I'm getting ready to head to Las Vegas and the TV was left on The View. Usually I'll run in and change the channel when I hear those women start yapping. But I figured I'd listen, because I was curious as to what they'd say about the idiotic Gates and Obama, and how they weren't smart enough to apologize to the police officer the other day over a beer (I love how they each had their own beer they had to drink...they couldn't just order a pitcher of Coors from the White House kitchen).
Instead, The View talked about babies and whether or not you should put sunscreen on them. And whether or not you should confront the parents.
Barbara Walters said that her producer of 11 years was mad at her because he sent a friend request on Facebook and she didn't respond. She had the same problem I have. She once signed up, but never uses the account, and now gets requests each day from people that she ignores.
Whoopi then something like: That's exactly why I don't have an answering machine. People will get mad if I don't call them back. So, if you call me, you either get a hold of me or you don't.
Now, how stupid is that logic?
You don't have to become a slave to these pieces of technology. If I come home and have four messages on my answering machine, I can decide if something is an emergency. If a friend had a few things to say, I may or may not call them back. If I forgot, the next time they call me I may apologize, or I'll quickly remember what they said and I'll comment on it.
Jeff Goldblum once told a story on Letterman about getting caught by "star 69" before he knew what that was. It involved a guy at a party that always wanted him to call about a business deal. He wanted no part of it and always tried avoiding the guy. So Goldblum called the guy when he was sure he wouldn't be home. Well, he was home. And Goldblum did what people used to do. He hung up when he heard his voice. But this person star 69'd him.
I watched on Gene Simmons reality show once, when a winner got to have lunch with him. He was so thrilled, wearing his KISS shirt and asking all these questions. Simmons looked bored out of his mind. Probably because it was a man sitting across from him.
When this guy brought up a business idea, Simmons was visibly upset. He walked away from the table and started making phone calls. When he got back to the table, the guy apologized.
Now what I can't figure out about everyone is...why is it so hard to just be polite and explain things to people? Goldblum and Simmons could've said, "Look, I have a certain degree of fame, I'm always shown these kinds of offers, and it's hard to always listen to them. I have business people to do all that. If you want to send any ideas to them, that's great."
When I worked in radio, I had friends that wanted me to listen to their songs, hoping I'd get them played on the radio. I had no problem saying "We play the Beatles and Doors. I had the singer of Country Joe and the Fish yell at me during an interview for us not playing his song, and he played at Woodstock." And I can tell them now, that Jewel used to send us cassettes, and we just threw those away, too.
Now, at the Reader, I have friends that are in bands. Or friends that have businesses. And a variety of other things. I have no problem telling them that I can't help them out and explaining why.
One guy I always run into at concerts, told me he manages a Rolling Stones tribute band. He claims they're going to be the next big thing and how we should cover them.
I explained the type of coverage the Reader gives to local bands, even though it was going in one ear and out the other.
But really, nothing beats email.
You get home and have 20 new messages. You can respond at length to the interesting ones.
The idiot friend that still has the sense of humor he had as a drunken frat boy, will send you the list of reasons why women are like donuts. And you can delete it. Or you can reply with a simple "ha ha ha".
And it takes no time out of your day.