SORDID CONFESSIONS

SORDID CONFESSIONS

HOTMAIL SUCKS SO I HAD TO CHANGE TO GMAIL, WHICH ALSO SUCKS

A few years ago, I wrote a piece for CRANK entitled EMAIL IS JUST EMAIL OK. I explained why I still had a Hotmail email address, against all the advice of my hipster friends, administration gurus, and IT professionals. It wasn’t so much that I vehemently argued for how great Hotmail was (let’s be frank, it really isn’t), but that I just couldn’t be arsed getting a Gmail account and I didn’t want to have Google RUN MY LIFE.

Last week, however, it was time to make a change.

It had been nine days since Hotmail’s POP3 servers had forwarded a single email to my iPhone. NINE. DAYS. A quick google (LOL) of the problem came up trumps, in part because Hotmail had just redesigned its Outlook platform and everything was different. I mean, why would you bother redesigning your whole platform WHEN YOU HAVE ABOUT 100 USERS LEFT IN THE WORLD? (Other than spammers). In fact it occurred to me that perhaps Hotmail did it intentionally to try and increase their advertising revenue. Because now, instead of being able to read your emails through Mac mail, you have to download their crappy app or, worse still, log on through your browser and then deal with headlines on msn.com such as 'Kaley Cuoco reveals her new look' and 'Is this the end of the McNugget?'

I can tell you now, ladies and gentlemen, it is NOT the end of the McNugget, but it is the end of Hotmail for me. What a stupid, glitchy, inoperable piece of s--t, and yes, I know I’m years behind the eight ball, but at least I saw the light eventually.

The fact I have now defected to Gmail, however, does not mean I think Gmail is great. Do you know how much tax Google paid in Australia in 2013? Less than $500,000. Let’s just let that figure sink in. And the fact that I had to google Google to get those tax stats just shows how terrible this situation really is.

Then, when I had to create a Gmail address, I laboured over what my email name should be (not least because most varieties of my very unusual name were already taken, oh the regret!). It was also because I was thinking: wait, this is the email address that will be tied to my entire Google profile, my youtube account, blog... will this be my 'forever' email name? Will I change my home address ten times, but never change email addresses again? Will I be trapped in the world of Google until I DIE? I nearly chose “f--kyougoogle@gmail.com” as my new email address. Fortunately I didn’t, because after I decided on my address I realised that you can NEVER CHANGE IT. [1]

As my techie friend told me, 'welcome to the dark side…'

CHANLET B, MELBOURNE

  1. This is, however, a great thing for feminism. No taking of the husband’s surname in Gmail land!
The dark side. Our digital future, in which we bind ourselves to Mammon (aka Google), as it sucks the lifeblood from the world. For ever. [ An angel leading a soul into hell . Oil painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch, c 1540. Wellcome Images L0030887]

The dark side. Our digital future, in which we bind ourselves to Mammon (aka Google), as it sucks the lifeblood from the world. For ever. [An angel leading a soul into hell. Oil painting by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch, c 1540. Wellcome Images L0030887]

SORDID CONFESSIONS

CANDY CORN WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME

I lived in the US until I was seven, and Halloween was an occasion we celebrated with gusto. My mum once came second in a neighbourhood pumpkin carving contest (by using a pair of Minnie Mouse ears) and one year we turned our garage into a haunted house. We spent months thinking about our costumes and decorations, and I trick-or-treated with the best of them.

Trick-or-treating quickly makes you an expert on sweets, and candy corn was the good s--t. Little lumps of orange and yellow goodness, doled out into our treat buckets by the handful. I wasn’t interested in your Minties or lollypops; they took too long to get through. Candy corn is small, soft, easy to chew, and basically made for kids who want to eat their own bodyweight in Halloween-themed sweets in the shortest possible amount of time. It was my absolute favourite. Accept no substitutes.

We moved to Australia just after my seventh birthday, and that’s when my love affair with Halloween ended. Twenty years ago supermarkets did not stock special Halloween lollies and decorations, nobody went trick-or-treating (I tried one year and I got nothing but fruit, old Easter eggs, and a lot of telling off), and none of my new friends had even heard of candy corn.

Fourteen years would pass before I had the chance to taste it again, and in that time I told countless people what a tragedy it was that candy corn wasn’t available in Australia. I told them it was my favourite sweet of all time, the best thing I’d ever tasted, and made sure they knew they’d never eaten “proper” candy.

And then, at the age of 21, I was in the US again for Halloween. Finally. I bought myself an enormous bag of candy corn, a huge, enough-to-feed-the-whole-neighbourhood bag of the stuff. I didn’t even make it home—I opened it up in the front seat of my car, put a little piece into my mouth and started chewing. I was just so happy I could hardly stand it.

And then I realised it was awful.

Not just a little bit awful, but really awful. Like chewing on dried plaster or old Play-doh. I tried another piece to be sure, because maybe I’d just gotten a bad bit. But no, they were all identically horrible. It didn’t even have a flavour—it was just a solid mass of high-fructose corn syrup and wax died vaguely autumnal colours. Like eating a candle, but less delicious. I felt like my entire childhood was a lie.

Now that American candy is more readily available in Australia, people who knew me growing up will quite often buy me some candy corn. They remember me banging on about it, and so they see some and they think of me. It’s so nice and so thoughtful that I’ve been too embarrassed to admit that the thing I raved about for so long is actually completely vile. I’ve been pretending to still love candy corn for years. But now is the time to admit it, to come clean. Candy corn is disgusting.

JOSIE STEELE, MELBOURNE

Candy corn: similar in appearance to small rotten pointy teeth but even less delicious. ("Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth", from  A clinical memoir on certain diseases of the eye and ear, consequent on inherited syphilis : with an appended chapter of commentaries on the transmission of syphilis from parent to offspring, and its more remote consequences  by Jonathan Hutchinson.  [Plate facing page 205].  Published by John Churchill, London, 1863. Wellcome Library, image no. L0021139).


Candy corn: similar in appearance to small rotten pointy teeth but even less delicious. ("Syphilitic malformations of the permanent teeth", from A clinical memoir on certain diseases of the eye and ear, consequent on inherited syphilis : with an appended chapter of commentaries on the transmission of syphilis from parent to offspring, and its more remote consequences by Jonathan Hutchinson. [Plate facing page 205]. Published by John Churchill, London, 1863. Wellcome Library, image no. L0021139).