the formerly ubiquitous telephone cord

I wonder if there is one word for that, formerly ubiquitous. I can’t think of what it could be.

But there are many examples, as I found with some help from my friends at Google:

  • drive-ins
  • video rental shops
  • light bulbs of various kinds (incandescent, now perhaps fluorescent)
  • AOL
  • record/cassette/CD music stores
  • Helen Hunt

Then there are the formerly formerly ubiquitous, such as men’s hats.

But back to my subject at hand.

One of the things we did to handle the non-electricity was move our one old corded phone into the kitchen. I don’t understand why, but even though the electricity was out, the phone lines were still working. So we could receive calls and not have to worry about cell phone charging up, even if we did try to figure out how to do that. And we of course, got a lot of phone calls, although perhaps not as many as usual, since most people around here didn’t have a working landline. Not having caller ID was not fun, however, since I ended up answering all calls and regretting it afterwards, but just on occasion (i.e. shnorrers). I easily could say to people, though, that ISHI wasn’t available because he was sick. I would have just as easily let the phone machine take their messages, but the phone machine wasn’t cooperating without some juice.

So when S#2 called and I answered the phone, he immediately thought we got our power back. Why else would I have answered with a voice that (he thought) showed that I knew who was on the other line?

“No, I think I try to answer the phone with a pleasant voice, whoever it is,” I answered.

Well, there I sat talking to him for a bit. I had to sit because the aforementioned corded phone works only if you don’t move more than about one foot from the phone base, or it will click itself off, for whatever bizarre reason. But it brought back all kinds of memories of me being in the kitchen, usually doing the dishes, trying to talk on the phone to one friend or another, while the kids would swing the cord endlessly, trying to get my attention.

Or did they just enjoy annoying me?

I think perhaps it was a little bit of both.

So I recalled my memories to my son.

He agreed with my assessment of motives, and we both laughed.

Good times.

But I can’t resist adding an article, The Dangers of a Premature Palestinian State, that I found in my Google stroll that piqued my interest with its mention of “Formerly ubiquitous military checkpoints”.

Here’s a key section:

…the hurried creation of a Palestinian state in a time of regional upheaval raises the stakes in any future conflict between Israel and the Palestinians by increasing the likelihood that other Arab actors, currently facing unprecedented popular pressure, will take advantage of Palestinian independence to justify direct intervention against Israel.

Such a conflict could start if a vulnerable Israel, now bereft of the West Bank and only ten miles across at its narrowest point, decides to take defensive military action against, say, the development and import of West Bank projectile weapons. Or the Palestinians could employ a pretextual justification, such as a sluggish or insufficient (as they see it) evacuation of Israeli settlement communities from a newly-sovereign Palestine, as an excuse for military action against Israel. In fact, a rushed U.N. decision to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state without coordinating an Israeli withdrawal would put Israel, which has over 200,000 citizens living in the West Bank, in violation of Palestinian borders and give the Palestinians casus belli—a reason to go to war against Israel.

While itself undesirable, an intensified Israel-Palestine conflict threatens to embroil the entire region. Regardless of how a clash between Israel and a Palestinian state begins, other Arab countries could invoke the Arab League’s joint defense pact and “the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations,” recognized in Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, to justify joining military action against Israel. Since the Palestine is not currently a U.N. member state, the collective self-defense provision of Article 51 does not apply to them. But it would to a U.N.-recognized Palestine.

Thus, under a colorable reading international law, the creation of a Palestinian state would empower anxious Arab leaders to attack Israel in defense of Palestine, thus appeasing the newly-empowered democratic masses that have driven the Arab Spring. Since this action will have a plausible legitimacy under international law, there is less risk of global pushback like that which helped take down Gaddafi in Libya.

Oh, and then there’s that unfortunate comment from Moshe Dayan’s widow who thinks that “Zionism has run its course“. Maybe it’s you, trying to regain your husband’s formerly ubiquitous status.


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