Free Porn

The ready accessibility of wifi, the fact that for the most part it is free, and the cheapness of portable computers (especially now with the mini-laptops or “netbooks”) is probably one of the most important inventions since the advent of the internet itself. Possibly ranking alongside, but just below the printing press as information can so easily be attained. Yet most people use the internet for pointless bitching and attacking other people’s arguments, to make their fantasy football team picks and stats (although the NFL sharply discourages gambling, wink wink), and the greatest economic factor of the internet: pornography.

I’m not anti-porn, in fact I’m pro-porn, but with that comes certain limitations that are mere societal constraints or taboos if you will. I wouldn’t think that a person who comes in to a bar or cafe with a penthouse or hustler is someone that really gets the idea of social convention. In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen this happen. Yet, with the internet and the computer people seem to think that this is acceptable. So case in point, here is a person I hate:

The public porn viewer. If you hang out at the coffee shop that I do, you can see him everyday with his mini-laptop sitting against the window in the corner. The computer is angled so that the screen faces the wall, which makes it hard for anyone to actually see what he is doing. All you can hear from him is the “click” of his mouse as he surfs the internet looking at pornography.

The reason that I know what he is doing is because the wall that the screen faces isn’t a wall it’s a large window, a clear window easily seen through, a fact that must have escaped him because he doesn’t want anyone to know what he is looking at. How do I know this? The tilt of the computer. Standing inside the coffee shop it is impossible to see the monitor without letting it be known what you are doing. When he gets up to leave the table, he folds the screen down; all of this lets me know that he knows the public isn’t the place to be looking at porn.

Here is the conundrum. I suppose it’s less creepy that he is in the cafe instead of in his car doing the same thing. However if he were just doing it in the back of a Ford E-150 with no windows I wouldn’t be aware of it and thus wouldn’t care, maybe casually remarking about why there is always a van parked near the coffee shop but I probably wouldn’t even notice it. So the creepiness factor is almost inversely proportional to the level of awareness that I have.

The obvious remark is that I shouldn’t have looked at his monitor to begin with, but I was curious. Not about what he was looking at but the functionality of the computer itself. This was before I bought the new laptop and was considering a bundle package that would have included both a laptop and a “netbook” that seemed like a good deal. Now I know something that I can’t un-know.

Take it somewhere else, somewhere I am preferably not because I can’t help but notice every time he sets up in the corner. It makes things a bit awkward.

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