The other night I was waiting in the subway station, absentmindedly watching an advertisement for some new Amazon show on a touch-screen television installed in the middle of the train platform, when I had a revelation: The digital age is fucking cool. We’re not yet at Minority Report levels of technology—um, call me when the advertisements are three-dee—but still, this shit is beyond the wildest dreams of what the world imagined even as recently as the 1990s. That was before the internet! Telephones had physical cords and people actually talked on them! They were like, mounted on your wall and shit. Wild!
So the thing is, when people get all nostalgic for things like “VCRs” and “print media” and, most recently, “pens,” I just want to shake their little beards and kick their fixed gear bicycles. Do you know how great you have it? In 1993, they didn’t even have hybrid vehicles! It was this same sense of shock and disconcertion I felt whilst reading writer Laura June’s paean to the Bic Cristal Pen.
First of all, it’s 2017. I mean, that is the elephant in the room, right? The television screen in the subway responded to my finger and then let me play an interactive game of three-card monte, which advertised the Amazon program. I am not going to actually watch the show, but it entertained me while waiting for my train, because the battery on my phone—also a touch screen, a miracle I know—had died.
Second of all, that opinion is summarily wrong. Old people who remember using pens such as myself will tell you that the Bic Cristal sucks at writing, runs out of ink frequently, often explodes all over your hand and, indeed, requires a lot of pressure—which if you are high strung and have a mighty writing grip such as myself, can actually be quite painful. Therefore, almost literally any roller gel pen is preferable to the Bic Cristal, and actually literally any computer is preferable to that. Writing by hand is over-romanticized and, no one tells you this in school, can permanently callous your finger. And who needs writing callouses, especially when you’re trying to fucking Instagram over here?!
Finally, paper can burn, but the Cloud is for eternity. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!