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Joe Bob Briggs covers cell phone hatred

Jerry Stratton, July 6, 2006

Joe Bob Briggs covered unreasoning hatred of cell phones four years before I did, but I somehow missed it when I searched for information.

A few months back a colleague and I were getting onto the Amtrak Metroliner between New York and Washington, which is always full of laptopping business commuters, and the attendant told us we were sitting in the “quiet car.”

“You have to be quiet in this car?” I asked him.

“No cell phones,” he said.

I told him we planned to talk during the trip. Was that okay?

The attendant told us that, yes, we were free to talk. We just couldn’t talk on cell phones.

It was the latest in the new Cell Phone Hatred series of laws that are sweeping the country. Paradoxically, it comes at a time when people obviously love cell phones, can’t get enough of them, to the point that some cities are running out of phone numbers to sell to mobile users. Apparently we love our own cell phones but we hate everyone else’s.

It started with the laws in California making it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving. You can hold anything else while driving, including a mug of hot coffee. You can talk while driving. You can process information while driving, including Aerosmith cranked up to 100 decibels. You just can’t do any of these things in the form of a cell phone. The focus of the law is not talking, listening, or holding something--it's the object itself that’s been demonized.

Also, I forgot to link to my own New York’s anti-minority rules will be enforced.

In response to Cell phones: threat to public safety: Cell phones are a part of the decentralization of our society; they are a severe threat to those who prefer centralization and restricted channels of access.

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