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Tuesday
Nov202012

Who Gives a Shit: Should We Have WiFi Underground?

Guess what, everybody?  The MTA is spending $200 Million to outfit thirty more subway stations with wireless service! This is because they've already completed all of their other important projects, like making sure the subway system is completely immune to flooding after the next superstorm, Post-Sandy restoration of the Staten Island Railway, completing the new 2nd Ave. Subway line, extending the LIRR to Grand Central, express service on the F line, and arrival clocks on subway platforms.  Also, fares are going way the hell up, and so with a total of 200,000,000 U.S.D. (yeah, count the zeros, bitchz!) burning a hole in their proverbial pocket, the MTA has figured that the best way to spend said money is by giving your fellow passengers a way to annoy the living fuck out of you on your daily commute.

So, once again, FiPS is compelled to ask the musical question: "Who gives a shit?"  To help you decide what to think about the matter of WiFi in subway stations, here are a few pros and cons:

PROS:

  • Because the MTA makes you late for work pretty much every day, it's long been an assumption of all of your cow-orkers (hyphenation intentional) that the reason for your tardiness is because the MTA is fucking you over.  Now you can call them from the train -- replete with the conductor's garbled announcement that includes the phrase "train traffic" --  to confirm that for them, in real time!
  • It's a scientifically-proven fact that something bad is happening on the subway at any given moment. Now that more stations are wired for service, you can call the police immediately to report that someone on your train has been stabbed in the neck.  Or that someone did a number two on the Number 2.  Or you can give them the specific description of the gentleman who's masturbating in the seat across from you, while it's fresh in your mind--maybe even as it's happening.
  • Letterpress is the best fucking iPhone game in the entire universe.  Basically, it's like Boggle did sex with Risk, and Risk gave birth to a game baby on your smart phone.  Unfortunately, you need a wireless connection to play it with your friends.  You can't play it off-line.  Now that you'll have service in the subway, you can play Letterpress!  This is a very, very good thing.
  • When you see a hot guy on the train, you can upload your photo of him to New York Subway Guys without waiting until you get above ground.  And, if you establish eye contact, you can place a missed connections ad on Craigslist before even getting to a computer!
  • If you see something, say something.  But how can you say something, if you can't use your phone?  Having cell phone service in the subway system will stop terrorism, once and for all.

CONS:

  • Jean-Paul Sartre wrote "Hell is other people."  He was only partially right.  Hell is other people talking.  Talking on their phones, to be specific.  After all, you're already underground.  Enabling other people to have telephone conversations on the subway pretty much ensures that the NYC Subway system will become the first concentric circle of Hell (with a capital "H").  This is so absurdly obvious, I can't believe I'm actually bothering to type this as a "CON" for this post.  But, yes, this will turn the subway system into a living hell.
  • You'll only have service in the stations. While riding between stations, you will be unable to text your friend Amber to tell her about what your bitch of a boss said to you when she asked you to collate those copies, because you won't be able to compose the text quickly enough.  Expect to see a lot of those little red exclamation points that signify that your text didn't go through.
  • Not every carrier will give you a signal in the station.  In fact, the only two carriers that are doing this are AT&T and T-Mobile.  And since no one can get a signal in any of the five boroughs on AT&T, that just leaves T-Mobile.  So, if you want to do this, you'll have to switch to T-Mobile. And then everyone will make fun of you.
  • No one will ever read another book on the subway ever again.  Every five or six minutes, your peace will be disrupted while the entire car starts making phone calls, so there's no way you'll be able to concentrate.  So, you'll be a lemming, and you'll start making phone calls on the subway, too.  And years from now, when the alien archeologists unearth the remnants of our civilization to realize that we all stopped reading books because they put phone service in the subways, some hairless grey extraterrestrial being with black almond-shaped eyes and no mouth and a giant bulbous head will shed a silent tear for us.
  • The next generation will not remember a time when you couldn't make a phone call on the subway.  That means that your children will be subjected to another re-make of "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3."  Ain't nobody got time for that.

So, what say you to this matter, FiPSters?  Thumbs up?  Or thumbs up your ass?

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