Thursday, March 19, 2009

I don't care what you think, and neither should you

A few years ago, whilst in casual conversation with a woman, the subject of electric toothbrushes somehow came up.

It was like someone had totally pressed her button, because she went off about it:

"What? Like you're too TIRED to move your arm up and down? How STUPID! They just cost a lot of money and then the new heads cost even more. Those are for really LAZY people. I'd never get one of those..."

and so on.

(Full disclosure, i have, use and love my electric toothbrush, but i don't give a shit how you clean your teeth, as long as you do.)

I don't know why, but this diatribe really stuck with me. I was just so amused about how vehement she was about something of so little importance. I remember just sort of cocking my head to the side at the time and saying something like "Huh."

Now on to the present. I bought a Kind1e 2 (the electronic book from Amaz*n.) I was sitting at my volunteer thing the other day, minding my own business and reading a book on it, between phone calls.

One of the women who works there came out and saw me. And off she went:

"Oh my god! I can't believe you bought one of those things. I would never buy one, those are going to be the death of books in print! It would give me a headache to read on it. They're too expensive. I can't even see the words, the print is so small...."

and so on.

I asked her if she'd ever seen one before, as i was wondering where all this feeling came from. "No," she admitted.

I gave the standard answer i've developed in response to passionate declarations about nothing of import.

"I can see you feel very strongly about this."

And went back to my reading.

40 comments:

H.E.Eigler said...

I'm stealing your standard answer and I don't care what you think about it. Oh, and I'm jealous of your Kindle...we can't get them here in Canada-land yet :(

de said...

so do you like it?

caro said...

Oh God I soooo want to get one of those. In a very strong way.

Steph said...

That's awesome! Can I use it if I start with, "As Meno would say...."

Daisy said...

Having worked in publishing for many years, you would think I"d be lining up to join the rant. Except, the point is, Ki(dl* doesn't stop people from reading, it just means paper isn't involved. Publishers can still sell books, but production costs will be... um... nearly nonexistent? So profits have the potential to be.... um....

I still have the Amazon business card left for me at our booth at the BIG book convention. One of our editors wrote on it "This is some place that wants to sell books online. Could be interesting."

Daisy said...

Oh, and De? I've heard from two people who LOVE theirs. ANd based on the fact that Meno went back to reading hers, I'd take that as an endorsement too. (Further proof Meno is cool; first kid on the block with a Ki)ndl*)

Gordo said...

I was totally opposed to reading books on a screen until I tried it on my Palm. It's wonderful, and you can carry dozens of books in the space of one. How cool is that?

I can afford the Kind1e, or I'd run out and get one. The wireless doesn't work up here either. :-(

Maggie said...

isn't it funny how truly bothered some people are by something they've NEVER SEEN. As you would say, huh.

So. Tell all. I've been dying to know how these are. Do they live up to their hype? Do your eyes get tired after awhile? Can you flip to phrases or something so that you can go back and read something again? Can you get any book on it? Are they expensive? Can you take it anywhere? i.e. a pool, near sand, hiding in the bathroom? Heh. Only a few questions.

Maggie said...

Not are the kindles expensive, I all ready know that. Are the books expensive?

meno said...

h.e. eigler, steal away. It took me a while to come up with it, so i want it to get used.

de, i like it very much. And you know what? I think it will eventually pay for itself, as i have already downloaded about 20 free book, about 5 of which i've read already.

caro, i am not a big gadget person, but this thing is pretty cool. Could it be better? Yep, but for now, it's awesome.

steph, feel free to use it with or without the credit!

daisy, i have bought about 10 books on it so far, and subscribed to our local newspaper. That doesn't sound like the death of publishing to me.

gordo, NOOOOO. No wireless? That sucks. As far as cost, see my answer to de.

maggie, most books are cheaper than in print. And many classics are FREE. And they are giving away lots of books as a tease. (See my comment to de.) My eyes do not get tired. Yes, you can go back and forth. you can "bookmark" a passage (all the sex scenes for example.) The big drawback that i see is that you cannot "give" your book to someone else. Oh, and not all books are available, but one hell of a lot are.

Irrelephant said...

You know, I wasn't crazy about the idea myself when they first came out, and the price really made me shy away, but then I started reading (free) downloads on my iPh.one, which is WAY smaller.

Do I still want to buy books? Oh yes. Will I keep downloading free C. Doctorow books on my iPh.one? Ayup. Would I buy a Kin.dle 2? Only if they get hella cheaper. Thx for your input on the thingie!

Magpie said...

Perfect retort. Perfect.

lu said...

excellent response. I'm going to use it again and again.

Bob said...

I am guilty of the occasional rant. (I used to be much worse). I have found myself changing position on the subject formerly ranted about. it is embarrassing. my son has inherited my former propensity for doing so and I cringe when he does.

deb said...

I have a sister like that, two actually. They go off on things that I just don't get, like whether or not our cousin liked a particular movie. Who gives a shit? I like your answer, I'll have to try it on my sisters:) Maybe it'll shut them up.

SUEB0B said...

Oh THANK YOU. That is a perfect answer. I work with someone who begins every other sentence with "I HATE..." (sears, girl scouts, roller coasters...). I am stealing your line.

TTQ said...

I want one!!! Especially for traveling.

furiousBall said...

i've been reading on my iphone too, but i just love my library so much because i like the librarians a lot and my kids really enjoy getting books and reading with dad

jaded said...

Excellent response, and more socially respectable than a hand gesture. I have so much to learn from you/

The Real Mother Hen said...

Ha, are these friends Asians? We Asians are excellent in talking trash like that :)

I usually say, "uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" - 3 times, then I change topic suddenly.

Cheesy said...

I haven't seen the kindle as of yet but how in the world would I get my lovely paper cuts then? And get to use my Spiderman Band aids? lol

When I hear rants of those sorts I just want to say "WHO ASKED YOU?"

meno said...

irrelephant, i will still but books too, i mean real paper books.

magpie, yeah, it only took me three years to think it up.

lu, feel free!

bob, yeah, i have a bit of an issue with the silly rant myself, which is probably why i notice them.

deb, let me know how it works.

ttq, that's when i think it will be most useful. I will no longer have to lug 6 books around.

furious, i am glad you like librarians. I like them too.

jaded, different situations, different responses. Both appropriate.

mother hen, nope, no Asians. Man, are you prejudiced! :)

cheesy, i want to say "WHAT'S YOUR DAMAGE?" But that's kind of hostile.

fiwa said...

I have a sister like that. And by the same token, if she likes something it is THE BEST and you need to drop whatever you have and switch to hers. It has taken me a lot of years to learn how to just smile & nod & tune her out.

You are the second person I know who got a kindle recently. I'm glad you're enjoying it - I might consider getting one if I end up traveling a lot this year.

Whatcha reading?

Dianne said...

I think those rants usually have to do with something totally unrelated to the subject of the rant - I confess - I do it sometimes when I'm feeling overwhelmed and then suddenly I'll go off on a subject that has no importance or relevance at all - I try to do it when I'm alone lol

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Perhaps these overly passionate about nothing people lack something meaningful in their lives on which to unleash all that commitment.

Electric toothbrushes have nothing to do with laziness, but with keeping ones teeth as much as possible like the results the dental hygienist gets.

Nothing like a little tolerance, is there?

crazymumma said...

perfect answer. I am certain it took the wind right out of her sails.

Schmoopie said...

I was a little sad to hear about books becoming electronic. I love to collect them and feel the paper, and so on and so forth...
What changed my mind about the Kind1e was reading an article about a quadriplegic who said it has been the greatest gift for him. He wasn't able to hold a book and turn the pages, but he can control the Kind1e. He has the pleasure of reading books on his own again. I've thought a lot about a wheelchair-bound person not being able to walk, feed himself, even use the shower. It never once occurred to me that something as simple as turning the page of a book would be impossible for him. I won't ever knock a Kind1e again!

Dick said...

I like your answer and will try to remember it to use when appropriate. My brother loves his book reader but it is not one of the Kindles. Can you load, say, a book that is on a CD or DVD into it to read? Will it read many different formats of files? How long will it go on batteries or one charge? I guess I could go to Amazon.com and get these answers, too, but it is more fun to get them from a satisfied user.

meno said...

fiwa, my mom is like that too. She talks as if her opinion is the only rational opinion of any sane person.

dianne, interesting. I usually go off on something that has been bothering me for weeks when i am stressed.

hearts, tolerance is good. Especially with all those people who don't agree with me on such important details.

schmoopie, that's pretty sweet isn't it? I still plan to buy and read actual books. I think i will read more now.

dick, i know you can e-mail stuff to your kindle, but i do not know if you can transfer stuff from CDs. The battery, if the wireless is turned off, lasts at least 5 days.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE my Kindle 2.0. The best thing about it is that I can read it on the treadmill and have doubled my treadmill time because I couldn't stand more than 20 minutes of watching tv on the treadmill so I would have to get off. Now I just read away and it's 40-45 minutes before I realize I've been walking hard the whole time. I also love the fact that I don't have to go anywhere to get a book. I have had some extreme reactions from people who hate the Kindle and are angry that I bought one. Of course, they don't own one.

I am married to a dentist and he practically forces all his patients to get electric toothbrushes so it's not really a matter of laziness but of having clean teeth. I recently purchased a Clarisonic face brush because my acne cream and my wrinkle cream were overlapping too much on my face and that thing is amazing for me but especially amazing for my 17-year-old son with bad cystic acne. He is almost cleared up after using it for about three months. I was raving about it to a group of friends and one of them went off on me about how extravagant I am and how crazy it is to spend almost $200 on a face brush for a teenager. I have spent far more than that on dermatologist visits so I consider it money well-spent. Anyway, my point there is that it's funny how angry people get when other people purchase expensive gadgets when it's really none of their business and has absolutely no effect on them.

liz

egan said...

Did she work for the Seattle PI maybe? Perhaps she's a bit disgruntled with technology.

You liking it? I suppose I should read your comments because I'm sure someone before me had to ask if you liked it.

egan said...

Cool, I see you're sold on it thus far. I might have to get this for my wife's birthday.

Mrs4444 said...

So, do you like it, or do you love it? Time for a review post, maybe?

Tink said...

"I can see you feel very strongly about this." I'm going to pocket that phrase! I never know what to say when people start going off on something I have/use/like. I start arguing and that's never pretty.

Vanessa said...

You have great self restraint to give the answer of "I see you feel very strongly about this." I would want to say something much more, ahhh, spirited, but perhaps that's my lesson in learning to keep my trap shut.

meno said...

liz, right on! The longer i have mt Kind1e the more i love it. It keeps me on my stationary bike longer too!

egan, sure, for your wife, yeah. right!. :)

mrs 4444, seriously, i love it. For SO MANY reasons. But, i would never try and convince anyone else.

tink, and the arguing NEVER works, so why waste your breath?

vanessa, eh, no reason to offend them, they're just being stupid.

Andrea Frazer - Pass the Zoloft said...

I can see why people become those old folk who wax nostalgic about the good ole days of the telephone with the cords and such. It's odd - because while I'm a bit like that in my heart (and my thrift store habits) there is something amazing about technology. People who want to feel connected to others will seek it in human contact - Facebook or not. They will talk in coffee shops, drive-thrus or not. And they will chat about new books, whether it's via electronic gismos or not.

And the biggest thing? Why do people think their opinion really matters on something so small? Especially if it's not positive.

Meh.

luckyzmom said...

Wow, on my our recent visit with my mother in law, I listened to her and my husband berating the K*ndle. I wish your words were at the tip of my tongue then and in so many similar situations. I've written them down for future use. I can remember having doubts about the practicality of dishwashers!!!!

Real Live Lesbian said...

I love that! I'm so stealing your comeback! lol

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