Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New and Improved

I know, I know.  You looked at the title of this post and probably thought I did something great with this blog, right?  Like have it dispense $20 bills every time you read the letter "a" in my post.  Good feature, I know, but alas, I've redirected your $20 into my fruity rum drink fund instead.


Feel free to cut this bill out of your monitor screen...
And that's the trouble with "new and improved", isn't it?  I'm always skeptical of that phrase when I see it on products.  Do you think Kool-Aide put "new and improved" when they were forced to remove "cyclamates"?  I remember their packages when I was a kid said proudly, "Now with cyclamates!" like they'd discovered some miracle lost ingredient that made their powered sugar so much more enjoyable...right.

The debilitating effects of kool-aid cyclamates revealed....
Some things truly are new and improved though.  Cell phones have definitely improved.  We've come a long way from the "Get Smart" shoe-sized phones in the 1980s that cost nearly $2,000.  I no longer need an alarm clock; they're obsolete.  I just use my phone.  I no longer need a land line.  Obsolete.  I don't need a calendar from my insurance salesman.  I don't need to go crazy trying to remember who was in that movie I just saw.  I whip out the smart phone and off to IMDB I go.  My brain doesn't need to store that trivial stuff anymore.

Act now and we'll send you a second phone to use as a door stop or boat anchor...
Then again, there's a down size to that new and improved too.  People are so plugged in to their phones they don't even look around while they are walking.  These days if there is a murder or accident, there's not going to be any witnesses.  They were all too preoccupied cheating at Scramble With Friends.  They're not going to hear anything either because they've got their entire musical library on their phones and have ear buds on preventing them from experiencing anything around them.

I could bring back streaking as a fad...but who would notice?
I like movies.  I have over 800 of them.  But what a pain to own such a large library.  Back when they were VHS tapes I'd have to have an entire wall to hold them all and all the rewinding would take away hours over time.  Then DVDs. Still, 800 DVDs takes up a huge bookshelf.  I quickly got rid of the covers and put them in albums.  While very compact, even those are heavy and I was always having to refile and resort them to add new movies in alphabetically.  These days?  They are all digital on two tiny external drives that I can take anywhere.  I must have over a thousand movies on them. The only trouble is that for whatever reason, movies with subtitles don't show the subtitles.  Yes, new and improved, but with a catch...

Yeah...not very mobile
Bottom line, the term "new and improved" is really just an oxy-moron because of the reality of how can something be both new AND improved in the first place.  Either it is new....or it is improved.  You can't fool me, you advertisers...

6 comments:

ReformingGeek said...

New and improved....yeah, food products made smaller for higher prices. Sigh.

Ed said...

reformingeek - Yes, but they're adding yummy stuff like Roundup to the DNA of corn...bonus!

Subby said...

As the late, great George Carlin once said in his "Head Neighbourhood grocery store" sketch about cookies "32 varieties! man, if they can't get it right in 32 tries, leave me out of it!"

And yeah, the next time some oblivious mook is eyeballing their damn "i-whatever" screen and doesn't see me coming, they deserve to get run over :P

I think New Jersey now issues you a ticket for "texting in a crosswalk"...!

Ed said...

subby - Yes, we need Carlin back...who's gonna rip on all this stuff and call it as it is?

I Am Woody said...

Last summer, we took a vacation in the mountains of western NM. No cell service. No wi-fi. No television. After the initial 'OMGhowwillIknowiftheworldends' panic ended, it turned into one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever taken. :)

Ed said...

i am woody - I have a friend that lives in those mountains. Yeah...I don't talk to him often because of that but he does have another home in Prescott, AZ where he can tell if the world ends.