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The Death Issue

My America

Here's another group of people I'd like to see go back to where they came from: this generation's Luddites. According to the dictionary, a Luddite is "one who opposes technical or technological change." It comes from Ned Ludd, an English laborer, who...
December 1, 2002, 12:00am

Here’s another group of people I’d like to see go back to where they came from: this generation’s Luddites.

According to the dictionary, a Luddite is “one who opposes technical or technological change.” It comes from Ned Ludd, an English laborer, who, in 1779, destroyed all the weaving machinery he could find. Apparently he was scared of the implications of the “machine.”

“What a fucking idiot,” one might correctly say. And then add, “You mean to tell me that he continued sweating out this slow, rudimentary process ten hours a day, six days a week, in the blistering heat, all the while developing a killer scoliosis hunch (or a ‘scollie,’ as the kids called it back then)?”


“Yeah, can you believe it?” I would respond.

“Wait,” you might reply, “so he was doing all this shit by hand, while he watched his coworkers getting twice as much done in a third of the time just kicking back, hoisting pints of mead, and giving a quick anal rape to the newest slave girl?”

“Yeah,” I would say.

So, what are we to make of all of these people (and I know several) who refuse, and that’s the key word here, refuse, to buy a cell phone? Or a computer? And I’m not talking about the truly crazy roly-poly hobbit people who hole up in a studio apartment or their Nana’s basement, talking to their hair, collecting disability and hand-lotion containers until they turn 90 and finally die and the only reason anybody finds out is because the neighbors were complaining about the smell. No, I’m talking about that friend you have who still won’t get a fucking cell phone. Why? “Oh man, those things are the curse of the planet.”

“What are you fucking talking about?”

“No, I mean they’ve completely turned society into a disassociated, disconnected—”

“Disconnected what?”

“Hold on, I have to put another quarter in the phone…hold on—”

“Jesus Christ.”

“Yeah, OK. You there?”


“Aw, shit!”

“What is it now?”

“Aww, there’s literally human feces on this fucking cord. I’ll call you back

.” Mmmm, yes. My favorite is when you’re out, and they need to quickly get some information, and they ask to borrow your phone, and as they take it, they kind of scoff, and snort derisively, “Pheeeeh, I hate these fucking things.” Hey, you know what, asshole? Fuck you! Why don’t you just fucking walk to the airport to find out if the flight that your stupid hippie girlfriend with the dreadlocked armpit hair and the clit ring that she keeps showing off at the mere mention of the word “hood” or “sterilized” or whatever, is gonna arrive on time? And what’s she doing taking an “aer-o-plane” anyway? Shouldn’t she be arriving in a covered wagon? And don’t even ask me to give you the directions to the party that took me all of 17 seconds to look up, download, and print out from Mapquest, because I used one of those—what? Yeah, that’s right. One of those KKKomputers. “Oh, don’t get me started on computers,” your friend would say, which is fine, because I’m not going to let you get started. You’re an annoying, ironically trendy-while-being-anti-trend douchebag with absolutely no logical argument against cell phones or computers or anything that Ned Ludd hates. That’s right, there is not one argument that holds up to any real investigation. “Cool it, cool it,” you say, as you tell me about some asshole that was yapping on his cell phone at the museum or some funeral or his first threesome. OK, great point. He gets on our nerves, too. But what about those of us that have to use one to communicate an urgent message? What about you? What if you’re in incredible pain after being assaulted? What if you’re sitting there about to die from internal bleeding and you reach out to me and ask me for my phone? Huh? Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t have my phone. It’s gone. I shoved it up your ass. Related Links: