Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blame my enemies...

All the other pundits are doing it, so I thought I would take this opportunity to point out that the political and social conditions I am opposed to are to blame for the terrible shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday.

Particularly, in my case, this includes:

  • NBA teams tanking in order to get a high draft pick
  • Politicians and journalists appearing on the Don Imus show
  • The Fix the Fray project being disingenuous about soliciting user input
  • The airlines lying about the danger of cell phones in order to maintain the ban
  • Noodling
  • MLB starting the season on Sunday night, rather than Tuesday afternoon
  • Carbon offsetting
  • NCAA teams attempting to score the winning basket without a time-out
  • Pundits expressing approval for John Edwards's decision to stay in the presidential race in spite of his wife Elizabeth's cancer
  • Billy Packer

The link between these developments and yesterday's shootings is obvious to anyone who's paying attention. Those who claim not to see it are deep in denial.


Claude Scales said...

Billy Packer can't be to blame. He hardly ever sees a shot he likes.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, there were shootings at Virgina Tech too? The only ones I'd heard about were at Virginia Tech.

Ted Burke said...

I oppose cell phone use commercial airlines and applaud the FAA's refusal to allow them to be used. It's not right to force people to listen to chatter junkies prate on and on when one hasn't the option to move to a quieter spot. Cell phone users driving cars, in check out lines, in theaters, in bookstores, in cafes must all be quiet.

JohnMcG said...

Corrected -- have you met this guy?

As for cell phones -- whether to allow them is a debatable policy -- what fries me is lying about a safety risk to justify it.

Cell phone users aren't quiet in the settings you list because we ban their use based on a phony safety concern. Social convetions have emerged. I'm quite certain they would emerge for airlines as well. It probably won't be pleasant as those get established, but it will happen.

It occurs to me that this story is why CBS shelled out millions for Katie Couric. If there was ever a story tailor-made for her, this is it.

I should also mention that I overlooked the most obvious target for blame -- the patricarchy. But I figured that went without saying.

twiffer said...

blame canada!

Ted Burke said...

Sorry, John, but "social conventions" have yet to emerge as something we apply to cell phones. If there is a "given" about the devices, it's that owners assume they have a right, mandated from God, to use their phones where ever they choose to discuss whatever they like, making life in the city all that less delightful. San Diego, New York, Chicago, Detroit, folks flip them open, prate about their affairs no matter how inane or personal or private--I had to listen to a psychiatrist wax to a colleague about a patient, name and everything, about a patient's difficulties and the treatments he wasn't responding to in the middle while in the middle of a crowded bookstore. So much for doctor/patient privilege. Really, social conventions, such as tact,respect for your fellows, holding a civil tongue in public, are dismantled and discarded when cell phones enter the picture. I don't regard the use of a cell as an unconditional civil right and would encourage Airlines to simply ban them outright, on the principle that paying that kind of money ought not be a buy-in to listening to yammering neurotics whose company I cannot leave until the plane touches down.

JohnMcG said...

In that case, then it seems like the type of thing the market would be good at sorting out -- if people value quiet more than the freedom to use their phones, airlines can impose bans, and market them to peace-loving travellers.

I think Amtrak does something similar -- "quiet cars."

But nobody has the guts to do that, so they let this lie live.

twiffer said...

ted: Really, social conventions, such as tact,respect for your fellows, holding a civil tongue in public, are dismantled and discarded when cell phones enter the picture.

only in regards to cell phones? where have you been living? symptom, not a cause.

Ted Burke said...

I've been right here,in the Big City, observing and getting aggravated and causing aggravation in turn. Cell phones, though, are the grossest breach of civility, courtesy. It's a passive aggressive activity that gives some nebbish the right to treat cashiers as vending machines, bookstores , waiting rooms and public transportation into extensions of their home life. The world is their private phone booth, and this onslaught of chatter and blaring inanity and personal information in areas where none of this abrasive claptrap used to be heard is a sudden and tragic lessening of the quality of life. Cell phones might be a symptom of an underlying disorder, but we shouldn't give the obnoxious the means to be even more so. Just as the murder with a gun has something to do with the presence of a gun, gross bad manners with cell phones has everything to do with the fact that they are plentiful, cheap, and easy to abuse.

Anonymous said...

John, no, I hadn't met that guy. Thanks for the introduction! He's a pedant after my own heart.

maximo said...

"you're a loser for life. accept it."

i dunno... how'd the treaty of versailles work for us?