Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Generation

When I sit on the porcelain throne, a voice in my head says "I have three snipers on the roof". All. The. Time. Should I be worried?

Anyway. As I dropped my eye-phone on the concrete pavement for the 546th time, I was reminded of the long road of intelligent design these devices have taken.
Warning : Up ahead is geek reminiscence, and if you aren't into that kind of stuff (why would you know me then?)  there's always Ninja Cat.

If you're still here, lets take a walk down memory lane. Binge drinking has fried most of my brain, so it'll only be a few steps. Cell phones began making their appearance in India about 10 years ago. Pagers had always been lame, and cell phones provided welcome respite to the people with tens of thousands of rupees to spend. That's like a buck fifty before VAT. They were as big as the cordless phones of today, had dinky little green screens that could display 1 line, 2 if it was spanking new. Then came the Samsung with the blue screen and someone shot a load somewhere. Those were the good times, when phones just went ring-ring, and enough assholes didn't have them to set them off in theaters. Of course, that meant that people eager to show off scream their arses into the bloody ear horns, but they were few and far flung.

Then phones started getting smaller and cheaper, reflecting everything else about their owners. Midi ringtones gave way to polyphonic tones, and kids started getting their parents' discards. Lunch breaks nation-wide were never the same. Most things in America are about style and not utilty and the yanks will gladly pay through their noses to do less as long as it's easy. No wonder Nokias never caught on here and why stupid clamshells are oh-so-popular, but I digress. Meanwhile, in the subcontinent, where things like 2 year contracts and subsidized phones are still unheard of, phones were getting smaller and yet texting was catching on to teenagers like a pastor to an altar boy.

Things truly went to the shithouse when the all the 45 news channels (breaking news - cat stuck on a parapet, exclusive 6th hour of coverage!) decided it would be a great idea if boneheads with cellphones made great audience for thought provoking questions like "Should the Death Sentence be abolished?", "Should gay marriage be legalized" and "Should Nepalis be allowed to sing in Indian Idol*?".

That was just about the time when I left the scene and came to the land of milk, honey and mail in rebates. But turns out, we haven't seen the end of brick phones yet. In the name of touchscreens, graphics and other "features", phones are getting bigger again (not any cheaper though). If I went back in time with my mini tablet, I'd be laughed at for being a dinosaur with a phone that doesn't fit that jeans inner pocket (wtf is it for anyway?). Ah well, technology.

Someday, someone in a black turtleneck will convince us that phones half a foot long that hold charge for 5 hours are the future of technology and we'll all bite. Till then, I gotta pick up my phone and hope fall #547 won't hurt it any more than the 546 ones before it did.

* - Yanks - Nepal is a country, India is a country, Indian Idol is what you think it is.


Purely Narcotic said...

Those inner jeans pockets are coin pockets. Or other assorted paraphernalia that fits in there.

We would laugh at how incoming calls used to be charged for in India(in Dubai they weren't) and now I move to this limboland country and they even have limits on usage. In India, that would be *SO* last century.

Where do these people(as in lame ordinary folk, the kind that throng Creation Museum, vote GOP, and the only India they know is the stripper at the bar) get their ideas about progress and development from?

Thanatos said...

Heh, I was thinking of writing about the incoming calls thing. Reliance phones changed that game in India.

Someone asked me if there are cellphones in India. Funnily enough, during an induction ceremony for International students, an Indonesian girl was telling us "the US is about 5 years behind Asia wrt. phones, so you'll have to make do".