April 14: the unwieldiness of modern man

I was at an airport the other day. The airport was Stansted. I don’t like airports. It seems to me that airports display those aspects of society best designed to most exacerbate me. When you get through security they sit you in the centre of a carrousel of all the outlets you might spend your life trying to avoid, a ampitheatre of crap shops. Modern Man, including Modern Child, needs his accessories. He needs for his lightweight hand luggage to be on wheels, which extends his length three or fourfold, like some prehistoric reptile with an enormous tail. If he does not have wheeled luggage he has a back pack liable at any moment to clatter you on the side of the head. Modern Man is also bulkier than he once was. Modern child is bulkier too. Modern child can get very bulky. And both need more stuff. Phones; laptops; tablets; various forms of listening device; big headphones. Without them he is unable to function. In fact, with the headphones on the ears and the eyes on the smartphone Modern Man is mostly working in a state of sensory deprivation and with the reduced mobility of some lower life form. God only knows the mincemeat Primitive Man would make of Modern Man in a battle for survival. Planes aren’t much better than airports. The flourish required by Modern Man to sit down in his seat on entering the aircraft can only be compared with the flourish he requires when exiting a cimema. This I have noticed is an exceptionally unwieldy performance. He comes out to a fanfare of trumpets as if to say I have seen this film and you in the queue to see it have not. Give me space to exhibit the peacock feathers of my temporal priority. This, by the way is just one of the reasons I rarely go to the pictures nowadays. Add to that the unwieldiness of popcorn buckets and you will understand my position.

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