Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pointless buttons

Have you ever noticed that modern life is full of pointless technology? Don't worry, this isn't some pensioner's rant about how mobile phones are hard to use and I can't program the VCR. It's more that lately I've realised how many gadgets in my life are actually pointless - not hard to use, or tricky, but ACTUALLY pointless. Specifically, buttons on things.


The 'close door' button

Alright, I really want to know - has ANYONE ever pushed one of these and ACTUALLY made the lift door close? EVER? Seriously, are these buttons even connected to any wiring in the lift, or are they just there to round things out? I think lift technicians install these to create some sort of 'placebo effect' - when you're in a hurry to get somewhere you can run into the lift and push this button and feel like you're going to get where you need to go just that LITTLE bit quicker because you're making the door close except it doesn't actually seem to close any faster than it normally would so really you're not getting ANYWHERE quicker but you think perhaps you are...even if you're just saving a second.

Moving on.


The dashboard dimmer switch

Every car has one of these little doobies that dims your dashboard lights - or makes them brighter, if you've already dimmed them and changed your mind. BUT WHY? Who in HELL was driving around shielding their eyes from the searing light of their odometer, their retinas burning from the sun-like flare of the 'low petrol' warning, SO BLINDED by their overlit dashboard that they felt the need to invent a dashboard light dimmer switch? WE DON'T NEED A CHOICE HERE. It's either off or on. We don't need to create an atmosphere here. Anyway, everyone knows the only time you ever use this bloody stupid switch is when you've accidentally bumped it and are wondering why your dash hasn't lit up when you've switched your headlights on.


The 'mic sensitivity' switch

This one is on the back of my dictaphone, and every voice recorder I've ever seen. I don't get it. It's like "I need to interview this person... but I don't really need to pick up EVERYTHING they say. I'll set the mic to LOW, it'll be fun - like a gamble!"


Everyone hates this button

What does this button do? I'll tell you what it does: IT MAKES THE MUSIC NOT SOUND LIKE SHIT, THAT'S WHAT IT DOES. Bass boost? Who do they think they're fooling? I think they just mean BASS, because when you DON'T push this button in, that's exactly what you can no longer hear. And what the hell is so dynamic about it? Whoever invented this button must have made a mint, because it's on every stereo manufactured since about 1990. I'd like to know what kind of peanut uses this button selectively: "Oooh Kanye West, better put the dynamic bass boost on...ooh, now it's Vivaldi, so I'll turn it off...ooh Wu Tang Clan, back on with the dynamic bass boost!" The only possible use for this button is this: if you want your radio to sound like it was made in 1943, depress it.

Any suggestions on other pointless buttons will be gratefully accepted.

And finally: a warning against getting drunk, wearing absurdly high heels and falling over in a public place - in PICTURES!


PS: do you like my new look blog? Oh well, screw you.


  1. Don't forget the "colour setting" buttons on TV remote controls. You know, the ones that change the colour from "Game" to "Movie" to "Sports" or whatever. Like it makes a difference.

  2. i don't know - i'm a pretty big fan of the 'door close' button. if someone you don't like is heading towards you, press that sweet sweet button and you wont have to put up with them.

  3. with the trolley and the hearts and the sexy girl and the brown, i quite like your new layout.

    i like to press the door close button. what annoys me is when i press the picture of the two arrows closing together instead of the actual button. but that might just be my craziness talking

  4. Haha! Good Calls
    Loving the new look Bland Canyon, especially the sillouette and shopping cart and the love hearts!!
    I made it to ur sites i dig list.. woooooo!

  5. it's a bit oldskool, but what about this button:

    I never understood it.

    And you could argue that the "call stewardess" button on airplanes doesn't do anything either, since no-one is game to press it.

  6. I also like the door close button on lifts - probably for the exact reason that you said (it makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere quicker).
    I like the hearts all over the place, they're puuurdy :)

    Krystle's "don't get drunk and ..." tip is:
    Don't get drunk and eat a raw onion. No matter how much your friends tell you it's a good idea, it ain't.

  7. what part of your body is that!? at first i thought it was your eye. then i thought no, it cant be her eye.

    true story!

  8. nice new look. Definitely better than the staid "blogspot template" you had before. I should change mine, incidentally.

    Redundant buttons: Sports cars now have an ignition button... maybe because people thought it was too simple to only turn a key.

    Someone has mentioned this before, but preset buttons on the stereo that makes your music sound like it is in a concert hall/disco/empty sewer. Useful, because I always wondered about how Mike Patton's vocal sounds reverberate through empty pipes.

  9. You don't get to see many brown blogs. I applaud thee...

    Don't diss the dynamic bass boost. I'm sure it's designed for Spinal Tap fans who want to crank it up to 11.

    I also like the Close Door button especially when used inconjunction with the elderly. 'Open Door, Open Door, Open Door and quick, Close Door'. What is pointless is the use of braille on said button.

    Am I even in a lift? If so, I will touch every friggin wall and button until I find Close Door

  10. well screw YOU too!! HA!!!

    no.. actually, I quite dig the new design.. has a certain flavour of "twitchy sarcasm in relation to suburn stupidity" vibe to it..

    as for useless buttons, wot about..?

    1. the "TURBO" button on older PC's.. (like seriously? who ever wants their PC not to run turbo!?)

    2. putting an "EJECT" button on the remote when you know yer gonna hafta walk the 2 metres to your VCR / CD player to pick the damn thing up anywaze..

    3. the "ANGLE" button on a DVD remote.. wot the FUCK use is that thing anywaze??

    4. the volume knob on some CD-ROMS..

  11. Angle button is for p0rn...

    It's designed for interactive TV but p0rnographers are the only ones who have bothered to use it.

  12. Spoz you are SO right about that eject button on the remote!!! Wish I'd thought of that.