Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cell phones for all stifle in-law bonding

December 19, 2006


Random thoughts while making my list and checking it twice ...

l Like many young couples, my wife and I don't have a home phone; instead, we each have our own cell phone. The benefit is that we never have to be out of contact; the drawback is that ... we never have to be out of contact.

There's one other aspect that I hadn't considered until my dad called my phone this weekend. He pointed out that, by calling my phone, there was almost no chance he'd accidentally get to talk to my wife.

"You know, it used to be that we wouldn't call somebody directly - we'd call their home phone," he said. "That meant we'd end up talking to whoever answered the phone, even if it wasn't the person we were calling for."

I ended up handing the cell to my wife; sometimes you have to be intentional about these things. But he had a good point.

l I can't drag out my usual schtick and complain that Time's "Person of the Year" isn't me, because it is me.

And you. And all of us who use a computer.

This strikes me, frankly, as a bit of media navel-gazing. Our industry right now feels like it is sitting with loose safety straps on an out-of-control roller coaster - the fact that people are getting their videos and music and news in new ways feels like a seismic event.

But truth is we've been in an evolving media universe, technologically, for a century now. We have, just in music, shifted from sheet music to phonographs to radio to tapes to music videos to CDs to mp3s - there's always something coming along that upsets the apple cart. And while it's important, it's not the most important thing in the world.

l Finally, in keeping with the technology theme, let me confess a guilty pleasure that is only possible with the Internet: "Star Trek" fan films.

Yes, I'm a geek. But it's really amazing what regular folks - or not so regular folks; one of the productions uses a $100,000 re-creation of the Enterprise bridge paid for by an Elvis impersonator who plays Captain Kirk - can do these days. The special effects, in some cases, are better than what the original "Trek" had back in the 1960s.

And believe it or not, a number of cast members from the "real" movies and TV series have revived their characters in the fan films.

The media: It's not just for professionals anymore.


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