a playlist : ringtones for people who hate ringtones
click here or on the image below to listen
click here or on the image below to listen
Bear with me for a bit and let's talk about numbers. I was happily ambling about the internet the other day when I came upon this highly disturbing bit of news: According to soothsayers, mobile phone users will spend about $6.65 billion in ringtone downloads by the year 2012. Assuming that by then there will be at least 3.3 billion people with cellphones, and that the price of ringtones remains about a dollar each, then that amounts to at least two ringtones for every mobile phone in existence. That means there's going to be an awfully good chance that every phone that rings in the future will do so to the sound of music. But that's just the half of it. According to misfortune tellers, ringback tones will be more popular than ringtones within just a couple of years. That means instead of hearing the familiar ring when you're calling someone's phone, you will be hearing a song that that person has chosen for you to hear. So what kind of music will you be hearing more of – against your will – in the streets, in restaurants, in public transport, and even on your own phone in the near future? Check Billboard's Hot Ringtones chart for a hint.
Now I don't really care what songs they are. Putting it mildly, I'm not very fond of ringtones. All of them. I think ringtones are one of the most useless inventions ever, way up there in the ignominious company of electric candles, umbrella hats, and superhero capes (except Batman, who isn't superhuman, so he needs it). People have taken to ringtones to publicly announce what cool individuals they are or how much sense of humor they have. Well let me tell you something, Mr. Bleeding Love, your ringtone sucks, and when you pretend to be embarrassed when your phone rings and you fumble as if you can't find it just so the song plays a bit longer, what you're actually saying is, "Ooh, look at me, I'm an attention whore!" Twat. Apologize is for pole dancing, not moviehouses. Shake It and Pork and Beans are for frathouse pukefests, not supermarket aisles. Viva la Vida is for driving yourself off into a cliff, not for hospital waiting areas. And you should all be reminded that a blaring playback of Beautiful Girls in an ATM line is an abuse of airspace rights, tantamount to assault. One day, someone will Taser your ass in revenge and I'll be cheering them, bro.
Of course, I and the rest of us ringtone non-fans know that this rant is a futile exercise in rational bitchin', as there apparently is no shortage of people who will fork 99 cents for the cheapest badge of individuality they can buy. But if there's one lesson we, the people, should all have learned from Hillary!, it is to never give up and to keep rolling on. We have within our means a number of ways to keep the fight for a sane, noise-free environment, and as responsible urban citizens, we must assert our rights and do any of the following:
- Write for your congressman to legislate a total ban on ringtones. That way, we can litigate ringtone users to death and make their lives as miserable as they've made ours. Punishment for the guilty will vary. End-users will be isolated in a jail facility with a sound system playing Buy U a Drank on repeat 24/7, while ringtone manufacturers (including iTunes – I worship you, Steve, but please take them off the store and sack whoever told you that selling them was a good idea) will be hung, drawn, and quartered twice over.
- Ask Dean Kamen, the inventor of Segway, to invent a ringtone-blocking device that city planners can install in public areas, defined as any amount of space with a population density of more than one person per square
metermile. (We don't really want to be thought of as being overly selfish, so this seems like a reasonable size to me.)
- With the economy in a rut, the government could surely use some money. In these trying times, imposing a 1,000,000% tax on ringtone purchases is truly a win-win situation and a genius idea whose time has come. Lobby it.
- Start a grassroots organization and initiate a "World No Ringtone Day." Spread the word through text messages simply saying, "Today is a good day to respect the rights of others to not be violated by your insensitive ringtone. Please set your mobile phone on vibrate and shove it up a nice, warm place within your body, if you know what I mean."
- And now for the fun part: Beat ringtone users at their own game. Tell them how much their ringtones are the pig's ass by using one that will call their attention and slap their faces silly. Make it hard, make it punchy, make it as in-your-face as possible – anything with an angry riff, a cascade of drumming, or lyrics that will feed on their paranoia, because more often than not, these ringtone folks are right-wing Snapple drinkers who believe that terrorists are contaminating their bottled-water sources and so they try to seek comfort from wherever they can, including their cell phones. Therefore, I humbly propose the following songs:
- Human Fly : The Cramps
- Black Betty : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- Heartbreak Hotel : John Cale
- Shake Your Rump : Beastie Boys
- Pay to Play : Nirvana
- Suicide Blonde : INXS
- It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine) : R.E.M.
- Psycho Man : Black Sabbath
- Man in the Box : Alice in Chains
- Rebel Yell : Billy Idol
- Space Oddity : David Bowie
- Kashmir : Led Zeppelin
Got better ideas in mind?