Bob paddles against culture’s popular flow

Bob paddles against culture's popular flow By Bob Karolevitz Iconoclast is a big word for a person who attacks or ridicules tradition or otherwise goes against the popular flow.

In a way, I'm one of those guys, at least part-time.

I got to thinking about that the other day when most everybody else got caught up in the current Star Wars craze.

"Have you seen it yet?" they ask me. "No I haven't," is my response, "and I don't intend to, even if George Lucas offers me a personal invitation."

I didn't see Return of the Jedi or Planet of the Apes either, so if that makes me an iconoclast, then I guess I am one.

I was not one of the frenzied fans who rushed out to buy a Naboo fighter, a Queen Amidala bicycle helmet or a miniature lightsaber. I guess I'm just not with it, that's all.

Most of my friends and acquaintances know where I stand on the subject of computers. My ballpoint pen (a concession to progress) and my trusty typewriter are good enough for me. That's also a part of my iconoclasm (another big word).

Or maybe I'm just behind the times.

For instance, I won't use an Automatic Teller Machine. I want to deal with a real live person, not an ATM. Besides that, whenever I depend on something mechanical, it malfunctions or quits working entirely.

I admit that I'm contradictory, though. I won't exchange my auto for a horse and buggy; I much prefer electric lights to kerosene lamps; and indoor plumbing sure beats an outdoor john, especially in winter.

But most of the time I find myself conducting a rear-guard action against progress. Our telephone is an example. It's an old-fashioned rotary model. When grandson Sam visits us, he likes to call home because he gets to dial the number. To him it's a real antique.

Speaking of telephones, I hate it when some faceless, recorded operator tells me to press one, press two or press three to get through to one thing or another. I liked it a lot better when you just dialed direct.

But little by little I suppose I'll adjust. On the other hand, I kind of like it in the rut I'm in. Phyllis calls me a fuddy-duddy!

I know you can't unring a bell, but sometimes I wish we could turn back the calendar, at least a notch or two. The technology revolution keeps chipping away at people relationships, and before we know it, we'll be sending our robots to do business with other robots.

All of which brings me back to the Star Wars phenomenon. It seems I'm the stick-in-the-mud because all that hype turns me off. While folks in the millions are lured Pied Piper-like to theaters and toy stores by the sensational promotion, I resist like a stubborn mule.

As far as I'm concerned, the Force is really a calculated program to empty the wallets of the world, not the so-called mystical power that binds the universe together.

I'm surprised that Anakin Skywalker and Darth Maul, the red-faced villain, don't wear Nike shoes. It would bring together two of the most successful selling jobs ever perpetrated on mankind. Incidentally, I won't have a Nike swash on the house, which is another of my iconoclastic traits.

Apparently I'm one of the unfashionable few, fighting a losing battle against the icons of the age.

Come to think of it, I never owned a hula hoop either.

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