Sickened by all the eBay typewriter auctions that state "Will cut off the keys". That's like killing an elephant for the tusks. -Marko Kloos on TwitterMy friend Marko really likes him some typewriters. The process of using a manual typewriter resonates with the particular strain of creativity he possesses: The letters imprinting mechanically onto the paper, with finality, all in one pass; the writer feeling connected to an intricate, well-crafted machine that, further, might be significantly older than he is.
Of course, the very things he most enjoys about typewriters are the reasons they have been pretty much entirely supplanted for day-to-day use by computers and word processing programs. People generally don't give a rodent's hindquarters about the gestalt of the creative process when they want to knock out a business letter, a brownie recipe, or an email to grandma, and we'll usually gladly give up that feel of a well-oiled mechanical interface for the ability to back the cursor up and change "rat's ass" to "rodent's hindquarters" so as not to shock said grandma.
Myself, I love old military rifles, and I most love them in their original condition. I know that every day they get re-finished or cut down into ungainly hunting rifles, are left to rust in neglect, or are even broken up for spare parts on GunBroker. I know that if I want to ensure that one is preserved in its original condition, the only way I can do so with any assurance is to buy it myself and leave it alone. I have to live with the fact that other people may not see things my way, and that they are free to do as they want with their rifles.
It's the nature of the beast; for every old treadle sewing machine or wooden spinning wheel lovingly preserved, dozens have been turned into planters and thousands upon thousands have been thrown away. The comparatively few all-original '32 Fords and '57 Chevies are valuable because so many were turned into "hot rods" and so many more were turned into scrap metal. What were the everyday appliances of yesteryear are the treasured artifacts of today precisely because so many were altered or destroyed.
With old manual typewriters, the fad of the moment is to turn the key caps into costume jewelry, and throw the rest of the typewriter away. This understandably annoys Marko, although it's perhaps more respectful of the typewriter than what would otherwise happen, which is the machine getting pitched into the dumpster or recycling bin, key caps and all. It was seeing this typewriter butchery mentioned on eBay that set my roommate off on her latest round of acquisitions.
I know well the feeling of "People are destroying these things I love so much..." The trick is in not appending the second half of the thought: "...somebody oughtta DO something about it!" because that way lies madness. At best you wind up trying to adopt every puppy in the pound; at worst, you start some annoying organization like People for the Ethical Treatment of Antiques.