Monday, July 02, 2007

Off The Bench is Back With a Vengeance

We here at Exit 55 made an offer to swap our cleanup hitter, Off the Bench for Rangers Lead the Way's beloved Odds and Sods. RLTW's GM has politely declined our offer, stating:
Rumors about the demise of Odds & Sods are highly exaggerated. Although flattered we here at Rangers In Seven - which, again includes mostly struggling, scraggly, stragglers - have no intention of trading or releasing Odds & Sods.

We appreciate RLTW's professionalism in dealing with this and can now let the truth be known - we were simply looking to rent a player, then re-sign Off the Bench at the end of the season.


So the iPhone era got underway on Friday at 6:00 PM. As I mentioned last week, I am currently not intrigued by the iPhone because I have a cell phone that I like and an iPod that I'm OK with. I don't see the need for it - at least not now.

Anyway, I'm looking at The Journal News on Saturday and like every media outlet, the release of the iPhone got quite a bit of "pub." Whatever - it's a good lifestyle story and nobody is getting killed - at least from what I could tell. But among the tidbits of people gathering at various Apple and AT&T outlets at ungodly hours (people lining up in The Westchester Mall at 6:00 AM and so on), I found a few disturbing notes.

Least disturbing - the person who was getting paid to buy iPhones:
Sasha Eisenstein of Larchmont, who just graduated from Mamaroneck High School, was No. 6 in line. She waited with boyfriend Alon Dankner of Queens to buy a phone for her dad - and three other people her father had lined up through

Her father, Hal Eisenstein, waited outside the store with one of the three purchasers, who paid $200 on top of the cost of the iPhone. Eisenstein planned to deliver the two others to buyers in Manhattan last night.

"I'll play iPod Santa Claus," said Eisenstein, who placed the ad for his daughter as a way for her to earn extra cash for college in the fall. "I figure every dollar they make is one less dollar I have to take out of my pocket," he said.

My position (I know - you don't care) is that this is pathetic on the part of those who paid the extra cash on top of the sticker price, but it seems rather enterprising, so I wasn't bothered by it. The other thing that jumped out at me is how nuts we are as a society for these things (Xboxes, Tickle Me Elmo, even the old Cabbage Patch Kids). Sometimes we really need to get a grip. This is why 329 American soldiers have died in Iraq in the past three months? So the spolied can buy a friggin' iPhone on the day of its release?

OK, that rant is over. Pathetic but nonetheless that's our society today. Now onto what really got my shorts in a bundle.

- Jeremy DeLossantos, 12, of North White Plains was the second in line after Jose Romualdo of Yonkers, and the first to the cash register, to buy an iPhone yesterday at the Apple Store at The Westchester mall in White Plains. (Photo by Mark Vergari/The Journal News)

Let's start with the basics. The article, by Julie Moran Alterio, says...
Jeremy, who was No. 2 in line, paid for his $599 iPhone in cash - money he earned making coffee and operating the cash register at his family's North Castle Deli in White Plains. "He's worked for this," his father, Tom, said.

(Thanks to The Journal News)

Now, let's see. Young Jeremy is 12, and he's just dropped SIX HUNDRED BUCKS on a freaking' phone/media player!! I know, I know - you're saying "wait until The Son is 12." You're right - I will have to play that kind of game when the time comes. I remember my brother waging a similar war with my niece over a pager at roughly the same age. Perhaps she was a little closer to 15 or 16, come to think of it. When asked my opinion, I wasn't in favor of the pager then, so just how would I feel about a $600 iPhone at the age of 12?

Again, I digress. The real crux of the problem comes with Jeremy's T-shirt. If you can't read it, it says:
Uh...OK. For the record, I am no prude. Far from it. I am, however, rather old-fashioned. I believe in some rather stupid ideas (in the eyes of some) - things that I almost typed here that would have started a war on another front in my life, but I resisted the urge to light that match.

That said, should a 12-year-old be walking around with that message on his shirt? Am I woefully out of touch on this? In an era which I have long said is overly politically correct, and we get wound up about everything, don't we (as parents) have to be a little more stringent in what we let our kids wear?

Look I get the whole "cute T-shirt" generation. The Son has a Green Day t-shirt, but he has no clue about the content of their songs. The one song that he likes "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" has the "F" word edited out. I don't believe in doing that normally, but a five-year-old shouldn't be hearing that. I also have a couple of shirts that are perhaps questionable - one is a New Orleans "party T-shirt" that I never wear out, and the other is an FCUK shirt. Get it? French Connection United Kingdom...FCUK. Again, not something that I wear to family outings.

The point of this is that when you combine the T-shirt with the purchase of a technological device that I think is unnecessary for a 12-year-old, I think the wrong message is being sent. Again I'm old-fashioned, so it could just be me.

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