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The Mojave Phone Booth Phenomenon

  1. Jun 9, 2009 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    By chance I spotted and watched an Independent film called Mojave Phone Booth. I had mentioned it as being an interesting movie, and I was checking to see where it was filmed when I discovered that the movie was apparently based on a genuine and very strange social phenomenon. It struck me as being such an unusual story that it was worth a thread. There is an LA Times article that discusses it as well as a website claiming to be the site the started it all. How strange!

    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/sep/18/news/mn-11495

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mojave_phone_booth

    This is allegedly the website that started it all.
    http://www.deuceofclubs.com/moj/mojave.htm
     
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  3. Jun 9, 2009 #2
    I don't see the deeper meaning behind it. It only shows that humans have weird tendencies but nothing I already didn't know. Some humans will spend $40 on a pair of white shirts just to get another one free. That is the most irrational thing as you can get more white shirts from a store that sells them cheaper for a lesser price. I don't see the importance of creating a movie behind that as it is just silly to me. If they are creating movies about irrationality, then they should very well create a movie about the shirts I mentioned above.

    On a side not I had a good laugh at the guy who sat there for 32 days based on the instructions he received from the Holy Spirit. Good article none the less. It is interesting to see how weird humans can be.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2009 #3

    DaveC426913

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    You are making the all-too-common error of judging a story based on a second-hand paraphrase of it (a phenomenon that the internet has caused to explode in frequency. Some day I will write a book).

    You might find this story and possibly the movie is more interesting than a few terse paragraphs could convey. Not all interesting stories fit in a Digg tagline... :wink:



    I mean, you won't see the movie, I'll grant that...

    But there's always hope that you might concede that the best judgment you can make on the story is that you have no judgement on it at all...

    :tongue:
     
  5. Jun 9, 2009 #4
    I see your point. If the movie correlates to what I read then I will keep my line of thought as in my previous post. But, you are right though to some extent. I merely opted towards the notion of creating a movie about a Mojave phone-booth to be rather silly. Of course to keep the consumer interested they have to add some type of dramatization.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2009 #5

    DaveC426913

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    That's rather cynical.

    Human interest movies are about people more than about events. Many consider regular people to have plenty enough drama to fill a movie - no need to add it artificially.

    This story reminds me of an enjoyable film from many years ago called http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0205873/" [Broken]. In the same fashion, the events are secondary; the people are the interesting thing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jun 9, 2009 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    The movie only uses the idea of the phone booth as a background. The real events have almost nothing to do with the story - it is not about the silliness described above.

    The movie was not the point here, but it is a very good watch.

    What I found to be interesting is to consider how such a social phenomenon emerged, and why. A number of suggestions are made ranging from people being bored and having nothing better to do, to people reaching out to connect with others in a world that is tending towards isolation. Of course, at that time the internet was just getting its legs. And that certainly made the phenomenon possible.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  8. Jun 14, 2009 #7
    The phenomenon of internet memes and the activities of various anonymous users are quite interesting. The most recent major acheivement of internet goers with nothing better to do was the "rickroll" and voting Rick Astley 'Best Act Ever' in the MTV music awards.
     
  9. Jun 14, 2009 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    It seems that behind it all is a desire to connect with other people, or this case, another place - a phone booth sitting alone in the Mojave desert. It reminds me a bit of a baby that has just discovered its feet. He or she doesn't know quite what to do with them, but they seem useful, so the child is fascinated and wants to play with his or her new-found toys.

    If people are bored they can play with their navels. But instead they choose to engage in strange activities that have no purpose other than connecting. I think this is more profound than simple boredom. I think people realize that we are becoming a truly global community, and they want to feel like they are a part of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  10. Jun 29, 2009 #9
    The phenomena is why people call the number? I'd say boredom is high on the list of reasons why someone would initially call it. Kinda like when I was a kid and had nothing better to do than call numbers like 111-1111. No deep meaning behind it, just boredom and curiosity.
     
  11. Jun 29, 2009 #10

    DaveC426913

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    You would not or could not know to call this number unless you were at least partially aware of the phenomenon surrounding it. It's not like you're going to randomly pick those digits to dial.
     
  12. Jun 29, 2009 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    The question is why it became an internet phenomenon and why people would actually campout by the phone to take calls. Keep in mind that it is 15 miles from the nearest major road, in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
     
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