You don’t say

Again, no really, cell phones are a potential cancer risk. How is this news? Etv reported tonight that the WHO is considering classifying cell phones as potentially carcinogenic. Are you kidding me? Have they lost tonight’s bulletin and read the 1 June, 2001 bulletin by mistake?

Growing children whose brains are allegedly still developing are at greater risk – still. Greater than what, one would ask. Greater than an irritated adult in a movie theatre threatening to drag the kid outside and phone her parents if she did not stop Mxit-ing during Pirates of the Caribbean? Again, as they say, The Research is still inconclusive. For many years now, I believe.

One can only hope that that The Research will be able to prove, soon, that cell phone use in excess of ten (fifteen?) minutes a day really does cause cancer, and we may all be saved from the offense of individuals in restaurants, in queues and apparently, soon next to you on Kulula, who believe that being out of reach for even a second will have terrible consequences for the very fabric of space and time. I am an imaginative human being, and I cannot possibly imagine what those consequences would be, especially since I am no longer in TV production and have never been in advertising. If it is vital to be in contact with your co-workers or your mother, stay in the office or at home; don’t go out to lunch or shopping in Hyde Park.

I would celebrate such proof, personally. Conclusive evidence of cell phones’ cancer-causing properties must surely put in motion government efforts to ban their use in public. And if that takes as long as it takes the phone companies to blow ten years’ legal fees, popular culture and the modern inclination of parents to combat every single potential health risk to their offspring would surely lead to a reduction in the scourge forthwith.

Some would persist in unmitigated use, of course. We have known that cigarettes cause cancer for years and still, outside the steep inclines of 25 Owl Street, hundreds of call centre operators still suck deeply on their nicotine fix a couple of times a day – even when the temperature outside has dropped to zero and the wind cuts through glass.

No, they don’t call it Crackberry for nothing.

So, in the same vein, one would be able ask one’s guests not to take phone calls in one’s house – not that they do in mine, for some reason. But more importantly, when you don’t want to take someone’s call or must cut a terminally dull conversation short, you could legitimately claim that you have, or are about to, exceed your cancer-free allowance for the day. I think it would be fantastic. Even without an incentive to reduce my cell-phone use by ten per cent, in the winter, or at any other time, I could cut it down by ninety per cent to a total of ten seconds per day and be the happier for it. If others managed to do the same, I may quite possibly up my private-to-friend-time ratio.  I would actually consider having more friends than I do now. But that is a different blog and possibly a reason to seek professional help.

Back to tonight’s news. The real reason why I started blogging tonight was the headline that Cosatu was threatening to take legal action at Constitutional Court in the face of the imminent Protection of Information Bill.

I guess I just got side tracked. I wanted to say roughly the same thing about the PIB and its big mate, the MAT (Media Appeals Tribunal) than I did about the staggering cell-phone-cancer revelations but to say it about the PIB requires less ranting and more referencing. So that will have to wait until tomorrow. No, really.

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One thought on “You don’t say

  1. Spear The Mighty 2 June 2011 / 09:33

    I have a love hate relationship with my phone. I do however use it maybe for 10 minutes a day.

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