Below are what I consider to be (in no particular order) the ten worst inventions in the world. Following this are the dishonorable mentions – perhaps they’ll go into their own list soon.
So here they are….
1) Cellphones. Never has it been easier to convey imperial disdain, to marginalize and ignore another living human’s existence. Add to this the ability to ruin dinners, concerts, quiet time, and tender moments. And all this so you can answer ‘Sup?’ to someone who finds your social input the equivalent of a bag of Doritos.
2) Texting. Not only does this provide all the rudeness of Cellphones (see above) but you can also add the ability to kill someone with anything from a Honda civic to a commuter train (because you are trying to type ‘S-U-P-?’). Why not talk? In fact, why did we move beyond telegraph, if we are just going to circle around to this archaic form of communication.
3) Leaf blowers. So much for the quiet shush of rakes that heralded in fall. Now we have the incessant whine of someone trying to blow that last leaf off a wet driveway. Our ancestors stood at Concord and Lexington so these corncobs have the freedom to fire these things off at 7am on a weekend.
4) Fart cans. Yeah, you’ve seen them, hung on the back end of a tiny civic, making it sound like a B-24. Am I really supposed to believe that bean-can of yours has a V-8? Worse is following one on the freeway – at speed, they sound just like a leaf blower (number 3, above).
5) Speakers/Amplifiers. You have to love the desperation of some people to broadcast the statement of self in the middle of the night, simply because their mother didn’t hold them when they were young. We don’t care what music defines the depths of your soul. If it’s after 11pm and you are still blasting your tunes out the back window, you should have your leaf blower (3) shoved up your ass and turned on. High.
6) FUVs (SUVs). Yes, I know that they are “Sport Utility Vehicles” but “FUV” is so much more appropriate. So, if I mounted a steel I-beam on the top of my beetle and drove about with it jutting far over my bumper, with the idea that in a collision my kinetic energy would be dispersed through your family as the beam punched through your passenger compartment, you’d think I was a murderous, self-center bastard. But if you buy a Tahoe, you’re a “rugged individualist”. Whenever I ride my bike and see one of these monsters, I find myself welcoming the onslaught of $6 per gallon gasoline.
7) Babies. You can say these are an invention because every woman has the chance to build one of these from scratch. The thing is, when they come out, they are innocent, but they quickly pattern themselves to the worst elements of their parents. Every dumb manerism, every fear, every stupid outlook (even your silly-ass hair-style) they adapt. And, like, how come one is always parked behind me on an airplane – it’s like you are squeezing a bagpipe with Ebola coming out the tubes. Ugh.
8) Electronic books. You still don’t get that whole reading thing, do you? You think you can impress other readers with a device? Reading is about sharing your book (though discussions, lending, and even its cover, glimpsed by a curious passer-by). It’s not about showing off your big virtual library. Please, a discussion about books is not about how much the Kindle outsells the Nook or vice-versa. Or about how print media is fading. You can have my book when you can pry it out of my cold dead hands. I’ll gladly lend it to you. But I want it back.
9) Citizens United. Imagine democracy is a dam. Imagine the tiny leaks which represent systemic corruption in the form of bribes. So lets fix the leaks by wiring the dam with dynamite. Any thought that this wasn’t a corpocracy went right out the window with this ruling. “In God we trust”, just like it says on a dollar bill.
10) Handguns. Don’t send me a bunch of NRA hoo-hah about this. I am simply telling you that handguns are a terrible invention. It’s a device that has been invented solely to kill other humans. And if your argument is that you need to handguns to defend yourself against… handguns, well, then see item 10 on my list. I can go circular in my argument, too.
Irrigation systems, car alarms with horn confirmations, tobacco, curvy twisty sidewalks, viruses (and Microsoft’s inability to safeguard our systems), TVs in bars, restaurants and airports.