Saturday, January 5, 2008

Forced consumerism

As of July 1st, talking on a cell phone while driving will be illegal in California unless the phone is a hands free set, which in today's market means a creepy ass blue tooth phone. I have made my feelings known about creepy ass blue tooth phones. In fact, if my dream came true for any small cultural impact this humble blog might achieve in the future, no one would say "blue tooth phone" without the first using the phrase "creepy ass".

When I first registered to vote way back in the seventies, I registered as a Libertarian. I like to say that I was a Libertarian until I actually met a few Libertarians. I understand the ideals of libertarianism, though I subscribe to only a few of them now. As someone who got his nearly his entire education on the public dime and who cashes a public sector paycheck, I have no respect for the "government is the problem" view of modern libertarianism, which was given respectability through the bully pulpit of the late and unlamented jackass Ronald Reagan. That said, I don't agree with everything the government does, and even commendable goals are achieved by clumsy acts, which is how I feel about this law.

It started with helmet laws for motorcyclists. Many bikers consider themselves outlaws, some for the very good reason that they break laws, and resent a nanny state forcing them to buy and use a product they don't like. The next step was forced auto insurance, which affected all drivers, myself included when I had a car. I bought insurance for many years, and never had a claim paid out, even though my cars were broken into many times. It felt like taxation without representation, regardless of the fact that California has a state insurance commissioner that is supposed to be looking out for consumers.

Now drivers are being "forced" to buy creepy ass blue tooth phones, and the libertarian streak inside me feels annoyed by cops becoming roving armed cell phone salesmen, just as they have been roving armed insurance and helmet salesmen for many years.

Of course, drivers who make phone calls do have another option.

Get off the goddamn phone and drive, jackass!

Not that I feel strongly about this.

Now playing: Blondie - Hanging On The Telephone
via FoxyTunes


dguzman said...

With you all the way on this one, Matty. I use the little earphone jack thingie but those creepy ass blue tooth things make people look like they've been assimilated by the Borg.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I hate the cell phone i have already, I'd hate a blue tooth even more.

FranIAm said...

Fran, in a shaky voice, wracked with shame and guilt says...
"Bloo-tootz - ah gotz sum!"

Deep sigh.

I feel like I am about to get booted from the cool kids club.

Matty Boy said...

Dearest FranYouIs.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.