Friday, September 23, 2016

Culture Watch: Isn't it time to deal with the all-consuming menace of electronic-toy tyranny?


"Before you take me away, I just
want to update my profile picture."

by Ken

It's time -- or more likely well past time -- to begin dealing with the rupture of the social fabric caused ty the menace of the electronic toys and the people who abuse them. You know who I'm talking about. They're the people (for convenience we'll call them "they," because they couldn't be you, right?) who brandish their toys, as they electronically suck in and spit out limitless quantities of mindless twaddle in any and all public situations without regard to the disruption caused to sane people trying to perform the basic routines of life.

I'm afraid that the suggestions I'm going to make for dealing with them may be thought of as harsh, but a bit of reflection should clarify that they're simply the minimum we can do to try to restore a modicum of healthy function in public spaces. A warning won't suffice for the obvious reason that if these offenders were capable of understanding the nature of their offense, it wouldn't be necessary to grasp for ways of dealing with them. These are offenses that grow out of the twin delusions: first, that what they're doing on their toys is so important that it can't wait for a more appropriate place and time, so important that it lends an illusion of importrance to the limitlessly vast unimportance of their worthless existences, and second, that there are no people besides themselves on the planet.

Perhaps the most obvious and egregious category of offenders is the people who through public spaces -- sidewalks, meeting places, stairways (especially stairways) with their blank faces buried in their toys, obstructing the flow of pedestrian traffic. The stairway obstructors -- either on the stairs or at the top or bottom of the flight -- need to be dealt with promptly. It shouldn't be beyond our technological resources (the technological resources that created the toys that are the problem) to devices or substances that could produce instant, painless, and mess-free elimination. "Jerkbegone" is a possible product name on which I happily waive all royalties.

One particular category of electronic-toy abuse I'd dearly love to see dealt with is the plague afflicting gyms, where the toy people routinely clog up workout equipment for endless periods while they're not working out but are playing with their toys. And perhaps because they are typically paying fairly stiff membership fees, the staff never seems to think it's a problem that calls for their attention. One obvious remedy short of automatic elimination which might perhaps get the offender's attention would be a policy of confiscating the toy, crushing it underfoot, and then stuffing the remains up the orifice of the toy person's choice.

There are, of course, related public nuisances that will still need to be dealt with -- like the whole range of camera-phone abuse, and the "showtime" hoodlums who take entire subway carfuls of passengers hostage with their "entertainments." But I think this would be a good start.



Post a Comment

<< Home