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Top Ten Things I Hope Disappear in 2010

  • Dec 30, 2009
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Fax Machine
A device that manages to waste time and paper, the fax machine was obsolete in 1980 and has no business being around in 2010. Organizations like CItimortgage use the fax machine to prevent customers from communicating with them.
Modem port
A little hole that used to be essential but not represents a half inch of wasted space on every PC and Mac. Time to retire to the electronics stockpile in the sky.
A great place to hangout to discover all the weirdos in your neighborhood - and they were just the people who worked there. KO'd by Netflix and unceremoniously exorcised by streaming media, Blockbuster is a relic that you'll be telling your grandkids about (unless you're planning to forget them as fast as I am).
Mindlessly Adhesive Price Labels on Flowers
You know the scene - you've bought a beautiful bunch of flowers ready to spring on your beau, but wait - there's an enormous ugly price tag spot-welded to the wrapping! Using glue developed by NASA to hold rockets together, you have no chance of removing it except by using scissors or a Sharpy. 2010 could be the year when retails stop putting super-sticky labels on thing we intend to gift.
Overdraft fees
In Europe, if you use a debit card with insufficient funds, the transaction is declined and you move on to the next card. Here, the Banks of Mordor led by Citigroup use it as an excuse to ding for $30. Between a $2 Starbucks, $5 Subway and $1.50 parking charge, that'll be nearly a $100 in fees to cover their 'administrative overhead'. What a bunch of bullshit.
Balloon Aircraft
No offence to Balloon Boy personally - this is more aimed at deranged people trying to get reality shows by freaking the eek out of everyone else. Personally, it would never occur to me to burn a house down to rescue an already-saved cat to get a shot at American Idol, but apparently some people's wiring is really screwed up. I suspect we have to throw these guys in jail just to stop copycat morons flying off the Xerox machine.
Phone numbers
There was a time when being known as 310-555-2948 had a use: that time was before the era of mobile technology and cars. Now I have enough phone numbers to make people think I'm trying to recite Pi if I reel them off fast enough, when really you should be able to reach me by knowing that I'm jamesbeswick at mymailprovider.com. Phone numbers have had their time (and if you think ours are bad, some of my British friends' cell phones are more like +44776880004983).
Superhero movies
As part of the creative bankruptcy that's taken over Hollywood, paralleled by the explosion in viewing hours that need to be filled, someone had the smart idea of raiding the Marvel back catalog. Rich with apparently over 5000 characters, we've barely gotten into more than the first couple of hundred and it's really getting boring. Enough already! This is like the way Westerns were beaten to death - but with CGI. When I saw Sherlock Holmes the other day, 90% of the trailers were for substandard superhero flicks...
Film cliches
This is a long shot but I'll like to see the following vanish from films forever:
- Cell phones/texts being used to move plots forward (88 Minutes, anyone?)
- Using cops/journalists as the main characters as an excuse to investigate something.
- Two black circles appearing to show a character is using binoculars.
- Computers that beep too much, reveal text character-by-character and display ludicrous error messages to inform the most dim-witted audience member ("ACCESS DENIED"). Extra points for the first director to use Windows and get Clippy to blue screen.
- Genetics being evil, black people always carrying guns in posters and chess players being upper class/highly educated.

And while we're at it, let's see if Disney can portray a family with both parents for once.
Seeing as you can't spam through email legally anymore (and filters are pretty good), it's amazing that companies can still call me at home and interrupt whatever I'm doing to sell me things I don't need. Worse still, the Robocall system means that 4/5 times I'll pick up and nobody's even there! DoNotCall.gov is increasingly ignored too - my New Year's Resolution is to refuse to do business with anyone who cold calls/robocalls in 2010.

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June 07, 2011
You've my heartfelt sympathies for your criticism of the endless, unimaginative glut of sequential art to celluloid, but there's no end in sight for these, nor adaptations of teenie sub-literature or superior Japanese and Korean horror flicks. These franchises are what currently sustain what's left of the major studios.
December 31, 2009
Hahaha, I could do without a few of these as well, but getting rid of some of these would require a lot of folks and third world countries to "get with the times".  I'm trying to think of a good alternative for #4, but am drawing blanks at the moment :P  Funny list, James! :)
December 31, 2009
Nice! I am with you 100 % with #'s 8-10, 5-6. I know for a fact that fax machines will be here for awhile because in the Legal Industry, they still need those dinosaurs. Fax servers don't work well...yet. For # 8, well, Hollywood is about to milk Japanese anime; so stand by! # 2 was replaced by the Ethernet port right? so yeh, do away with those. As for Blockbuster they can go out of business after the recession...
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James Beswick ()
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