10 February 2006


Okay, so when my masked band of cellphone vigilantes begin the planned assault on mobile phone culture, we will make certain concessions. For example, people who live in remote areas - like Amy in North Carolina - will be able to possess them and the People's Anti-Mobile Committee will also recognise their usefulness with regard to children's safety - thanks to Jane in Northampton UK. Kids will still be allowed to phone home in emergencies and parents will still be able to contact them. We also accept that busy businesspeople and tradesmen - like Brad in Seattle - often find mobiles useful in respect of work.
Steve, the Manchester City fan (Occupied Country) , appears to think that mobiles - instant interpersonal communication - were part of a science fiction vision that people shared in the sixties but that was never my vision. I am more drawn to the lifestyle of the original Australian aboriginals - naked, unchanging, at peace and in harmony with their often harsh environment. They lived like that for at least ten thousand years. That's my dreamworld.
Regarding concessions, I recall the story of a couple I know. They had been walking in the fells near Ben Nevis in Scotland. She didn't see a rocky hole beneath the heather and in a painful moment broke her ankle. He had to walk about five miles over rough terrain to the nearest house with a telephone, leaving his wife shivering in a wintry hollow. With a mobile, I guess they might have been able to summon help more rapidly. So, the Anti-Phone Fundamentalists will allow hikers and mountaineers to possess them for use in emergencies.
In the UK, a troubling phenomenon has hit the papers in the last few months. It is called "happy slapping" and it involves nasty teenagers attacking innocent strangers while the incident is recorded on mobile phone cameras. There have even been some cases of serious sexual assaults being captured - presumably for the titillation and amusement of the cruel and morally bankrupt perverts who engage in such disgusting behaviour. After the mobile phone fatwah begins, anyone found to have used their phones in this way will be coated in sheep's blood before being transported to the Amazon basin to be used as piranha bait.


  1. Thanks for the concessions, old chap! That said, when you begin your vigilante run on the world's cell-phones, I'll join you. However, I must wear a mask (or at least a pair of glasses) so no one recognizes me.

  2. Off-topic: I wrote a piece about Caedmon today. The monument to Caedmon is in Whitby. I want to visit Whitby (among other places) when I come to the North.

  3. Ah, you're a good man Mr Y.P!

    And oh yes indeed to the piranha bait suggestion.

  4. I've found an alternative that would probably suit a good many mobile users:
    The Firefly is designed, specifically for children. But, if one reads about the features, it's obvious that this phone would do well for many of us. I urge you to check it out.

    As for your pal's ankle dilemma, I feel for her, terribly. Considering, though, they were several miles from "civilization", it's likely there was no available signal for the average cell phone to pick up on.

    As for the kids, the bad, and the ugly, blood-bathing may commence!

  5. Which is all fine except, whenever I'm up on top of Penyghent, or Ingleborough, or Whernside, there is no bloody signal anyway.


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