Saturday, September 26, 2009
Has technology made our lives better or worse? That's quite a big question, one of those questions that earnest young philosophy undergrads discuss when they get hammered. Some technologies, like the airplane or the cock ring, have unquestioningly made our lives better and without any technology at all we'd still be wandering the African savannah looking for food. On the other hand, thanks to technology that savannah is now is danger of being flooded by rising sea levels or blown into oblivion by advanced missiles.
And then there's the technology that is simply inexplicable, neither a giant leap forward or a step down the path leading to our own destruction, but a little hop that gets us nowhere in particular. If you want proof that these technologies exist, just watch TV after 2 a.m. and take a gander at the array of devices that you can use to vaccum your floor or slice tomatoes extremely efficiently. Or you can go to your local chain pharmacy, head towards the razors, and look at all the different ways a man can go about removing hair from his face.
Once upon a time, if a man wanted to shave, he had two options: go to a barber or shave himself. Either way, the device used was a straight razor, basically a blade with a handle attached to it. If there are any pretentious young men out there who've ever tried to shave with a straight razor, you probably didn't try it twice. You end up with a bunch of stubble still on your face and there's so much blood in the sink from your cuts your mom thinks you're suicidal and calls the fire department. Not that I would know.
Then, getting back to our history, someone invented the safety razor, which is pretty much what it sounds like. All of a sudden, you could shave your face (or your legs, if you were a woman or a nontraditional man) without cutting yourself up. Voila. Problem solved.
Then razor technology became, to quote Joe Biden, more fucked than a whore at the Republican Convention.
Razor manufacturers, apparently bored out of their minds, thought: it one blade was good, two would be better. And if two blades are better, three would be the best. And four would be supermega awesome, and five would be the motherfucking shit-king, master of the house, keeper of the inn, boss hog supernova excellent. And somewhere along the way, we got electric razors, then battery-powered razors because you don't always have an outlet when you need to shave. There are now razors that dispense shaving lotion (check out how the on/off switch is a "feature" in that listing), razors that pulsate against your skin , razors that have microchips, and for the ladies, a razor that will literally give you orgasms. Clearly, razors are evolving at an incredibly rapid rate. We can only hope that they will never become self-conscious.
Attention, R&D department heads of major shaving product companies, who I assume are avid readers of this blog: WE DO NOT NEED ANY MORE RAZORS. WE HAVE MORE ALL THE RAZORS ANYONE COULD CONCEIVABLY WANT. Nothing more is required of you. We can get close shave without cutting ourselves and that's really all we want. With the energy required to manufacture and power these devices and their microchips, you are probably hurting the world more than you are helping it. The only people who buy your products are people who aren't sure what their dad wants for Father's Day. Your industry is so stupid The Onion mocked your five-bladed razor before it even existed. If you want to help us, maybe you should turn your attention away from our beards and figure out a way to stop the savannahs from flooding.