Real men mourn Eugene Polley’s passing. His name will be praised in the inventor’s hall of fame along with Gutenberg and the Earl of Sandwich.
Polley’s invention in 1955 of the TV wireless remote control dubbed the ‘Flash-Matic’ is today known as the ‘Clicker’; that which a man grasps immediately after dinner and if he’s lucky, does not give it up until it falls from the hand of his limp, dozing body, spawned a new breed of TV viewer. In those days, a viewer would have to get up from the chair, walk to the set and change the channel. (Kids, are you sitting down? There were only a few channels)
Until widespread use of TIVO® the clicker was the instrument that propelled a condition known as SAS, or shortened attention span from the ranks of the lesser popular maladies like’ brain freeze’ and ‘natural causes’ into the forefront of America’s living rooms.
The clicker has single-handedly altered our attention span (Which was already getting shorter than a Kardashian wedding). We can no longer watch a TV program all the way through without scanning the channels for a snippet of video that will cause us to pause and reflect on whether we want to watch any more than a moment.
This technology has given rise to a new breed of men so to speak, who have developed such a keen sense of television timing that when they sense a commercial, they can ‘click away’ cruise the dial, and click back at the precise start of the next segment. Yes, there are men like that and there should be a ‘Clicking Hall of Fame’ just for them. (In the background we hear Ray Charles rendition of America the Beautiful)
You know these men. You may have one in your family, his clicking hand so finely conditioned it can crush a Volkswagon®, yet cradled tenderly in his embrace, in between clicks, there is not enough pressure to wound a fly.
With so many areas of life out of our control, this is the one where we have total control. It has spawned the new psychological term, ‘Aclicktion’ that which feels so good does no harm and satisfies the primal urge to ‘change just for the sake of change’.
9 out of 10 doctors, in an unscientific poll agree that the ubiquitous clicker will become, with the proper evolution, the 6th finger.
It is the ultimate control of man over machine, instant, reliable and battery operated. It allows one to scan at the speed of new Duracells®, every single show cable will supply and let us decide within milliseconds which offering, whether it be America’s funniest groin injuries or The Jerry Springer Show, will occupy our leisure hours.
With the advent of ‘themed funerals’ you can be buried sitting in a recliner, your finger super glued to a clicker which is powered by a Diehard® Platinum Battery….just in case.
I think my bumper sticker says it all, “You can have my clicker when you pry it from my cold dead fingers”.