The New Victorians

Karl Lagerfeld's recent Vice interview has me re-thinking my plans to get a smart phone. I know he's completely nuts, and I obviously can't afford to hire a personal letter carrier, but his dismissive put-down of always being connected is pretty sharp.

And even if I do spring for that Nexus One I've been eyeing, I'm definitely going to start using the phrases "I'm not a chambermaid" and "I'm not working at a switchboard" to explain any lags in email and phone call response time.

Your relationship to technology is kind of interesting.
Well, I hate telephones. I prefer faxes because I like to write.

Who are you faxing? Nobody faxes anymore. You’re like the only person with a fax machine.
People I’m really friendly with have faxes. Anna Wintour has one. We speak via fax. And in Paris I send letters to people.

That’s a lost art.
I have somebody to deliver letters all over every day.

You send a note over.
Yes, I send notes.

That’s very Victorian.
Yes, but there’s not one bit bad about the Victorian. Civilized living for me is like this. I’m not a chambermaid whom you can ring at every moment. Today, you know, most people act like they work at a switchboard in a hotel.

The whole culture of cell phones, texting, and instant messaging is very impersonal and also very distracting.
I’m not working at a switchboard. I have to concentrate on what I’m doing. The few people I have in my telephone are already too much.
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