Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Devil Is Giving Free Ice Skating Lessons

Due to necessity, I've finally done something I stubbornly swore I'd never do- buy a cell phone. Lest anyone find me to be a techno-rube, I have good reason to have kept my distance from this all-too-pervasive phenomena. Certain studies have indicated that cell phones are of a gradually debilitating nature, and are to be used only sparingly.

As a non-user, I've been immune to the conditioned normalcy of users, and to the zeitgeist of denial. People spend hours a day yakking into these fiendish things, and it has become requisite for many careers. Social butterflies are hopelessly hooked, and flop like a fish out of water without one. Headsets are, of course, available, but I still see the majority walking, or driving, with that nasty little bug up to their ears. As for me, I'm happy to use my land line, and I can wait until I get home to talk to anybody. My stock broker, my probation officer, my bookie, and Ed McMahon all know where to find me, and that's all that matters.

As some have pointed out, there is an interesting parallel between the cell phone industry and the tobacco industry. Both have sought to undermine damning research of their product, and both are sporting PR machines that rival the White House. An industry that is turning over billions of dollars is not expected to do the altruistic thing when it's pointed out that it's product is a serious health hazard. Come on, this isn't Canada. As usual, it's a struggle to have the truth brought to light, especially when an industry has lots of enablers. I would know- I'm a smoker.

I bought a cell phone primarily to have in my cab for those swell times of having a flat somewhere on the outskirts of town, with no jack to be found. I have thus far avoided that fate, but it's common enough. Also, I can network with other drivers to find out where the action is, and where the trouble spots are. And, I can now send love-letter text messages to the radio dispatch gal, who will hopefully respond with many radio calls. And thus, I am on the grid. Can you hear me now?

Overall, there is a technological mutation taking place within our society, and I'm not anxious to take part in what the next step seems to be. The ultimate wireless is, of course, implants, and the notion of that scenario should be enough to scare more than just the luddites. But, with time, and the usual pre-conditioning which is now under way, that, too, will be an accepted step in our technological evolution. It's already becoming standardized for pets, so it's fairly close to home. Dignitaries are being implanted to thwart kidnapping, and likewise for children. It's even being suggested as a means for controlling immigration. Hell may freeze over, but I won't be greeting the friendly implant wagon when it comes around. I guess I'll just have to work around it.


Blogger william said...

Good luck with the pneumatics in the dispatch office.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Pissedoffcabbie said...

It's all computerized, and the dispatcher doesn't mess with it. The previous one sold airport calls and other long rides to a certain gang that, um, paid tribute to her. It went on for seven years before they finally fired her. It's a wonder what a visit from attorneys will do.

11:33 PM  

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