Thursday, February 02, 2006


Finally wrote that article for SPYDER magazine. they want me to do a regular humor column on tech stuff. Which should be fun. The first article was written during a rough work-week so not as good as I'd have liked. Still, that now means I'm doing Musical journalism for HERALD and NEWSLINE and Tech stuff for SPYDER.

I'll never get any sleep.

Excerpt below. Buy the mag when it comes out for the complete article:


Don’t turn off your phone during a theater performance.

Focus on your dialing while driving.

Put the ringer on high during important meetings.

You’ve made your point.

The consistent, even dedicated, refusal to abide by basic rules of cell phone courtesy by the average user has by now proven a point. Let polite society go back to bothering cigarette smokers and loud children. Cell phone (mis)behavior has fought for its rights and we can probably let it win by now. It is time for us to adapt. Let’s just stop pointing the same things out over and over again, ad infinitum. Let’s start considering a ringing sound during your moving theatrical performance as criticism of your thespian skills. Let’s consider that if the guy in the cheap suit with the bad comb-over is talking on the phone during your moving lecture on sales-distribution and ISO certification (with power-point slides to highlight your key-words in comic-sans) then he probably is busy and you should get to the point. In fact, let’s consider that if you can’t drive and use a phone at the same time by now then you are a poor driver. Anyway, sms-ing and driving should be part of the driving test by now. If we ever have driving tests.

The point is: The old complaints against cell-phone users are silly and ineffective. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t have new complaints. Adapt or die is the basic evolutionary principle and it is just as applicable to complaining and whining. So lets list the new reasons to hate everyone around us.

1) If you are old, stop taking five minutes to answer you phone. Old people have this ridiculous habit of refusing to accept the call until they have read the name on the Caller-Id. This is still a habit that the young can get away with. But for the over-50 user that means retrieving half-moon shaped specs from their casing. Unwrapping the beady string that is tied to the ends of your glasses so that you can fashionably hang them around your neck. Perching them on your nose. Holding the phone at arms length and squinting like a near-sighted Clint Eastwood at the small screen. Wracking your Alzheimer’s-riddled brain to identify the caller. And then spending the next 3 minutes hollering “hello” into a phone, while failing to understand that the caller gave up 7 minutes earlier. If you are old, answer the phone as soon as it rings. Don’t worry, it wont be Death calling to tell you he is dropping by to deliver a quick heart-attack and offering a drive up to long-gone relatives.


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