Internet

"I Refuse To Sign Anything 'XOXO' Or 'Love' Unless I Mean It"

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Sea otters text.

The decade's final entry in the venerable "When I was a boy gay meant happy" genre of rants against our coarsening culture comes from an unexpected source: free-spirited and uninhibited media career gal Rachel Marsden, who says texters are ruining all standards of deportment:

This happened to me at a recent meeting. The person rushes in 20 minutes late and proceeds to whip out a BlackBerry and fire off emails. He intermittently put the phone to his ear, without in any way ascertaining the identity of the caller, and said, "I'm in a meeting. I'll call you back." I asked him if he knew who he was brushing off, and he said no—then laughed.

Hilarious, indeed. The silly fool on the other end mistook the interaction for something of value rather than an ego-inflation event…   

In the old days, cowboys would take their guns out of their holster in the saloon and place them on the table in polite company. Conversational breaks involving actual use of that accessory occurred exclusively in the event of a life-and-death situation. So if the person on the other end isn't dying, and you aren't a heart surgeon, then there is no reason for you to be on your BlackBerry or iPhone.

As they say in Marsden's great homeland to our north, eh? Cowboys taking conversation breaks with guns with, um, heart attack victims in need of surgery without Blackberries? Dave Weigel's Twitter feed makes more sense.

I'm a known sympathizer with Marsden's view. I object to the slovenliness and stylistic cluelessness of my countrymen. I like paper; I like silence; I like getting lost and finding my own way back. I don't really understand how all these people with no visible means of support are maintaining fancy gadgets and expensive data plans. I don't stick plugs in my ears unless it's a sex thing. I get Howard Hughes-level germ revulsion when I see a greasy-fingerprinted touchscreen.

But is there really an injury in any of this? These newfangled "cellular" 'phones have the ability to capture the incoming number, so that jerk with the Blackberry actually can call the person back without first wasting 60 seconds validating the caller's feelings.

Back when early adopters were all excited about our Nokia 9000 Communicators (and why isn't anything called "the 9000" anymore? These days everything's called "the Winkle" or "the Badger" or "Friendgrokker"), the level of wireless connectivity was something Philo T. Farnsworth would have laughed at. During the Clinton administration, it could take half a day to turn Hi-8 video footage into a streaming video that would be too herkyjerky for anybody to watch.

One of the few bright points in a decade that has sucked major ass has been how far we've come since those days. Is it surprising that rude and aloof behavior keeps pace with the rate of technological growth? Once everybody had cars nobody took Sunday drives anymore. That was a loss, especially for makers of scarves and goggles. Civil society endured.

That said, validating people's feelings is important. The improved behavior Marsden seeks will come when staying online is less strenuous and more hands-free. I'm already working on the beta version of my latest invention: the anally controlled all-media broadband implant. I call it "the Feuilleton," and it's gonna be the game changer of 2010.

In the meantime, be polite:

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  1. Dave Weigel’s Twitter feed makes more sense.

    Bravo!

    1. yes. Weigel is occasionally very, very funny, but I sometimes wonder if his is the only I subscribe to.

      1. Ever since I knuckled under and got tweetdeck my frequency has gone way up. Some people don’t like it.

        1. I kid because I love, Dave. Oh hell, Dave, I kid because I’m in love. You know that.

      2. plus we had the privilege of raising a glass (or two) with Mr. Weigel (that’s Herr Weigal, of course).

        Have a happy new year!

    2. It makes a lot of sense, if you’re me.

      1. Twitter name?

    3. Hell hath no furry like a Cavanaugh scorned…

      1. I really hope that was a typo.

        1. Oh god no, it’s perfect as it is. I always suspected Tim was yiffy.

        2. All furries go to heaven.

          1. I’m going to say that post belongs in the RC’z Law Hall of Fame.

  2. the anally controlled all-media broadband implant

    ASSLAN

    or

    “It gives new meaning to ‘wide area network'”

    1. “Wide-stance network”?

      Larry Craig would sign up for that!

  3. I don’t stick plugs in my ears unless it’s a sex thing

    Tim, I don’t even want to know?

  4. In the old days, cowboys would take their guns out of their holster in the saloon and place them on the table in polite company.

    Replace “cowboys” with me, “guns” with “penis”, “holster” with “pants”-

    Well, long story short, it may not have been polite but it was definitely conversation starter.

    1. Don’t be a jerk and don’t be a fool
      Be a good neighbor and follow these rules
      What are these rules?
      Remember to keep your shoes on at all times
      Don’t pull your penis out unless you really need to
      Indecent exposure is a Class 2 felony

    2. Carlin did a bit about replacing the word “kill” with the word “fuck”:

      “Okay, sheriff, we’re gonna fuck ya now… and we’re gonna fuck ya real slow.”

      Would make newscasts more interesting… “Twelve people were fucked today in a multi-car collision” is a headline I’d pay to see.

  5. The only good thing facebook is for is adding women you are interested in and then downloading all their pictures, with the occasional “you ladies look very pretty” comment.

  6. Is it surprising that rude and aloof behavior keeps pace with the rate of technological growth? Once everybody had cars nobody took Sunday drives anymore. That was a loss, especially for makers of scarves and goggles. Civil society endured.

    Just as how once everybody could afford to fly nobody dressed up to get on an airplane anymore. I still hear occasional complaints about that from the old-timers.

  7. Nokia still uses numbers in naming their products. They recently released the N900. I guess it’s only 1/10th as good as the N9000.

  8. Never heard of this Conservative Canadian Cooze.

    1. You’re lucky. She’s a serious piece of work. She was the eye candy on Red Eye before they got Kerry. As I recall, they kicked her off for being batshit, not for anything she did on air.

      She’s mostly famous for dating Jimbo Wales and getting him to cleanse her Wikipedia article of her legal history of stalking and false accusations. She’s ruined lives.

  9. In the old days, cowboys would take their guns out of their holster in the saloon and place them on the table in polite company. Conversational breaks involving actual use of that accessory occurred exclusively in the event of a life-and-death situation.

    She gets paid to write this gobbledygook?

    I’m doin’ it wrong.

    1. If you’re good at writing gobbledygook, you don’t do it for free.

  10. I’ve read a few of her articles. She’s kind of retarded.

    I do have to agree that people that feel the need to interrupt an already shitty meeting or situation with a cell phone are assholes. And in my company run the risk of needing to poke their finger up their ass to dial. It’s not the tech, it’s the rude assholes.

    1. “run the risk of needing to poke their finger up their ass to dial” Wouldn’t that cause an echo?

      1. …and a need for something to clean your fingernail with.

        1. Tossed salad

            1. This went horribly wrong.

              1. Suki, I have a feeling you taught an old dog a new trick

  11. In the old days, cowboys would take their guns out of their holster in the saloon and place them on the table in polite company.

    Give me a fucking break.

    1. Hey, she traveled back in time with Bill & Ted so she knows.

  12. Back when early adopters were all excited about our Nokia 9000 Communicators (and why isn’t anything called “the 9000” anymore?)

    Because we’re over 9000, Mr. C.

    1. yeah, i’m outa work too…

      1. Oh, wow…superbadass old school reference.

        1. heh, thanks. but i’ve seen your myFace blog, and i don’t know shit about muzak by comparison… Happy New Year!

        2. and 10x more potent
          (vid: “While the City Sleeps”)

          1. the artist formerly known as MC 900ft. Jesus:

            10x as potent, yet still outa work!


  13. The decade’s final entry in the venerable “When I was a boy gay meant happy” genre…

    back in my day, we knew damn good and well when a decade began and ended!

    ha ha! JK yall! happy new-whatever!

  14. Having loud phone sex during a middle school dance show rude?

    Discuss!

    1. Student or teacher?

  15. Somewhat relevant, and more importantly hilarious.
    happy new year, enjoy

  16. Marsden puts extra syllables in ‘crazy’. She’s stalked more exes than the entire population of small countries.

    We are the center of our own universe now, and the world revolves around us.

    Taken as projection, this means so much more. And rings far more true.

  17. I like Tim’s comment about gadget owners with no visible means of support.
    On Tuesday I was sitting in a fairly pricey bar, next to a bunch of people who were all bemoaning their lack of Jan 1st rent money. All while tapping away like Hellen Keller on VERY new looking iPhones… Curious.

    1. It’s like the modern version of the guy back in the day that had the crappy apartment furnished with stuff other tenants threw away when moving out (not that there’s anything wrong with recycling that 1960’s end table with three legs) and lived on Ramen, who always wanted to show you the latest addition to his top-of-the-line stereo system that was probably responsible for driving the furniture supplying tenants out in the first place.

  18. When I see a link under “major ass”, I expect a Lady Ga Ga or Kim Kardashian video. WTF, Tim?

    Plus I have red hair. And I sign my emails to my gf Love or XOXO. Are you stalking me?? Because your columns lately are giving me the creeps. I think I’m gonna ask my Mom if she’s been keeping the Down Syndrome diagnosis secret all these years.

  19. She plots just fine on my crazy/hot graph, so I’d definitely hit it.

    xoxo.

  20. A list after my own heart:

    Tweets, sexting “unfriended” in U.S. banned word list

    If you recently tweeted about how you were chillaxin for the holiday, take note: Fifteen particularly over- or mis-used words and phrases have been declared “shovel-ready” to be “unfriended” by a U.S. university’s annual list of terms that deserve to be banned.

    After thousands of nominations of words and phrases commonly used in marketing, media, technology and elsewhere, wordsmiths at Lake Superior State University on Thursday issued their 35th annual list of words that they believe should be banned.

    Tops on the Michigan university’s list of useless phrases was “shovel-ready.” The term refers to infrastructure projects that are ready to break ground and was popularly used to describe road, bridge and other construction projects fueled by stimulus funds from the Obama administration.

    1. Oh and here is the link to the actual list.

    2. Chillaxin’ is a fine word!

      1. “Chillax” is brilliant when used sardonically and with the proper irony, but painful when used naively. Or is it the other way around?

        1. I had sex with a woman from Chillax once…

          1. i was STRANDED! on an planet! just me and Spock! we met a nasty nazi alien, and he locked our asses up. we found hunk of crystal, and a metal piece of bed; we made a laser phaser gun, and shot ‘im in the head!

            1. jeebus! don’t i ever get a day off!?!?

  21. This article and comments section contain kinds of awesome I wasn’t even sure existed, so thanks.

  22. “I don’t really understand how all these people with no visible means of support are maintaining fancy gadgets and expensive data plans.”

    Not everyone is a statist stooge, dude.

    1. So you’re saying they’re drug dealers?

  23. Once everybody had cars nobody took Sunday drives anymore. That was a loss, especially for makers of scarves and goggles.

    At least the buggy whip manufacturers from a generation earlier found a new market.

  24. sea otters are sha-weet! God love dem sea otters.

    1. I’ve got some recipes, jester, if you’re interested…

  25. You’re not funny.

  26. Death to the evil lord Xoxo!

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