Thursday

Review: Camera phones

There is a Portrait setting on my phone, but it might as well say Crack Addict Effect, and the Night Vision setting is like seeing the world through a lens smeared with butter and tar. Basically, it is useless for any rational photographic purpose.

Still, camera phones have their uses. Following the appalling, tragic theft of Paris Hilton’s mobile, pictures stored on the phone were posted on the internet. The pictures were heart-warming: some were of Paris’s breasts, some were of her snogging a female friend, and some were of her making a Sexy Face by angling her head and pouting. Paris has finally made public what many of us have known in private for ages: the main function of the camera phone is narcissistic porn.

This is in the grand tradition of technological advance, which is as follows: someone invents a new thing, people start to use it, newspaper columnists hail the end of civilization as we know it, and finally people use it to broadcast nudey pictures and sell tat. Examples: the printing press, film, the internet. New technology never turns up new perversions; it just freshens them up and wraps them in different paper. “Thanks, science!” we say. Then: “Didn’t I get you this last year?”

Camera phones: Conspiracy theorists! Camera phone as covert surveillance equipment? Come up with your own conspiracy theory, though, because I can’t be bothered. 6 out of 10.

16 Comments:

At 2:43 pm, Blogger john b said...

Nah, you've got it the wrong way round. The porn arrives first, and everything else follows.

For example, the first book ever printed wasn't the Bible - it was Forum.

 
At 2:56 pm, Anonymous This Space for Rent said...

Paris Hilton's (or as a Freudian typo Pairs Hilton) sexy face is exactly the same as Ryan from the OC's brooding facial expression. If you watch the first episode again, he smokes more and does this strange sighing voice.

Tilting your head shouldn't be emotional shorthand.

 
At 3:28 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

thanks for the interesting historical fact, john b. which came first: porn or sex? i suppose sex isn't strictly a technology.

this space for rent: i agree. i saw some graffiti on camden road the other day that said "end the OC". either an arch TV reference or some missing letters going on.

 
At 4:14 pm, Anonymous This Space for Rent said...

end the sock? deep frustration about slow knitting practices? could be, it's more lucid than tagging

 
At 8:52 pm, Blogger HA HA HA said...

john b got it riaght. the frist profatable onlian businses were porn sites. porn drove early uptake of cd-rom drives and of the web.

of chorse sex praceds pron. but it praceeds evarythign else to.

 
At 9:04 pm, Blogger hungbunny said...

In Japan there's a law that all camera phones have to make a sound when they take a photo. Apparently surreptious "up-skirt" shots were all the rage prior to that.

 
At 11:57 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

yeah, the internet is based around two principles:
1. people want to look at naked people
2. people are bored at work

hungbunny, as japanese sexual harrassment correspondent: is it true about the vending machines that sell schoolgirls' knickers? it always seemed too stupid to be believable, but maybe i'm being too generous.

 
At 12:30 pm, Blogger hungbunny said...

It most certainly is! And in the interest of quality journalistic research I have even unearthed a picture for you:

http://www.alexquinn.org/nihon/images/photos/large/tokyo-panty-4.jpg

 
At 1:26 pm, Anonymous eskimo said...

it looks like those machines you get in sad seaside towns, the ones with the mechanical arm that you have to try to get to clutch the stuffed toy. is that how it works? i like that idea: people should have to sweat a bit for their perversion, like they did before the internet. nowadays they can just type "gorilla nipples" into google and sit back.

 
At 2:19 pm, Blogger hungbunny said...

That's exactly how it works. I haven't been to Japan, I just typed "schoolgirl knickers vending machine" into Google. I hope you realise that I have now sullied my pristine IP address on your behalf: I only ever use Google to find pictures of kittens and such like.

 
At 3:25 pm, Anonymous This Space for Rent said...

The person who own www.sex.com is one of the richest people around today.

I only just learned that NSFW means not suitable for work. Luckily this did not result in instant dismissal. Instead it is a heartwarming tale of looking at stills from the Fred Durst sex tape, and then realising what it meant, while trying to forget what I had seen. And wondering if Fred Durst's sex face could be used to encourage abstinence. Or make the blind feel empowered.

 
At 12:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, why become a surveillance society of 'little brothers' when you can have so much fun emailing people pictures of your cock? I don't know how we survived before I really don't.
Rob

 
At 6:28 pm, Anonymous frenchy said...

eskimo, when you read "end the OC" are you sure they weren't talking of the langue d'oc?

join the language protection act today!

(whoops, wrong thread).

 
At 12:37 am, Anonymous Andrew said...

To return to the posting being discussed; I've been quite flu-ey for the last few days and, while lying around feverishly on my sofa, I remembered your description of the Night Vision setting being like seeing the world through a lens smeared with butter and tar, and it made me cackle and hallucinate. Cheers.

 
At 7:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just taken my first photos with my new phone. I almost cried. I look like a *fat* crack addict. That's just unreasonable.

O xxx

 
At 6:57 am, Anonymous dimz said...

Thanks for providing such a great article, it was excellent and very informative.
as a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed.
thank you :)

 

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