Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Politician Boldly States That He Opposes Oblivion

There oughta be a law.

State Senator Carl Kruger [introduced] legislation that would ban the use of any portable electronic device—cell phone, music player, gaming unit—while crossing the street.

Violators could face a $100 fine and a criminal court summons.

Kruger cited two recent deaths as the impetus behind his proposed prohibition. On Jan. 11, a 23-year-old man was struck and killed while listening to his iPod on Avenue T and East 71st Street. On Sept. 1, Kruger said, a man listening to music was struck and killed by a city bus at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U.

Kruger said he has observed a Timothy Leary-esque phenomenon sweeping the state.

“People are tuning in and tuning out,” Kruger said.

He dubbed the phenomenon “iPod oblivion.”

But Rich Tehrani "argues" that more may be required.

Today the government banned the automobile arguing that by doing so hundreds of thousands of lives would be saved. The logical argument presented by our leaders was that the government needs to protect citizens from themselves.

Could you imagine if such a thing were true? There would be panic in the streets and the stock market would tank. People wouldn’t be able to get to work, enjoy themselves by driving away on vacations. Worst of all the productivity of the nation would grind to a halt as people would no longer be able to quickly get to point B from -- well -- point A.

From a productivity perspective I am not sure if the cell phone ranks higher or lower than the automobile but I am sure they are both in the top 10 of technologies that have changed – for the better -- the way people work and play....

But if we are going to eye banning gadgets in crosswalks because a few people die every year let’s examine our entire value system. Many thousands of people die from smoking and drinking. Let’s start there. We will save a few lives with iPod legislation but if politicians really understand they are here to serve the public they will allocate a few million dollars a year to educate pedestrians about the dangers of being distracted while crossing the street. They can hire a nice ad agency to help– isn’t Madison Avenue in New York? Does anyone remember the successful campaign “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk?”

Longtime readers know that I've played with this concept before.

"After extensive analysis, the Ontario Vineyard Village Association is proposing to couple our proposed ban on fossil fuels with a ban on all emissions of carbon dioxide throughout the city of Ontario.

"Naysayers have pointed out that carbon dioxide is emitted by humans, and that the proposed ban would be cumbersome to people living in the city, including the residents that are to benefit from OVVA's proposals. To those naysayers, I simply ask - are you willing to tolerate carbon dioxide emissions in your own home?"

Meanwhile, Boston wants to ban guerilla marketing....


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