The Infernal Machine


I have stared into the gaping maw of the future and seen visions of the destruction of mankind. I speak, of course, of lever-style voting machines. It's frankly frightening to think that such an imposing monstrosity is, in my areas, the agent of our democratic process. Perhaps you don't realize how scary these things are; I was certainly unprepared. The voting machine is literally a wall, a giant conduit of the kind you'd see in a submarine or in the engine room on the original Star Trek. You pull a great red lever along the bottom all the way from the left to the right. The names of the candidates for various races appear, and you flip knobs next to the ones you want to vote for. To write in a candidate, there's a column of panels along the side; you have to hold down a button while sliding a panel open. This disables the associated race's flip switches, and you can now write the name of your candidate on a piece of paper under the panel. When finished, you check that all the switches are properly switched, all the appropriate panels opened and written upon, and then, when you have prepared your soul, you grab the great lever and pull it all the way back to the left, at which point the votes are registered with a resounding *CLUNK!* To my mind at least, a sign ought to then appear saying, "Now your doom is sealed!"

For those who don't believe me, the New York Board of Elections has an instructional video about using the voting machine. Look upon our works, ye Mighty, and despair!"


I haven't watched the video yet. I keep forgetting when I'm at home, and I'm always hesitant to watch videos at work. But I really need to comment on the fact that, in your current page photo, YOU ARE ACTUALLY PLAYING THE BANJO. That is impressive.

Why, thank you. Although, if I might mitigate your praise slightly, I'm not actually playing the banjo in that shot; I'm posing for a photo while in playing position. Now, this posing was immediately followed by a practice session, which involved playing the banjo, but technically I was not playing in the photo itself.

What you can't see in that photo, thanks to resizing, is that I'm wearing on my right hand my metal finger picks, which for me is half the fun of practice sessions. They're like tiny metal claws! I feel like they should be tipped with a deadly neuro toxin and I should be using them to assassinate the rivals of whichever daimyo is willing to pay my hefty fee.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Zach published on September 13, 2005 1:55 PM.

On the Importance of Being Careful with your Qualifying Language was the previous entry in this blog.

Agh! My hand doesn't bend that way! is the next entry in this blog.

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