Progress run amok: No typewriters?

Pamela Bumsted sent the link to Boing! Boing!

The Writers Room is kicking out the guy with the last typewriter.

Writers Room logo on Facebook

Writers Room logo on Facebook

The Writers Room is a non-profit that offers cheap working space to writers.  In the old days, that meant a desk and a chair where a writer could use a legal pad and write longhand, or put a typewriter down to type a manuscript.

In 2010, there was just one guy left using a typewriter.  Everyone else had switched to computers.  Boing Boing said:

Greenwich Village’s Writers Room, a low-cost place for writers to rent workspace, has banned mechanical typewriters from its premises, giving Skye Ferrante, the sole remaining typewriter user the choice of switching to a laptop or going elsewhere. He’s not going to switch. Ferrante’s been using the Writers Room for six years, and is distressed at the news that he’s got to leave.

Skye Ferrante at his typewriter - now banned from the Writers Room

Skye Ferrante at his 1929 Royal typewriter - now banned from the Writers Room - photo by Hagen for New York Daily News

What’s this world coming to?

According to the New York Daily News (which probably has typewriters anymore only in its museum, if it has that):

“I was told I was the unintended beneficiary of a policy to placate the elderly members who have all since died off,” said Ferrante, a Manhattan native who’s writing children’s books. “They offered me a choice to switch to a laptop or refund my money, which to me is no choice at all.”

Ferrante was peeved, but not completely surprised.

A growing number of scowls had replaced the smiles that once greeted the arrival of his black, glass-key typewriter.

“The minute the sign came down, I realized there was antagonism from some of the new members,” he said. “They gave me an attitude when they saw me setting up the typewriter.”

Ferrante’s connection to typewriters runs deep. He owns at least five of the old-school machines, his devices of choice since his teens.

“There’s a different commitment when you know you’re making a mark on the page, when you strike a key and bleed ink on the page,” he said.

After being contacted by the Daily News, Writers Room officials told Ferrante he can continue working on his typewriter until the end of his term on June 30.

Heck, they might as well ban pens, pencils and paper.
Progress is okay.  This time, though, they’ve taken it too far.

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