them. It is a surprise for their anniversary.
This is a pretty sexless story so far. I suppose I should have something about him only being in the mood with scheduled sex, an occurrence not so uncommon among busy couples, but not quite right here (Dum da dum dum). So they go to the new house and it is pretty freaky. Alex is already getting very worried. She's been looking in Paul's books, checking at his table. He can't be making enough money to do the things he does, but he is. All the books are, of course, exact to the number with accompanying diagrams of them on his work space. She asks why the house, he says something about him needing more space. You never hear quotes from Alex and Paul, just from other people in the story. So, the house has a lot more space inside than out and she finds a computer that means that he has more power to do what he is doing which she figures out is something like he designs a lot more than buildings with his work so he tries to find his table, finds it after a freaky Dali-esqe run and burns it and then finds reality disappearing all around her, and I don't know what to do after that, so she must restructure reality and I have to go. Bye.