Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nuttier and Nuttier

The above video clip came today from the selection of delectable snippets AOL offers on it's "Welcome" screen under the guise of news. HERE is the story that details the video. In summary, the chick in the clip (Justine Ezarik) received her first bill from AT&T for her iPhone service, with the details of the bill covering 300 printed pages that were delivered to her in a box.

To quote from the story, "The iPhone, which launched in June, costs $499 or $599, and service plans range from $59.99 to $99.99 monthly. Ezarik — a heavy user of text-messaging — says her first bill was for $275."

$275? For the convenience of the internet in your pocket and music in your head 24/7? I guess we spent at least that much in the 70's and 80's to stay "wired," but it seems like a lot of money to me to stay wireless today.

I don't know about you, but I resist with all my might the bombardment of "news" and information from all sources -- mostly because of the high price paid of the constant commercials that accompany EVERYTHING.

I run every TV program I want to watch through my DVR so I can fast-forward through the 12 minutes of commercials per 30-minute show.

I watch a minimum of TV news not only because of the lack of objectivity and truth or that everything I hear is so damned depressing---but because of the countless commercials. I may not be as informed as some, but my sanity is still somewhat intact.

I don't care how many coupons and "special offers" I receive through spam email or through snail mail flyers... it all gets deleted and discarded without reading. I may be spending a little more money here and there, but Shirley the value of my time wading through that stuff balances it out.

The junk mail the postal carrier brings me is appalling. You know those file storage boxes that you need to be a genius in spatial logic to fold -- the ones you save your bills and taxes in? Because I a) own a home, b) use a credit card, c) have a business, d) exist and breathe, I get (seriously) TWO BOXES FULL of junk mail every two weeks. I know this for sure because it fills half of my recycle container for the trash pickup.... doesn't leave a lot for the empty Lean Cuisine and cereal boxes, does it.

Bored? Looking for a new hobby? HERE is an article on how you can spend most of your spare time opting out of junk mail. HERE is a link to a service that purports to do the leg work for you, although details are sketchy and I'm certainly not endorsing this company.

I find it completely ironic that so much is made of the efforts to stop spam and prosecute the spammers when, to my mind, the real problem is the wasted resources of paper-printed, in your home mailbox advertising. You can delete electronic spam with a couple of keystrokes (good mail services will segregate it for you), but it takes a lot more effort AND trees to get rid of the junk brought to your mailbox daily. What am I missing here? Why is spam evil and printed crap not?

I'll admit that I haven't seen Gore's little movie and that I think the jury is still out on industrialization causing global warming... but has he talked about printed junk mail and information overload?

And, as long as I'm ranting, has Gore (or anyone) addressed the gross misuse of energy in the summer caused by restaurants and movie theaters keeping inside temps down to 45 degrees just because it's 85 outside? I feel so silly carrying my winter coat going out to dinner or to a movie.... and doesn't that make my carbon assprint just a little too big?

Is it just me, or does ANY OF THIS make any sense?

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