MARTY RUSSELL: Smartphone? Maybe. Dumb people? Definitely.

Maybe there is justice in the universe after all. If you’re like me, and you have my sympathies if you are, nothing is more aggravating than sitting behind some idiot at a stop light who is talking on his or her cellphone when the light turns green and they are so immersed in their conversation that they sit through the entire green light despite all the honking and obscenities being hurled at them.
Or that cellphone that rings during the movie or some performance and, rather than shut it off, the owner answers it and proceeds to have a conversation as if they were the only person in the theater. Or my students who I like to tease by pretending to wrap up a lecture so that they start inching toward their cellphones like cowboys reaching for their holsters in a high noon duel only to pick up the lecture again and see the disappointment in their faces. That’s because, as soon as class is dismissed, that’s the first thing they do is start yakking or texting on their phones.
Good for them. I might actually start encouraging them to use their cellphones more, as if they possibly could.
That’s because the World Health Organization announced Tuesday that, while the final verdict is still out, there’s enough scientific evidence to suggest that cellphones might actually be a carcinogen just like cigarettes, asbestos and too many Julia Roberts movies. That’s because cellphones emit low level microwaves that, over time, do just what microwaves are designed to do – fry things. Like your brain.
The conclusion came after scientists from 14 countries examined all of the research that has been conducted on cellphones and said, while more long-term studies are needed, enough evidence does exist to classify them as a health hazard. Personally, I could have saved them the trouble. All you have to do is look around and see all the people wandering through life with their heads down, staring at their navels while they talk or text on their mobile phones to know that they ain’t right in the head.
I own a cellphone, but I use it maybe twice a month and usually only when someone calls me because they couldn’t reach me in my office or home. They’re convenient and can come in handy in an emergency, like if you’ve been swallowed by a whale and need to call the Coast Guard.
Otherwise, I don’t have anything so urgent that I need to tell somebody that it can’t wait until I can get to a real phone or a computer to send an email.
Call me a dinosaur if you want but maybe there is justice after all. Maybe all those folks happily yapping away about nothing while the light changes will soon go the way of the dinosaurs as a result.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 222 Farley Hall, University MS 38677 or by email at

Marty Russell

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