Check your basement for Pods....
In the classic SciFi/Horror picture, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, alien beings come to Earth, and take over mankind, one person at a time. People are replaced with replicants of themselves, which look and act like their old selves, but seem strangely detached.
The hero watches as more and more of his friends and family start acting strange. It is only then he realizes that the aliens are taking over - when he finds alien pods in the basement. Of course in the climactic final scene, they try to make into a replicant as well. "Join us" they coo, "it's not so bad!"
I thought of this movie the other day when a friend came over. He seemed strangely detached and distracted. We were having a pleasant conversation, and then there was a noise from his pocket, and he said, "Wait a sec, I have to get this......"
[cue: scary violin and theramin music]
....He then pulled out his new smart phone and started texting.
I nearly fainted.
"What were you saying?" he said as he texted, "I'm paying attention...."
But the conversation quickly turned into a series of "uh-huhs" from him, as he furiously worked his thumbs over the keyboard, his mind lost in distraction.
Another one, lost to the Pod people. The iPod people!
And it struck me that the proliferation of so-called "smart phones" made me feel like the man in the movie. Every day, another friend, family member, or even stranger, succumbs to the inevitable, and becomes a blank-faced moron, staring into a tiny screen all day long.
....And then one day, you come home, and there is a new iPod 5 on the kitchen counter. They're in your house! Get out, now!
Fortunately, it hasn't reached that level just yet. But it is getting scary. More and more people disappearing, and re-appearing, slightly changed, as alien replicants, wired with little white wires going into their ears. Talking to themselves, it appears, as they walk down the street. Staring for hours into little tiny boxes and tapping at them furiously. Jamming said boxes in your face to show you photos.
It's weird and disturbing. Normal people one day, replicants the next. Constantly updating their Facebook page in real-time, or texting the Grandchildren while you are at a restaurant. Messaging each other in their secret alien code. Even detecting the presence of other replicants with something called a "grinder app."
They swerve all over the road, plugged into these boxes. Apparently aliens don't know how to drive. I suspect they are trying to run me off the road, suspecting (correctly) that I am not "one of them." They cannot take their attention away from the boxes implanted by their alien masters. All good in life must come from the box! All hail the little boxes!
They were once fun people to be with. Vivacious and full of life. Able to look you in the eye when they talked to you. Now they are as sullen as teenagers, plugged into the alien machinery, taking orders from who knows what far-off alien lord, enthroned on his spaceship - preparing for the final invasion, to wipe out resisters such as myself.
I will be holed up, stocking my house with canned goods. Armed with nothing but my Motorola Flip-Phone and an AT&T GoPhone plan. I haven't got a chance, I know. But I'd rather go down fighting. Better to die on your feet than live on your knees!
I can hear them gathering around the house now. I can see the eerie lights from their little Pads and Phones. There is no way out!
I wonder if it will hurt...