06/02/2011 08:57 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2011

Cell Phones May Cause Cancer? Who Cares?

The World Health Organization has studied the matter and come to the conclusion that yeah, maybe, it's just possible that sticking a cellular telephone up your ear canal every day for eight or nine hours may do something to your brain. No duh.

We don't need the WHO to tell us this. We know it already. As a nation, we have a strong suspicion about the things that may kill us, and we, the People, reserve the right to die of one thing or another if we want to. In fact, we would rather risk death than give up the things that truly matter to us.

Smoking? Many of us have given it up, but not really because it causes cancer. We could live with that. I used to smoke a pack a day of strong French cigarettes. I loved them. I enjoyed telling people about all the 80 year old geezers I knew who maintained their habit. Smoker's myth. On the other hand, I decided I would rather be able to climb the stairs to my bedroom without hawking up a lung. Also, I smelled bad. Not to myself, but to certain significant others who had the power to be revulsed by me. There was that, too. So now I puffeth naught, except on very special occasions.

Nuclear power. No question, it's going to kill all of us one of these days. I don't care what the flaks for the industry say on CNBC after every horrendous accident. In California, they have one plant right by the ocean, near a very populous area, and another squatting directly above the San Andreas fault. Smart? You decide. But one of these days, and I hope I am long, long gone by then, and I hope my children's children are living on the moon, the seventh failsafe on some reactor someplace will fail to be safe... and half of our lovely country will be uninhabitable for 20,000 years. But we will have nuclear power until then. Because we can't really do without it without making some huge sacrifices, and we're not in the huge sacrifice business.

Financial regulation to prevent the rape and pillage of America by its bankers? Har har hardy har har. That's my analysis after long and careful study.

And then here come our cell phones. They are smart so we don't have to be. They obviate the need for solitary thought, or for any kind of thought, for that matter. They come bearing games and news and music and copious infotainment. They are better company than our friends and loved ones much of the time. Without them, we would have to go back to the days when each person had to be alone with his or her own thoughts occasionally. Oog. Hate that. Can't even do it anymore, really. Better to call Bob and tell him I'm going into a tunnel.

In the end, I think we all ought to send a message to all those people who think it's their jobs to tell us about the things that are bad for us. Shut up. Stand down. Join the rest of us in the 21st Century. We'll be here waiting.

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