And after many a summer dies the swan.
Today I received a disturbing email in my inbox. It was a technology tip from my employer’s IT office. I receive emails such as this occasionally, and though it shames me to say it now, I usually deleted them without even a simple glance. Now my shame has turned to guilt. The subject line of the email:
Technology Tip – How to automatically delete Technology Tips
I read this and it filled my heart with despair. Oh! The pain and loneliness of the technology tip email. What cruel irony that a being who’s raison d’être was helping office workers use Outlook more efficiently was forced to accomplish this task by transmitting the clinical details of its own execution.
Email is a fickle beast. It has traded the finite lifespan of traditional mail for an altogether more ambiguous form of immortality. Like Tithonus, however, eternal life has not brought with it eternal youth. A lively email from 1998 filled with dancing hamsters, flashing text, and the childlike naïveté of a society not yet jaded by 2 Girls, 1 Cup seems anachronistic now. Modern man looks upon it with scorn, like Eos seeing the white-haired Tithonus unable to move his limbs.
Eos eventually turned Tithonus into a grasshopper; the technology tip email has no such luxury. Its fate was sealed by the Judas who suggested this tip. I won’t name his name, but I will secretly pray that his thirty pieces of silver bring him nothing but misfortune.
I suspect the technology tip email yearns for release, but I myself will hold off on implementing this merciless Outlook rule. But I can’t stop progress, and the technology tip emails will be destroyed before ever reaching my inbox, like so many electrons disintegrating into the æther. Who will speak for it then?
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
“The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts.”