Stop ‘iPod oblivion’

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These people are a menace to society. These people are dangerous. These people must be stopped.

I’m talking, of course, about the iPod people.

You know these people (in fact, you’re probably one of them), people who put in those tell-tale earbuds and suddenly drift away on a stupor-inducing cloud of music. They’re not even aware you (of course, I mean, I) exist.

Yes, I’m talking to you — you in the parka standing in the middle of the subway car who can’t hear me as I squeeze into the car. Excuse me. I said, “Excuse me!” I said: “EXCUSE ME! Would you move your butt out of my way?!!?”

And it’s not just the “Pod People.” Nowadays, people have serious conversations on their cellphones while crossing Flatbush Avenue against the light and pushing a stroller.

And some people text-message while trying to hold a cup of hot coffee as they ride their bicycles on Atlantic Avenue.

The other day, I saw a guy playing a video game while driving backwards to beat another car to a parking spot on Court Street.

Finally, I’m not the only one angry at these anti-social people who live in their own world and shut you out of theirs.

I have an ally in state Sen. Carl Kruger (D-Bensonhurst), who wants to make it illegal for you to use an iPod, cellphone, Blackberry or any other electronic device while crossing the street (pacemakers are, apparently, exempted).

Kruger said he was moved to act after the completely avoidable deaths of two pedestrians in his district in the last five months.

In both cases, the victims were listening to (cue the horror movie organ theme) music on their iPods!

Kruger called it “iPod oblivion.”

“People are turning on their equipment and turning out the world around them, and it’s dangerous,” said Kruger, who is pushing for a $100 fine. “People are oblivious.”

He knows he’s fighting a tough battle — but then again, so was Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D–Sunset Park), whose bill made it illegal to talk on the cellphone while you’re driving.

On the other hand, that cellphone law is probably the most-violated, and least-enforced, law on the books (with the possible exception of adultery).

“Once we educate people that this is a public safety issue, we’ll get it passed,” said Kruger.

Yeah, right. Seconds after Kruger put out his press release on Wednesday, the story had bounced off the Internet like a pinata — with most of the coverage mocking our beloved lawmaker.

I wanted to defend King Kruger, so I sought out the man on the street. Problem was, most people couldn’t be bothered to stop and talk because they were listening to their iPods.

“That proposal is ridiculous,” said Erin Shaw, as she crossed Ninth Street the other day while listening to Regina Spektor through her earphones. “It’s absurd because you should have the freedom of listening to whatever you want. Just because some people are stupid doesn’t mean it should be illegal for everybody.”

Some diePod wearers were willing to acknowledge that Kruger’s bill could save some lives — but most thought it was unnecessary.

“What’s next?” asked Nicola Behrman, who was listening to Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer. “Are they going to make hoods illegal because you can’t see as well?”

Now slow it down there. We have to give Kruger some time before he can take on such a huge issue! — with Josh Saul

Gersh Kuntzman is the Editor of The Brooklyn Paper. E-mail Gersh at
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