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Cellphone Tumors

Thu, 07/21/2011 - 5:03am
David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

Your cellphone will give you cancer, your laptop will make you sterile, your water bottle will hit three favorites — breast cancer, sperm count, and prostate cancer (among others) — and yet we remain sweaty, sport jacket-wearing mouth breathers who will be suddenly shocked when we turn paternal/maternal only to realize that our plumbing has been stripped out by homeless copper bandits.

After we all die from brain cancer, I hope at least one landline enthusiast remains so he can shout ‘I told you so’ across the barren, developed world wasteland.

I find pleasure in subjective adoption. Within the same mentality that can forever alter dietary habits when an individual is slapped in the face with fast-food-equals-bad common sense lurks the evil Jekyll who can look at similar data, for example the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s categorization of cellphones as a possible cancer-causing agent, and brush it off without a second look.

My, how half-hearted opinions birthed a world filled with skeptical agnostics. We don’t know and we don’t care unless it’s in vogue to picket, in which case there will be a run on dowel rods and poster board.

It’s easy when we can establish a common enemy and pose our own Hollywood good vs. evil plot. America’s waistline is fighting the good fight against the evil double-arch nemesis on a throne held by a grease-painted man-child. I can only assume that further fervor is fueled by a universal hate/fear of clowns.

We can wage a war on a cultural epidemic when the fight is as simple as including non-brown food items on our plates, but threaten to take away our gadgetry, and we devolve into pre-pubescent kids hiding our toys in a blatant challenge to authority. Actually, to hide our toys would mean acknowledgment of risk; we’re operating more on a level of intentional disregard.

“Your phone will kill you.”      

“What was that? I couldn’t hear you, I was on the phone.”

Certainly the situation doesn’t call for such alarmist reaction. After all, as Professor Donald Berry of the University of Texas, says, “Anything is a possible carcinogenic.” From gasoline engine exhaust to coffee, we’re surrounded by all things cancer causing. I often enjoy a cup of artificially sweetened coffee while huffing spray paint and making long calls without a hands-free device. I merely find humor in the carcinogenic wars we choose to wage. Cigarettes are cancer sticks, but my BlackBerry is my baby. Take a pack of smokes from a glass-eyed man or swipe a phone from the aforementioned sport jacket while he’s “making deals” … you’ll see who has the greater addiction.

Maybe this “everything will kill you” fear makes the case for Mormonism and Amish Mennonites — don’t lead with it, but find a spot for it in the elevator pitch.

I often find a middle ground to stand between two issues, or I at least recognize the opposing argument — it’s my theoretical little box made of ticky-tacky in which I reside. I now see why blind eyes are easily turned when news breaks of the latest carcinogen; we’re punch drunk with fear to the point of no return. Ineffectual activism breeds comfortable passivism. 

In the event that cellphones prove cancerous, we won’t need another rapture scare to thin the herd; the overpopulation crisis will be quickly resolved. Maybe that’s why texting took off. It wasn’t a tech fad, but an evolutionary survival tactic — too bad for the texting inclined, for your tumor will grow faster than mine.

Attention: Lake Superior State University. Please consider “possible carcinogen” for your 2012 list of banished words. If I hear about one more thing that could kill me, I just might die.

What’s your take? Email david.mantey@advantagemedia.com or comment below.

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