Kickin’ it old school – part 1

June 29, 2009

We here at Too Old are always at the forefront of all the hot new trends (new music, news, technology etc.) and we do our best to keep you, our faithful readers, up to speed with what’s hip.  I often comment to friends that I have my fingers firmly on the pulse of the hot new musical trends.  That being said, it is also important to recognize how we got to where we are by reminiscing about the past.  Oftentimes “new” does not necessarily also entail “improved.”  In what we hope to be a serial segment, “kickin’ it old school” will explore some of our favorite things (technology, forms of entertainment, whatever) that have faded to obscurity but are deserving of a comeback.  In this, the inaugural segment, I would like to make my impassioned plea for the return of the pager (or beeper, if you prefer).

I recognize that there are still certain people in various professional fields that still utilize this device, but its commercial appeal in popular culture has all but disappeared.  Nowadays everyone and their mother have cell phones.  I see elementary school age kids with freaking i-phones and it makes me slightly ill.  I had no such personal communication devices as a kid.  If I wanted to get in touch with someone, I’d bust out a couple of dimes, find a payphone, and hope that they were home when I called.  By the time I was a senior in high school I was lucky enough to finally get my own pager.  I thought it was pretty hot shit.  What I really like about the pager is that it makes one slightly more accessible but still not held hostage by the expectations associated with carrying a cell phone.  Having a pager was kinda like having a phone that could receive, but not send, texts.  The great thing about it was you could always defend your failure to respond to a page with the excuse “I couldn’t find a phone nearby.”  There just seems to be a greater expectation of cell-phone owners for some form of immediate response.  About a year ago my phone broke, I was left sans cell phone for about a week and it was a wonderfully blissfull time.  There was a comforting, quiet solitude surrounding that level of inaccessibility.  It makes we think about moving out into the woods and communing with nature.  Sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and a return to the pager would be a perfect way to make that break.  I’m not advocating the replacement of cell phones with pagers, perhaps just a return to a system of “joint coverage.”  Back in the day, the hot things to do was get that two-for-one package from Cellular One.  That way, you’d give out your pager number and if you chose to answer a page, you could use your unlisted celly.  This was a common tactic used by drug dealers (so I’ve heard) and it always seemed like a great idea for conducting one’s everyday affairs as well.  I’ll conclude with the video for one of my favorite E-40 jams which provides one final argument for the return to pagers: a great source for song topics.  How many jams have you hard all about using your celly?  Enjoy….

UPDATE Not that I (your boy, Steve) am in the business of telling E about song of the day, but this is the song that I would use

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