Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Zombie Spring

It's the first day of spring, but it has felt like spring for weeks already. Global warming is well upon us. All these unseasonably balmy days have forced the flowers and pressured the trees to bud before their time. The downsides, of course, are coastal flooding, mass extinction, and malnutrition due to falling crop yields. In New York City, the warming has also brought about the unfortunate premature return of smartphone zombies...

Read the rest at The Grumbler
.


click to enlarge, illustration by Victor Kerlow

8 comments:

Ellen Fagan said...

Ah, you're breaking my heart. How to the evil landlords do what they do??

LorenzoStDuBois said...

See I agree with the overall idea that people are too wired and linked in to their texts and emails and updates and twitter and are constantly crashing into things on the street and don't pay attention to what is happening around them and that's super-lame.

On the other hand, I wonder whether the people who read this site, including me, feel the same way when they see a guy reading a newspaper at a busstop or on the go, or engrossed in a book sitting on a bench or subway car. Such people are equally zombie-ish and oblivious to the world around them, but it's in a way I, and again probably many of you, approve of.

I just thought it might call for a bit of self-examination around here of whether we all really are upset at these people for being tuned out and oblivious, or whether it's the reason for their obliviousness -- that they're engrossed in some dumbass twitter texting feed update ADHD tomfoolery rather than engrossed in a Camus book -- that is so infuriating...

Little Earthquake said...

"Without an iPhone, I have to "play zombie" to keep them away from me. When I see them coming towards me, I look down and twiddle my thumbs in front of my chest, as if I'm texting, even though my hands are empty. "I'm a zombie like you," this gesture says. "Don't hurt me." This fools them. They think I am one of them and they veer away. If I don't perform this empty-handed thumb twiddling, they will aim right at me."

This is where our effeminate, wussified society shows its colors. If you see a phone zombie coming toward you, stand there like a brick shithouse until he slams into you. Like a huge center drawing a charge in the lane, but no flopping. If you get any indignation, stare him/her down, glance at the phone/tablet, then back to their eyes with all the overt animalistic anger you can. Words are unnecessary. If they start shouting, just maintain your stance and say firmly, "CLASS."

Phil said...

I have to admit, I do a bit of what Little Earthquake suggested. I think it's the only way. I'm sick of playing dodge ball on a wide sidewalk like Broadway on the Upper West Side. You wanna go slow on the street cause your tail-light's out, or cause you're teaching someone how to drive, get to the side of the road. But if you're gonna walk down the middle of the sidewalk not looking, and I see you coming, I'm not gonna move so that Your Royal Highness can have a clean walkway. Like it or not, that attitude by people with phones says, "I'm more important than you because what I'm doing is more valid than respectfully being a part of the society that I inhabit".
This has nothing to do with technology and it can easily happen as LorenzoStDuBois suggested with newspapers and books, but seriously, when was the last time that a person with a paperback bumped into you. There are simply more phones out there than books (sadly) and that's why we're complaining. That aside, I have a phone. I love using it. I love using it on the street. I love looking things up while having a conversation. But not at the expense, NEVER at the expense, of the people around me that deserve to not have me walking into them.
Move to the side or you're gonna walk into me. And if they don't say, "I'm sorry" I give them a nice loud, "Oh, it's ok. I'm fine, thanks".

laura said...

i wrote a comment on "grumbler" relating to the zombie post. will the comment show up here as well? its somewhat confusing as to which site we reply to.

Crazy Eddie said...

Ramming speed! Please reference HMS Thunder Child.

Anonymous said...

Friend was on 5th Ave. bus. Stuck in traffic. He was reading. Cellphone of woman next to him rang; she answered then turned to him and loudly said: DO YOU MIND? THIS IS PERSONAL!

J, your robot letters are becoming almost indecipherable. Whay gives?

Ed said...

"On the other hand, I wonder whether the people who read this site, including me, feel the same way when they see a guy reading a newspaper at a busstop or on the go, or engrossed in a book sitting on a bench or subway car. "

The cell phone people move around and are harder to avoid.

I don't think the "just bump into them" strategy is a good one. We have no idea how the brains of these people are wired, and if they could start a fight if they land you in jail. In bad neighborhoods if you bump into someone they could follow you home and gun you down on the steps of your house in front of your family (this sounds extreme but isn't made up, it actually happened to some poor people two days ago). The normal survival skill in New York is to avoid confrontation and I still think its a good one.

In many ways New York has become a reverse image of the "bad old days" of the 70s, and I just treat the cell phone people as white collar potential criminals instead of the blue collar criminal element that people were worried about thirty years ago. I use similar tactics, try to avoid their neighborhoods, maintain good situational awareness to spot one coming and alter my direction if needed, often I find its safe to go to their neighborhoods late at night but not during the day, and so on. Instead of a low risk of a violent encounter there is the certainty of a lot of aggravation.