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Letters From The Fishbowl

The life, times, fiction, and mind-lint of V.B. Rising. Enter at your own risk, traveler, for here there be rants and misplaced modifiers.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Please Embed My Head With Glowing Plastic

Originally published September 2004.

Cell phones are the downfall of society.

"I would like- if I may... to take you on a strange journey." Okay, everyone, close your eyes (after you read this paragraph, cuz otherwise it's a little pointless) and think back to about five years ago. When gas was much cheaper. When flared pants were still the only thing you could wear to school without getting beat up. The Backstreet Boys were still all under thirty and still almost cool. It was a good time.

My favorite part of that time? I liked not having to hear six different computerized versions of 'Canon in D' every five minutes. I liked having the opportunity for face-to-face conversation on the way to class. I liked the ability to sit in a movie theater and not be interrupted by flashing lights and beeps.

CELL PHONES HAVE TAKEN OVER THE FUCKING WORLD! How did this happen? Granted, this is the country whose national motto is, "Good Idea, Let's Run It Into The Ground," but this cell phone phenomenon is just beyond my comprehension.

See, when cell phones were first invented, they were invented as a device of convenience, or for emergency purposes. And when they became affordable and popular to have, they were used for mostly that.

Acceptable Cell Phone Conversations - The Way Things Used To Be

*Ring, ring, ring!*

"Hello?"

"Hey, it's me. My car broke down, so I'm going to call Triple A. Just wanted to let you know I'd be late for the sex toy party."

"Cool, seeya later."

*Click.*

***

*Ring, ring, ring!*

"Hello?"

"Hey, Mom, it's me. The movie's over. Can you come pick me up?"

"Sure. See you soon."

*Click.*

Now, see, nothing wrong with that. That's what technology's for, after all. But a couple years went by and they began making little toys for the cell phones. They began being allowed in schools. They began to become an accessory and a status symbol. And now every time I leave class, I hear this bullshit.

Stupid-Ass Conversations That Are Nothing But Noise Pollution

*Titanic Theme*

"Hello?"

"Oh, my Gawd, that class was so fucking long. I swear I thought I was going to die."

"Wow, that sucks."

"Yeah."

"Yeah."

"Yeah, so you want to like... I don't know, lunch?"

"Ummm... Oh, jeez, hang on, this bitch is looking at me funny. Like she's never seen someone talk on a phone and order coffee at the same time."

"People are so weird. Like, I was in the drive-through at McDonald's yesterday and I was talking to Dina on my cell and the bitch working was all like, 'Ma'am? Ma'am? Excuse me, ma'am? Your food's ready. Ma'am, you need to pay now.' "

"Oh, my God."

"I know, and I was all like, 'Whatever, bitch, can't you see I'm on the phone?' "

"God."

"I know."

"So lunch?"

"Totally. Where do you want to meet?"

"I'm standing right next to you, remember?"

"Oh, yeah!"

*Click.


What the fuck is this bullshit? Please spare me. The minute people leave a non-cell environment, whoosh, out come the itty bitty phones with the cute little designer covers. Then the ring tones start, all manner of Disney songs, Top 40 bullshit, and my personal favorite, the robot woman saying, "You have an incoming call." Smug robot bitch.

Half of these people with the cell phones clothespinned to their ears have nothing to say. They just carry them around to feel like they're connected to the world because they can't run on their own steam. Believe it or not, the people in your life managed to get by without your twenty-four hour availability before cell phones, and they can get by now.

Cell phones introduce all these new kinds of dramas. I can't fucking stand drama. Now people hunt each other down and scream, "Why didn't you answer your phone last night? Don't you like me? Where were you? Were you cheating on me?" Sweet Jesus covered in caramel, this is ridiculous. See, people were not meant to be exposed to each other every second of every day. That's why people get cabin fever and kill each other. If your friends begin to believe that you spend all your time waiting for them to call, they'll call. ALL THE TIME! And then, the one day you decide maybe you'll exercise some decent manners and turn your phone off before you go to class, they call and you don't answer and they go nuts. Cell phones are turning everyone into codependent, neurotic stalkers.

True story: My stepfamily and mother share a cell plan. One month the bill was several HUNDRED dollars. HUNDRED! Mom checks the call log and lo and behold, my stepsister has been calling her boyfriend an average of twenty-four times a day and he's been calling her about the same amount. Now, granted, he lives a few states away, but my freaking God, do they need to talk to each twice an hour? More than that, because she'd be sleeping or in school for a majority of the day. One day, Stepsister doesn't answer her phone because she's at a doctor's appointment and Boyfriend freaks out and leaves three voice messages. He'd probably have come banging on our door to see what the hell she had to do that was so important she couldn't answer his precious 28th phone call that day. Good thing we live several hundred miles away, cuz that's an annoyance I don't need.

Another true story: My brother and sister also share a plan and their bill last month was also in the triple digits. They text for free. They can talk free after 9pm and on weekends. They both attend school. WHO THE FUCK ARE THEY TALKING TO ALL DAY?! My brother's still in high school; all his friends are around him all day! None of them lives further than five minutes away! Who the hell else does he talk to? I'll tell you who. The girlfriend. The girlfriend who goes to a different school but lives fifteen minutes from our house and is constantly around anyway. I don't understand it.

None of my friends are crazy cell-phone obsessed people, thankfully. They carry them around for emergencies or because they're busy and never home. Fine. Cool. Awesome. What I can't stand are these jerks who you meet, start a conversation with, and then have to beat with a stick because they immediately ignored you as soon as they had enough service bars to call their other, better friends. Hello! You live on a college campus. Lean out your window and yell, and I guarantee that friend you just had to talk to will hear you without the aid of a glowing chunk of over-priced plastic.

Moderation, people, that's the key. There's no reason for people to think you have Tourette's syndrome cuz you're talking to yourself all the time (and phones are so small now, you can't even see them, which further cements the suspicion). Talk when you have to. Put the fucker away when you don't. Cell phone are a good invention; I admit that. I think pot's a pretty cool invention too, but I don't recommend toking up every five seconds, even if it's free on nights and weekends.

SO HELP ME GOD, I SHALL KILL YOU IF YOUR PHONE RINGS IN THE MOVIE THEATER!

There will be no saving you if your cell phone goes off in the movie theater! I swear to God, I will leap over the seats and throttle you with a fucking tampon string if you can't be bothered to turn your fucking cell phone off in a place that broadcasts a 'Please Turn Off All Cell Phones' message. What's the deal with people who don't get the message? Does it need to be brighter? Would it help if it had glowing blue numbers and cute wallpaper? How about if it played 'The Thong Song' in a garishly out of key computerized way? Wake up, people! There are very few places in this world where you are still expected to sit reasonably quietly for two whole hours. If you can't do that, get the fuck out.

So please. PLEASE. Put the cell phone down. I promise you, the world will keep spinning. You don't need that little machine to dictate your life. You don't need eight thousand ring tones to choose from to be a complete human being.

And just so you know, I am sponsoring a new charity program. It will called, 'Take Five... In the Chest!' and it's purpose will be to arm decent citizens with semi-automatic weapons, send them into movie theaters, and then pay for excellent legal council when they flip out and kill the motherfucker behind them for wrecking 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' one too many times.

Just doing my part to rid the world of a few more stupid people every day. Every little bit counts.

One Good Reason I Hate Sarah Palin

Originally published September 2008.

Hi, folks!*


Anyone who knows me can probably guess my opinion on John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin. Anyone who knows me probably also knows that I don't like to talk about politics, because frankly, it bores me. I know who I'm going to vote for and I have no interest in trying to convince people of how right my opinion is. Normally, these silly political scandals are not my preferred topic of discussion.


However, I have to come out and say it: I didn't think it was possible for me to a hate a female politician more than I hate Hillary Clinton, but damn if Sarah Palin didn't prove me wrong! My hatred for her reaches irrational and volcanic levels! I hate her as if hating her is my job!**


Now, it's not because of Troopergate, a term I loathe to mention because of its sheer tooliness. It's not because she's severely right-wing. It's not because her political views are practically the exact opposite of my own. It's not because she seems to name her children during the post-delivery morphine haze, when any neat-sounding word seems like a valid burden to saddle upon your innocent newborn. It's not even because during her tenure as Mayor of Wasilla she managed to turn a record surplus into
20 fucking million dollars
in deficit!!!*** I'm sure that could happen to anyone!


Sarah Palin: What? What do you mean, the people can't afford the $3,000 dollars apiece in debt I thrust upon them? They don't need FOOD! They have this pretty new SPORTS STADIUM!!! Isn't that enough?!


People Of Wasilla: It's a good thing you're hot.****


It's not even the fact that she was obviously chosen to win over the throng of female voters who didn't know where to turn after Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race, although that is pretty much the most insulting thing I can imagine the Republican party implying about female voters: that they will somehow ignore the fact that the new candidate is the opposite of everything they believe politically, just as long as she still has tits.


Female Voter: Well, um, I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton, because like, I have no ideas or opinions of my own. I just like, vote for my pals! So now, I'm going to vote for Sarah Palin!


Common Sense: But- But- She's practically the exact opposite of Hillary Clinton, as far as policy and political ideals go!


Female Voter: Whatev, we girls gotta stick together! Tee hee!


See, just because she's a girl does not mean that suddenly thousands of women across the country are going to abandon their values just so they can support fucking Girl Power.
^No basis for a system of government!^


No. Those are all perfectly valid reasons to not vote for her, but still not quite heinous enough to warrant not only my scorn, but also my VICIOUS AND UNENDING HATRED!!!


The reason I really hate Sarah Palin is this. This simple fact: I cannot, by my very nature, support someone who supports book-banning. Can't do it. Won't do it. Not gonna do it.


See, one of Sarah Palin's very first acts as Mayor was to ask the librarian of the public library if she would be okay with removing some books from the shelves. Not cuz they were old or worn or a fire hazard, but because of content. When the librarian refused, as would any librarian who can look herself in the mirror without flinching, she was fired.***** Coincidence? Um, you're not really that gullible, are you? Cuz we can't be friends anymore if you really think the moon is made of cheese.


Not only does this reinforce the fact that Sarah Palin's attitude toward the people she's supposed to be serving is apparently "my way or the fucking highway," but it's a denial of a personal freedom. Banning books due to content in a public library is not something any official in a democracy should be allowed to do.


The right to walk into a public library and decide for ourselves what is okay and not okay to read is pretty basic. The idea that we are somehow not capable of determining what is appropriate for ourselves is not only a blatant disregard of our personal freedom, but also pretty fucking insulting. Like I need to be told when I go to the library that I can't read 'Catcher in the Rye' cuz it's too dirty for my little brain? Fuck you, bitch! Get off your high horse and stop being such a crazy Nazi! Last I checked, mayoral responsibilities did not include censorship of public materials. And oh, boo hoo, someone stood up to you and you didn't get your way, so you fire her? That is bullshit behavior! It's this stupid Mommy-knows-best-or-you're-grounded attitude of hers that makes me want to kick her in the teeth!


Go home to your weirdly-named children and fuck them up some more, would you?! By the way, I see that Teaching Abstinence Only = Valid Sexual Education theory worked out real well for you!
I don't give a shit what they called you in high school; I shall call you Hitler. He didn't like books and "insubordination" either.










*Mom

**Anyone interested in actually paying me to hate Sarah Palin full-time, please e-mail me! I am a very dedicated and experienced worker, having hated stupid bitches for most of my life.


***http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/09/03/wasilla-in-debt/


****Apparently.


*****http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/515512.html