Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Friday, December 20, 2002  

A story I've been following with interest has had a major development: the New York City Council has voted overwhelmingly to ban the use of cell phones at public performances.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has said he plans to veto the bill due to its impracticality, but the council has enough votes to override his veto (which, incidentally, is a feature of the American constitution that I much admire - a majority of both houses of Congress has the ability to override a presidential veto, although I can't recall it ever being exercised, at least not in recent history).

Though I agree this bill, if it stands would be hard to enforce, I am much for it in theory. It is not, as many people think, that I am anti-cell phone, although I don't own one or have plans in the forseeable future to get one. It is simply that I believe it is against all norms of social etiquette to use a cell phone in certain places. You'd think mostpeople (to use e e cummings' word) would believe this, too, but of course so many of them don't. How many times have I been at a film, or a lecture, and the annoying Casiotone beeping begins from somewhere in the crowd, and the guilty party, when he or she is finally able to retrieve the offending object from within the recesses of a tight pocket or cavernous handbag, instead of switching off the infernal thing, begins blathering away to whoever it is on the other end of the line.

Locally, the telephone company tried to do their bit for cell phone etiquette by running a campaign but I don't believe it had much effect. We need, as in New York the government to get in on this but I suppose with more pressing issues on its plate like crime (not that its doing much of a job there) people like me will just have to wait.

I'd love to know what others think about this. (Where are Jerry, George, Elaine & Kramer when you need them?) Maybe we could form a pressure group with a ridiculous acronym of a name, something we Trinis are so good at making up. How does Citizens Against Cellphone Abuse, CACA, sound?

posted by Jonathan | 7:48 AM 0 comments


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