Well, this past Sunday brought with it another episode of the Sunday G&T Show, the weekly Trek-themed internet radio program and podcast, hosted by friends Nick Minecci and Terry Lynn Shull. The show carried on in its usual fashion even though I was caught up in the chaos that was this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.
This week’s “Ask Dayton” query is pretty straightforward, as we discuss the pros and cons of gadgets…well, in particular, anyway:
Dear Dayton: Gadgets are a staple of Star Trek. I’m curious to hear what gadgets do you own, use regularly, or wish had never been invented? What gadget are you most interested in picking up next? Finally, what Star Trek gadget would you like to see on the shelves of your local retailer?
I think anybody who knows me knows how this is going to go….
Like pretty much everyone else on the planet, my “most used” gadget is probably my cellular phone.
I use it every day, for all manner of reasons, a few of which actually involve communicating with other people. Like a lot of folks, I also use my phone as a GPS, news ticker, hotel and airline reservation tool, memo pad, camera, and…yes, entertainment center.
And sometimes, I fucking wish fucking cellular phones had never been invented.
You know, they were a good idea at first. The ability to call someone without having to get home, to the office or a pay phone definitely has merit. If that had been the end of it, I think we as a species would’ve gotten along well enough.
But, of course, the wizards behind cellular phones couldn’t leave well enough alone, could they? Now, the things have evolved so that they’re a multipurpose doo-dad which includes among its many functions that aforementioned ability to call someone without having to get home, to the office or a pay phone.
If we’re not talking to somebody, then we’re busy texting, surfing the internet, watching YouTube videos, listening to music, playing games, or dorking with that little app disguised as a weather map but which really is a porn hub if you just enter in the secret password “N-A-K-E-D-T-E-R-R-Y.”
Or, maybe that only works on my phone.
Of course, my biggest beef isn’t with the gadget itself, but rather its effect on civility and just plain common sense. There’ve always been louts, self-absorbed jackasses and just plain fucking idiots, none of whom should be allowed out into the world, but the propagation of the cell phone has only added new dimensions to their public displays of dumbassery.
Texting while driving? Yammering at the theater during the movie or while the cashier waits for you to dislodge your head from your ass after he’s rung up your purchases? Whatever. The weird thing is that most of these conversations we’re forced to listen to are some of the most mundane crap ever exchanged by any two members of the human race. Let’s face it, unless you’re negotiating through a hostage situation or talking to a distraught passenger forced to fly a plane after the pilots have been killed, whoever’s on the other end of your phone can fucking wait until you’re someplace where you can talk or text without annoying the shit out of the rest of us.
And while we’re on the topic, when did it become cool to talk to somebody on your cell while you’re in a public restroom? How little respect do you have to have for the poor bastard on the other end of the line as you carry on a conversation while the sounds of your bowel movement bounce off the tiles? Tell them you’ll call back after you wipe your ass, all right?
(FYI: If you’re reading or listening to this, and you’ve started coming up with explanations, rationalizations or justifications for why you do any of the above? Congratulations, you’re part of the problem. Punch yourself in the taint. Now, do it again.)
I know that regardless of whatever I say, mobile phones are here to stay…no matter how stupid they end up making us. The last person to piss themselves from utter, drool-inducing idiocy wins.
As for my next new gadget? I expect it’ll be an iPad or some other tablet, because what I really need is a reason to not even bother getting off the fucking couch when I want to watch a movie. God forbid I walk across the room to the shelf with the DVDs, not when I can plant my ass and stream it over my iPad. That sound you’re hearing is the last nail being hammered into my coffin.
Now, what Star Trek gadget would I most want? I think it has to be the transporter, so I can avoid long commutes and dickbag drivers. Also, we need phasers, if for no other reason than so I can disintegrate people who piss me off.
Most of those assholes likely will be fucking with their cell phones.
This question and its answer was read during the show as part of G&T Show Episode #52, July 15th, 2012. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The Sunday G&T Show. Listeners to the show are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
As always, thanks to Nick, Terry, and Mike for making me a part of their show.