I like unintentional prophets in popular culture, for example Larry the Liquidator.

For those unfamiliar Larry, he is a corporate raider played by Danny Devito in the 1991 romcom Other People’s Money. Larry tries to buyout “Jorgy” Jorgenson’s (the amazing Gregory Peck in one of his final roles) company. Jorgy hires his stepdaughter Kate (Penelope Ann Miller), a corporate lawyer, to defend against Larry’s hostile takeover. Romance ensues. The film is so damn cute that it almost makes one forget the havoc that modern capitalism incurs in the pursuit of short-term monetary gains. Almost.

Anyway, back to the prophetic bit. It has nothing to do with predicting financial disasters still years in the future, rather with Larry’s anthropomorphic relationship with his computer, Carmen. She reigns on a nightstand next to his bed. She is the last “person” he speaks with before sleeping and the first “person” he consults on waking. She is Larry’s most trusted source of information and guidance.

A recent IDC study found that 79% of respondents look at their phone with 15 minutes of waking and  62% immediately on waking. Interesting and harrowing how spot on a banal romance film from the early 1990s can be.

One thought on “Device addiction 1990s style

  1. This is great! It’s so interesting how various patterns of human behavior transcend environmental factors. We absolutely embody those same relationships with our computers today, and I’m sure this attitude will only be further exemplified in years to come!

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