Saturday, June 26, 2004

NYT says: For Liars and Loafers, Cellphones Offer an Alibi

In an almost-too-good-to-be-true tale, the Times reports that For Liars and Loafers, Cellphones Offer an Alibi. I hate cellphones but I can't say I think stories like this will make anyone give theirs up. There's a big cop-out in the story, too. As these cellphone users blithely enlist strangers to help them lie to their nearest and dearest, they also claim the moral high ground. Consider this passage, about the founder of one web-based service for liars in need of helpers: "These days, Ms. Logan spends much of her time overseeing the e-mail traffic and watching her club grow. It now has 3,400 members, with hundreds of new members signing up each week. One member recently used the club to fool his wife so he could stay at a sports bar to watch the N.B.A. finals. Another member � the wife of a soldier stationed in Iraq � sent out a message asking for help to conjure up an excuse after becoming pregnant by another man. But in that case, many responders urged the woman to tell her husband the truth, according to club members."

Convenient attack of patriotism!

BTW, as the title of my book Hypocrisy and the Politics of Politeness may suggest, I am extremely interested in what happens when you make a serious case for hypocrisy (or its more attractive affiliates, manners, politeness, self-control and so on). But this is not it!

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