Friday, December 30, 2005

A Meditation Upon Cell Phones

The New Mexican reports that SF police have written 1,898 citations for drivers using cell phones. Unfortunately the penalty is not death, merely $101. I'm telling you, if SF just took one or two of these violators to the plaza for a public be-handing (that's cutting off the hands...what do they call it in Saudi Arabia?) the only violators would be the cocaine level addicts like those two off-duty police officers in Espanola. And yes we all know cocaine level cell phone addicts. I propose that NM spend some of the supposed gas/oil windfall on a set of regional cell phone recovery centers, 12 steps and all...or a series of public be-handings, either one works for me.

Cell phones. I'm trying to think of a technological advance in the last 100 years I despise more, but I'm drawing a blank. Drum machines...okay, drum machines are right up there. Muzak, now that I think about it. Speaking of muzak...why is it considered perfectly acceptable for all offices and restaurants to play absolutely crappy music (Christmas especially) all the time? Terrible music, grandmas getting run over by reindeer and worse. Yet, if one, say me for instance, asks the waitress to either change the station or turn it down I am looked upon as a social aural leper ruining the good times of all the patrons who really, really, really want to hear "Baby I'm a Want You" by Bread.

Okay, cell phones have some competition, but if I were in charge....

Since we haven't been using our civil liberties anyway, the Bush Administration has made it an easy leap to living in Nepal for me. What's this got to do with cell phones? Well, back in March King Gyanendra (he's the Bush with better monarchial robes and an Atari Pong-based NSA) , cutoff all the cell phones in the country. Seems they were being used to set up protests against his government. No mention if they were being used while turning left at intersections without using turn signals driving Chevy Surburbans down Nepal's many ten lane intervillage highways.

I, for one, am all for public protests of civil liberty depriving monarchs (e.g. George W. Bush), but have to applaud King Gyanendra for his action regarding cell phones. Somebody had to do something, and engineers don't seem to be working on alternative ideas such as my "Get Smart Cone of Silence" for use with cell phones in public places like the 53 Isleta bus, where in our technologically-deprived non-"Cone of Silence" society I am forced to listen to one-sided conversations like (actual paraphrased overheard spiel of 12/27/05):

"You've lied to me, and now I don't believe you and I'm not coming home. (pause) No, I'm sleeping at my Mother's. (pause) No, you've lied to me again and again, and I don't believe you anymore, no listen to me, the kids aren't coming home, too. (pause) I'm on the bus. (voice rising to levels literally audible by Echelon satellites circling the Earth above Isleta Blvd and Barcelona) You never stop lying to me."

Alright, I just tried to find the official term for the public cutting off of one's hands, and found this quote at Amnesty International from a Saudi Islamic Sharia law enforcement executioner.

"...for me it is more difficult to cut off a hand than to carry out an execution, because executions are done momentarily by the sword and the person leaves this life. By contrast, severing a hand demands more courage, especially because you are cutting off the hand of someone who will remain alive afterwards, and also you have to cut it off at a specific joint and use your skill to make sure that cutting implement stays in position. As I said, it is much more difficult for me to cut off someone's hand than to execute them, both in terms of carrying out the penalty itself and in terms of my own feelings."

I also found out that amputations like this are violations of Article 5 of the United Declaration of Human Rights. Okay, I've calmed down now and kinda see the point of this "human rights" thing. No public be-handings.

But I've looked pretty hard and the Universal Declaration doesn't say anything about this:

Not exactly anyway. Even better, we put a cell phone in their hand while they are in the stocks. Or is that the pillory? You get the point. Good times, medieval 'bro, good times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm with you - except for the total stranger part of our relationship.

When I tell people I don't have a cell phone they look at me like I've just told them I've never been to the dentist or driven a car.

I used to have one. After it was stolen I spent 1 hour on hold with *customer service* before deciding to wait for the head implant that will enable me to dial by snapping my jaw and talk with thought waves. I figure that's coming soon along with the promised flying cars. Coco