I always knew it was a good idea to keep my old typewriters. Only six months ago I resurrected two of my ancient clickety-clackers and had a rare old time reliving memories of my early years. Old bangers like this offer a love-hate relationship. On the one hand they are joyous to use: Such a wonderful sound and the satisfaction of seeing those little typebars shooting forth. On the other, those same fascinating typebars often get stuck together if you do not keep up a steady rhythm. And make a mistake start the page again.
Typewriters still have their uses (filing in forms, for one) but they are hardly mainstream. Take heart, Olympia fans, for the typewriter is making a comeback in the wake of Wikileaks and Mr.Snowden. Russia has been the first to act. The Federal Guard Service has ordered a stack of new machines specifically for composing secret documents. Apparently (and not surprisingly) anything committed to a computer is fair game for leakifying.
Back in the Cold War days things were simpler. Spies had to get hold of secret documents and copy them, usually with a Minox camera because photocopiers had not been invented. It was all so gentlemanly and exciting. Now Edward Snowden can stick a USB stick into his work terminal and suck out the nation’s secrets.
So if you have deep and dark thoughts and wish to commit them to memory there is only one solution: Dust off the old Olivetti and feed in a sheet of A4. You know it makes sense.