Monday, December 01, 2008

And another thing...

This week's column in The Morning Call discussed an annoying little development in the world of women's lingerie - the fact that someone, somewhere has now figured out how to insert a GPS device into a bra or panties. The result of this breakthrough is that a women's location could be tracked and documented by a man who is inordinately interested in knowing it.

I won't belabor my incredulity about this technology that seems to have found a soft, satin home, but something else is troubling me. Without mincing words, I'll simply ask the following: Is this all we can say for ourselves? Is this really what some will recognize as achievement in the early 21st century? Aren't we better than this?

I read about the Christmas shopping tragedy in Valley Stream, NY and somehow these two things (GPS bras and killer crowds) co-exist in my mind. How could we expect more moderate, semi-civilized behavior from a unruly bargain-hunting mob when we live in a world that celebrates the wonders of GPS technology by placing it in women's underwear?

I know. It's a stretch. And for many people, there is no connection. I respect that.

It's just that events like this remind me of the sentiments expressed by the late Michael Crighton in his novel, Jurassic Park. He was talking about recreating an extinct species but the formula feels true to me in this circumstance as well. It feels like we tend to do things because we can - (we insert a GPS chip inside a bra; we stampede a department store at dawn and literally kill a man in the process ) - not because we should.

This is starting to feel like it will deteriorate into a "In my day..." rant and maybe it will. But if so, I'd have to pose the following: what's so wrong with people being trustworthy when it comes to their life partners and not feeling the need to track someone's every move to insure her faithfulness? What's wrong with holding the door for the shopper behind you and sharing some Christmas spirit, not elbowing them out of the your way as you race toward the electronics aisle?

Okay, we don't live in Bedford Falls and not one of us can go to the Building and Loan for some cash. The Santa working at Penney's is not likely to send a shopper to Macy's to buy just the right gift. Who could believe in that kind of world? No, instead we have to believe in this one. Some of us have literally killed someone who had the unfortunate timing of working at a store one morning and opening the door. Some men want to make sure their wife or girlfriend keeps her panties on all day.

Gives me a warm fuzzy feeling all over.

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