Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Sunday, September 26, 2004  

Curmudgeon Time

Not wanting to be a grumpy old man, I kept my thoughts on certain observations I've been making to myself, but tonight my wife began to complain about what I thought I might have been overly sensitive about, and therefore seeing more of something because I was looking for it.

What we have both noticed lately is that a larger percentage of the people we see driving, walking on the street, or in stores are on the cell phone.


I have occasionally seen a line of cars at a stoplight, and as we start to go and the line passes by me, I will see two or three people on the phone in the one brief group. I can't stand it.

I went to the video store to rent a movie. Two different people are walking around me talking about what movie to get.

I know that this isn't a new phenomenon, but it just seems like I am watching what was a rash, turn into a plague -- the deterioration of civil society almost overnight.

I just read of a church that bought a cell phone jammer (not a small expense) in order to restore liturgical order during services.

I am not the kind of guy who would carry a jammer just to take revenge on my fellows. I would have the fear that I destroyed an important transmission at some time, and yet I would applaud others if legions of seriously ticked off folks did just that.

Part of my fury comes from the sense that people use all these electronic gadgets to become less human and self-aware rather than as improvements. People seem to be revving themselves into overstimulated modes where they are always "on" in a condition of self-conscious action where all focus is tightly narrowed onto a false but energetic self. Everyone else around them are simply objects and of no importance. The rudeness infuriates me.

It is the feeling of being onstage in a one man show of intense improvistion. It is a mania, and even when people come down from it, they don't come down very far into the world where God lives and grace is rich.

When Jesus said, "I came to give life and give it more abundantly," he didn't mean that we should jack ourselves into a datastream where mind is simply rapid processing, feedback loops, and rushing through life at top speed.

Sometimes I go out into the world and I recoil from what I see.


In Washington, D.C:
(via Drudge)

Sakinah Aaron was walking into the bus area at the Wheaton Metro station several weeks ago, talking loudly on her Motorola cell phone. A little too loudly for Officer George Saoutis of the Metro Transit Police.

The police officer told Aaron, who is five months pregnant, to lower her voice. She told the officer he had no right to tell her how to speak into her cell phone.

Sakinah Aaron says she was speaking loudly on the phone but not cursing. (Juana Arias -- The Washington Post)

Their verbal dispute quickly escalated, and Saoutis grabbed Aaron by the arm and pushed her to the ground. He handcuffed the 23-year-old woman, called for backup and took her to a cell where she was held for three hours before being released to her aunt. She was charged with two misdemeanors: "disorderly manner that disturbed the public peace" and resisting arrest.

Those are the facts on which both sides agree.

I'm with the cop on this. People have become too rude on a daily basis. But I don't see why they just write the person a ticket of some sort -- being a nuisance or sound polluter or something.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:13 PM |