Friday, December 12, 2008

Don’t just do something; stand there.

The much maligned Ms. Parker on the pace of things in 21st C. America from JWR:

In the latest blog scandal-ette, Jon Favreau, a Holy Cross valedictorian and 27-year-old wunderkind speechwriter for Barack Obama, was captured clutching the prospective secretary of state's, um, pectoral area, while a fellow reveler, wearing an "Obama Staff" T-shirt, nuzzles Clinton's ear and holds a beer bottle to her smiling lips.

The photo popped up on Facebook for a couple of hours before being removed... too late. The moment was captured and the rest was instant and persistent history. On the Information Highway, alas, roadkill is never really dead.

It was all about time. In low-tech America, people had time to sober up. There was no e-mail light blinking to demand your immediate attention, no insistent cell phones blasting "Fur Elise" into one's pocket or purse; no 24/7 news producers demanding instant responses to urgent claims and counterclaims. Several hours — or even a few days — could pass before anyone had to Do Something.

When I first started practicing in 1985, the firm with which I started was desperately seeking to avoid the purchase of a fax machine! The partners knew that once purchased, clients would demand immediate answers that once the firm had a couple of days to get its mind around. While I certainly do relish the new speed and efficiencies of today’s technology, I do have certain wistful recollections of the good ol’ days. Have I mentioned I’m the last lawyer in the state without a cell phone?


Stephanie said...

I don't have a cell phone!

Scooter said...

I know you were a sister.

Stephanie said...

I should admit, though, that I was a very early cell phone owner. I have the giant brick of a phone to show for it (which I've kept because you can still contact with such a phone even without cell phone service). But that was when I was young and on the go and actually had a use for it.