‘Young people don’t talk much anymore’
May 21, 2014 | 1490 views | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
OK, I know I promised to spare you readers of any more cell phone talk, but questions keep arriving.

To wit:

Mr. Swift (that Mister always catches my attention):

Your wife (that would be HM, or housemate) has a cell phone. You don’t. If you were in an accident and only she was injured, would you use her cell to call for emergency assistance?

– Curious

Dear Cur: No, I would not. Don’t know how to operate the dastardly things. She has a new one that she can barely operate. It comes with an instruction booklet that must be frequently used. It does a wide variety of things few humans need to do, and requires a near-genius to navigate through its many functions.

This is not like the gadget invented by Mr. Bell that just about anyone can master. Even me.

No, in the event of the accident you mention, I would post myself along the roadway and show a little leg. I would have assistance far faster than calling for an ambulance and paramedics.


Let me explain where I think we’re headed.

Homo sapiens evolved from four-legged mammals that learned to stand erect and eventually use their new hands. A brain developed to control a wide variety of new human functions. The functions that were most used developed ever further.

I’ll use the voice as an example. Verbal communication developed. That led to activities like singing.

Now we have the electronic form of communication which is expanding faster than this column is written. Social media is here, even if I strongly disapprove of it. (Can’t have everything my way, my mother once told me.)

Take HM’s new cell phone.

It has mobile web capability, Bluetooth paring, widgets (?), shortcuts, automatic reply, GPS navigation and driving directions, review of financial accounts, access to your phone account, address lists, bookmarks, texting capability, a variety of ringtones, a choice of languages, several alarms, music (it is replacing singing) and other options that I understand even less.

Does her cell have the ability to take photos? I don’t know and I’m not going to ask. It might even brush your teeth.

Now here’s the bottom line.

My prediction is that within the next 500 generations, the human voice box will no longer exist. Gone! Finis! And that will be from disuse.

Why, we might even have brain transplants at birth that will allow the reading of minds, or for sending communications over long distances.

Already, 4-year-olds are receiving cell phones for Christmas. Where will it end?

It will all be in the course of human evolution. And look around you. That evolution has already started. Young people don’t talk much anymore; they text. Their voice boxes are probably shrinking as you read this column.

The other day I received a two-panel cartoon. The mother texted her son in his bedroom to come down for dinner. When he arrived, he texted his father to pass the potatoes.

See what I mean?


Kudos to the city staffers working in our downtown north park. According to a story in last week’s Irrigator, they are cleaning up a deplorable mess that could only be the work of our live-in homeless people. I, for one, am glad the city has undertaken the cleanup task prior to our upcoming Apricot Fiesta.

Undoubtedly it’s unfair to the percentage of our homeless who don’t contribute to the problem. And it’s a shame we have homeless at all. Earlier this year, someone seeking shelter broke into the basement under the Center Building where our community museum is located. Clothes and empty wine bottles were found, and later it may have been the same person(s) who used the museum’s very visible west porch for shelter. Cigarette butts and packages, plus an empty beer bottle, were left behind. None had historic value.

Another cleanup job needs to be undertaken on the grounds of our former hospital at E and Ninth streets. Looks bad, really bad.

With part of the city work crew sprucing up the downtown park, a few others might check out our stop sign corners. Some signs are hidden behind sagging tree foliage, including one on my corner – South Seventh and E streets.

Alright, some of the rest of us may have sagging problems as well, but that’s not the city’s responsibility.

John Azevedo, Col. John to his many friends who use that moniker to identify him from among our several John Azevedos, recently fell at home and broke his hip. He underwent surgery at Emmanuel Hospital in Turlock and is recovering nicely.

John, 94 and a Patterson native, is considered the city’s historian by our Historical Society. Heck, John is history! By the way, he wants to meet another 94-year-old veteran: Les Williams, the Tuskegee Airman who recently moved to Patterson. These two WWII veterans undoubtedly can share many a war story about those days long ago.

Having spent a short time in Cambria last week, I can report that tourist business there is booming. So, what is the price of gas? — $4.80 a gallon.

We filled up elsewhere.

And by the way, Hearst Castle is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.


After arriving home last week, I learned of the death of former Pattersonite Jane Evans Vilas. The former Pattersonite resided in Turlock.

Jane was extremely active, a member and leader of numerous organizations, and had received numerous honors for her volunteerism.

Unbeknown here, she turned 90 in February but had not been placed on our 90-plus list.


No need to worry about NBA owners paying out those big bucks for giants to run around the hardwood in shorts. They (including Donald Sterling) apparently have plenty of money.

Here’s an example.

The Cleveland Cavilers fired Coach Mike Brown the other day. He was only one year – a bad one – into his five-year $20 million contract.

Thus if Brown chooses only to play golf the next four years, he’ll be well-paid.


Someone once said:

We have enough “youth.”

How about a fountain of “smart”?

Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at ronkay@gvni.com.

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