Shutdowns: telegram, US federal government-A A +A
Sunday, October 6, 2013
FEW noticed that the telegram, run by our national postal service, ceased operations by Sept. 30.
The world sat up when the US federal government suspended a big part of its operations starting Oct. 1.
One has become obsolete. Once the cutting edge of communication, long before cellphones and Twitter, the telegram is discarded. Who bothers now to send a message by telegram when one can dial the phone and, at less cost and more quickly, give the message to someone else oceans and mountains away?
Clash of political agenda, a dispute over President Obama’s health-care reforms, caused the other shutdown. The first in 17 years, the deadlock annoys many Americans who think the longer it goes on, the more it hurts US citizens, the nation’s image abroad and its economy.
US late-night shows expectedly are using it as stand-up comedy material. Jay Leno asked his audience if they worry over the shutdown: silence.
He asked if they worry Washington would reopen and be back in business: roar of laughter.
Unlike the phone’s ring, which a socially active owner takes for granted, the telegram’s arrival suggested sad news: Did somebody in the family suffer a stroke, elope with the maid, or become a lawyer?
Archived in history, the telegram may not be remembered that it served for so long the need now filled by mobile phones and computers. Its passing isn’t mourned but is noted with a tad of nostalgia.
The US federal government’s shutdown is not transition to more efficient ways. It’s the ancient horrible method of holding public interest hostage for personal or party gain.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2013.