Monday, November 11, 2019

Why I have no Pocket-Phone

1. Simplicity and romance. "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." The land-line works perfectly well. It pained me, in 1996, to get rid of my analogue phone, with the beauty of its real bell.

2. Charity and poverty. In a rare emergency, I can afford my fellow man the opportunity for an act of mercy; simultaneously, I should wish to edify him with a spirit of poverty and the vulnerability of decidedly not having an ubiquitous pocket-phone.

3. Convenience. An unbecoming convenience would be a contradiction. Beauty, simplicity and willful poverty are great goods which should be manfully defended, not to mention piety, modesty and study. Any purported convenience threatening those goods would be quite inconvenient.

4. Liberty and life. And what about the distraction and impropriety,  bordering on idolatry, of spontaneous and obsessive screen-gazing? Audio podcasts may be very effective tools for spreading the word of truth; but, for that, pocket-phones are entirely unnecessary; all you need is any upload-able recording device and access to a computer. The video-sphere, however, is largely vampent, alienating man, even if just for a moment, from the infinite marvel of the circumstance--the persons, places and things--with which he finds himself. It is an insidious lure and a false escape.

5. Exclusive fidelity. My only constant companion, as per my solemn ordination promise, is the Breviary (1962); and a Rosary, a silver pocket crucifix, a Spanish pocket knife, a clean handkerchief and a dry book of matches.

6. Living deliberately. I don't have a pocket-phone because I don't want one. And I don't want one because I don't need one. What I don't need, I don't want.


“GOOD MORNING," said the little prince.

"Good morning," said the merchant.

   This was a merchant who sold pills that had been invented to quench thirst.

You need only swallow one pill a week, and you would feel no need of anything to drink.

   "Why are you selling those?" asked the little prince.

   "Because they save a tremendous amount of time," said the merchant. "Computations have been made by experts. With these pills, you save fifty-three minutes in every week."

   "And what do I do with those fifty-three minutes?"

   "Anything you like..."

   "As for me," said the little prince to himself, "if I had fifty-three minutes to spend as I liked, I should walk at my leisure toward a spring of fresh water.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
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