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NAX: Chance of recovery is really remote (control) - Odessa American: Columnists

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NAX: Chance of recovery is really remote (control)

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Posted: Sunday, June 14, 2009 12:00 am

Some call it innovation. Others tout technology. We all refer to it as advancement.

But whatever you call it, it’s still a form of addiction.

The whole process works much like a drug dealer giving out samples to get future customers hooked on the product.

Oh sure, that’s a crude way to refer to all the things that make life easier for us all. But it’s still the same kind of mental game.

For instance, consider all those folks who once thought having an enclosed space to park their cars was just peachy. At first, they were happy to hop out of their vehicles when they got home, raise the door and then close it again once they were inside.

But then somebody invented the remote control garage door opener and nothing was ever the same again. It’s a terrible inconvenience if the power is out or the opener is broken. My heavens, what a hassle to have to raise that door manually.

Yep, that’s right. And it’s the same thing when so many new vehicles come equipped with power door locks and power windows. Can you believe people once had to slide across the front seat to crank down the passenger side window? How rudimentary was that?

Then there’s the whole television thing. In the early days, it was great just to have a black-and-white picture from the only station in town.

But then they shot us in the arm with the color needle. And then came competing local channels. Finally, they hit us with cable, and satellite dishes, and more channels than anybody could have imagined.

Lucky for us somebody invented the TV remote control so we can surf all those channels and be able to gripe that there’s nothing worth watching anywhere.

Don’t forget that we’re addicted to the microwave oven, too. Fortunately, technology improved those old TV dinners to the point that a microwaved “gourmet” frozen food entree could almost pass for a meal your grandmother used to labor over for hours.

But, by far, the most insidious drug that has infiltrated our society is the computer.

Most of us get the shakes when we’re away from our keyboards for more than 30 minutes. And, quite honestly, we’d never get our work done without these wonderful, labor-saving devices.

And just to make sure we’re totally dependent on computers, along came the Internet. There’s no going cold turkey with such a mainline … make that online … addiction. How did we ever get along without e-mail, MySpace, Facebook, fantasy sports leagues with instant standings and quick resolution of stupid bar bets? (See, I told you Joe Namath never played for Penn State.)

Luckily, they’ve invented cell phones (which are a form of electronic heroin themselves) that double as everything from a camera to a portable computer. That way we’re never far from a cyber fix.

My heavens, we need help. Except we’re all so doped up by our creature comforts that we don’t know how pitiful we really are.

Odessa, TX

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