By Abhishek Jha:
A recent report in the Daily Mirror said that children these days are not aware what a 19th century telephone looks like. They were shown photographs of the telephone and they had no clue what “the machine” was.
If you are an old parent, that’s something nice because your children probably don’t have a clue about what a modern landline is either, which means no phones get slammed on the other end. Also, don’t be surprised if you are told that bosses are hiring people younger than you because of the fading public memory of the telephone- as one knew it- with successive generations. Nobody was hiring old people before either, but this time they should not act surprised. The point I am arriving at is that children do not know what a real telephone looks like. And if they don’t know what a real telephone looks like, we need a new version of the red pill.
Remember how in the days of yore Morhpheus – that great pharmacist- used to say: “You take the blue pill- the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill- you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more“? That red pill is not enough anymore.
That is why philosophers today (one of them goes by the name of Pervert) asking for a third pill. The Pervert had some gobbledygook explanation for it too, the provocateur that he is, and we ignored him. But we have reasons now, our own reasons as to why we do need a third pill.
You understand the gravity of the situation? All our lives we have kept that telephone hidden in a corner of our bedroom waiting for the call that will pull us out. And these children – one in three of them in Britain – are wondering what the last sentence was about. Hey listen, you dimwit, you numbskull rapscallion! We don’t spend our days finger massaging a piece of plastic, okay? We were born with a mission. We got codes to work on, we got to find “the chosen one“…okay, that’s what the big, important people do. We are just the extras in a battle scene. But all work is honourable, kiddo, and we are doing our part. We are waiting for the call. You don’t even know where and how to take the call.
We saw recently that Hari Kunzru, the British Indian novelist, had retweeted something. The tweet went something like: “When my kid watches ‘Terminator’ I will have to explain the concept of a phonebook, but not an autonomous robot killing machine.” So, here it is, kiddo, all this quarrel about drones is on your conscience. An autonomous robot killing machine was supposed to be something futuristic, not something real. How dare you believe it to be something real! Now don’t go blaming those presidents of those countries that have abbreviated names to escape identification.
Hence, the solution…wait! What about the phone booth in Harry Potter movies?