Sunday, May 25, 2008

There will come a time when no one living will remember a world in which loud, demanding announcements and propaganda did not issue from:

gas pumps
deli cases
check-out stands
waiting rooms
dining rooms
jail cells
automatic banking stations
transit stops
public restrooms

But I remember. In the past ten years this authoritarianist approach to broadcasting has migrated from the inhuman (yes, Asia- I'm talking about you) world to our fair land, and it's getting harder and harder to go anywhere without being subjected to a forceful violation. Have you experienced this? You're minding your own business when an unattended audio-video device self-launches into a repeating barrage of mind-numbing, insulting, privacy-invading crap that makes any sort of thought or (let alone conversation) nearly impossible. What gives anyone the right to program a machine to do this to you? If you laid this kind of a trap with a knife or gun, you'd be a criminal. It's called booby-trapping, and it's illegal. Never mind the legality-most of the miserable shits who are abusing technology this way would probably argue that you are asking for it by patronizing their establishments. Bear this in mind when you shop- these businesses think so little of you as a person that they are perfectly willing to let a machine harangue you, on the off-chance that you might respond positively. Please show them otherwise, by protesting everywhere you encounter these pervasive and 100% unacceptable assaults.

Don't give your business to anyone who treats you this way, and let them know why you are staying away. If they tell you how much other people appreciate being blasted with unsolicited and unstoppable blather, ask them where your feedback fits in. This won't do much to change their minds- after all, a) they have already committed a lot of time and money to crafting their traps and b) they know more consumers will put up with it than won't- but it's the proper response to utterly criminal noise pollution. If you don't fight them now in the supermarket and the library and the fast-food line, you'll just have to fight them next month when they want to install one of these infernal devices on your street corner. If you ignore the one they plant at the corner of Home Street and Neighbor Ave, you'll find them putting one in your kitchen next, and when you order them off your property they'll say you are over-reacting to something that's already well-established and generally accepted everywhere else. What will you be able to say to that? Eh?

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