Lee Ranaldo (previously of Sonic Youth) has a new album coming out in September called Electric Trim. One of the lead tracks just released is called “New Thing” and, as accompanied by it’s video, is a brilliant commentary on our technology obsessed world.
Ranaldo walks around New York City with his “device” (which is actually a 1970’s futuristic TV/radio hybrid made by JVC) , hypnotized by it and oblivious to what’s going on around him. It’s what the general populace, with their/our smart phones, would look like to somebody from the past or somebody from another planet. We’ve all become so used to using smart phones ourselves and they’ve become so ingrained in our culture that we maybe don’t realize how much control they have on our daily lives and how they monopolize our attention. I find it amazing how the average person can’t seem to be just doing nothing, just “being” in the moment anymore without whipping out their smart phone. I’m a late converter, having only had an iPhone for about a year, and I swore I’d never become “one of those people,” but I too catch myself checking my phone in down times for no apparent reason.
I love near the end of the video when he gets on the subway and the kid engrossed in his smart phone in the seat next to him looks over at Lee and just shakes his head like “this guy is crazy.”
“Though chains be of gold, they are chains all the same.” (Bruce Cockburn) (thanks to Bob R. for associating the quote with the video)