Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Cell phone - a fashion that will fizzle out?

A novel full of elementary truths!
  • You need to know only one thing: the pleasure of erudition is reserved for losers.Editors who read manuscripts have noticed: The more the author knows, the more things have gone wrong.
And tongue-in-cheek truths:
  • On cell phones: a fashion that will fizzle out. The American president doesn’t need a cell phone. He has secretaries to look after him. So people will soon realize that only second-raters use cell phones, those folks who have to keep in touch with their bank and make sure they haven’t overdrawn, or with their boss who is checking on them.
  • On the journalistic style:  Forget about subtlety and sophistication. People need to be informed in clear and forceful terms. Here are some good, solid phrases to use: no-go situation, uphill battle, shooting point-blank, no time for belly-aching, we are in deep water. Or maybe, in the eye of the storm.
  • On the purpose of public apologies:The Anglicans apologize to Darwin, the Catholics to Galileo. Virginia apologizes for the ordeal of slaves, the Canadian government apologizes to the Inuits (here Eco is behind the times, at present they are apologizing for the murder of native women). If you do something you shouldn’t have done, then you apologize and wash your hands of it.

Eco should have added: And you create a commission to look into the matter. Several years and millions of dollar later, the commission comes up with a report containing 268 non-binding recommendations. Now you can wash your hands of it for good. 


  1. Don't forget helicopter parents who wish to track their kids or remind them of their bed time... can't believe kids have embraced this.

    Commissions are a wonderful tool, like the church. Ask for forgiveness, make a donation, and you are absolved of your sins. Even better when it is not your money.

    1. What bothers me more than helicopter parents is the nanny state -- although I think it's more about fear of getting sued by citizens than about providing safety for them.