July 13, 2018 by phicks2012
Once upon a time there were rotary, hard-wired phones (sometimes with “party lines”), and (when TVs first appeared) TVs with only 4-6 channels, and pinball machines instead of video games, and paper road maps, and mimeograph machines. Nostalgia aside, I’d never want to go back to those days and toss my smartphone, and cable or satellite TV, or on-line games, or GPS, or scanner, but there are just a few smallish temporal rollback changes I’d really, really like to make. 😉
1) It used to be illegal (or at least against broadcasting rules and regs) for lawyers to advertise on TV. Please GOD bring back those days!! If I want to get “everything I deserve”, it’s never having to watch another smarmy ambulence-chaser solicit accident victims on my flat screen, because even when I mute the commercials I still risk seeing their smug, oily smiles when I try to correctly time the restoration of sound, right? Snidely Whiplash, Attorney at Law, partner at Whiplash, Legree, Lecter & Sauron: Sleazy since 1852.
2) People used to have conversations and interact one-on-one by preference, rather than communicating only (or mostly) via electronic devices. Can we have more of that again, please? I’ve tried on-line dating, and I’ve had about as much in common with my suggested EHarmony “matches” as I might have had with Hal 9000 or Lucius Malfoy. I’ve tried to make friends via on-line games, but the players tend to vanish abruptly (like Griffin or Sue Storm), and with no warning, to defect to other games, and as for Facebook “friends” — well, most (or a good percentage) of those I already knew in the traditional (not carnal) way before I friended them on FB in the first place. But, whatever the platform, it’s just too easy to ignore problems, and to stop communicating, and (frankly) to be a total asshole on-line (expecially via Twitter). It’s harder to do that, and far more obvious that you’re being a complete buttwipe, when you have to do it face-to-face, don’t you think? 😉
3) There were no “Infomercials”. If commercials truly sucked, at least they only lasted 30-60 seconds and didn’t suck up your life energies and waste bandwidth for a bloody hour repetitively trying to persuade you to buy something you probably didn’t need, like The Boyfriend Body Pillow, the TV Hat, the Uro-Club, the Snuggy, the Shakeweight, BrightFeet, or Tasty Pantry Deluxe Food Buckets (for the impending appocalypse). Really? I don’t much care what celebrity is hawking the makeup, or the appliance, or the hair-care system — they don’t have the fame-level that entitles them (like Count Rugen) to siphon away an hour of my life that will never be restored. Give me the condensed version with someone hot to watch, like Chris Pratt. From him I might even buy marketing attrocities like Diet Water or the Squatty Potty. Just sayin’.
Fortunately for me, I rarely interact on-line with people I can’t also interact with face-to-face, and I happen to enjoy a hobby (the SCA) that allows me to interact regularly and directly with real, mostly intelligent, human beings. As a result, even those three retrogrades listed above would further improve my quality of life enormously.
Sure, we slyly make use of smartphones, and GPS units, and the internet, and platforms like Facebook, but we also spend time together in corporeal human form — so if we’re rude or just plain shitty to one another on-line we generally have to answer for it the old fashioned way — maybe not by getting our houses egged or our cars keyed, but we do have to attend the same events as the people we’ve crapped on from afar, and that can be blessedly and deservedly awkward.
Word fame works both ways, baby! You can also get Word Shame.
Not that egging a few houses, lawyers’ offices, Twitter bullies, or producers of Infomercials and reality shows might not also be a bit more than marginally satisfying. I just wouldn’t use The Eggstractor. 😉