If you don't live in New York or don't read lower brow New York city newspapers, you probably haven't heard of a man named John Clifford. Clifford rides the Long Island Railroad every day. Clifford does not like to hear other people talking on their cell phones. This isn't really unique to Clifford, but Clifford takes it a step farther. He tells people to hang up, and when they don't he hangs up for them. Somehow, despite 8 separate cases against him ranging from assault to harassment, he has been found innocent every time. While we certainly don't condone his violent behavior and homophobic remarks, Clifford is certainly on to something: the use of cellphones in public areas really needs to be firmly regulated sooner rather than later or we're all going to be part of some mass angry conflagration that starts on a bus and slowly engulfs the whole world. On the other hand, as we learned from the Times this weekend, in some places, cell phones are a big help rather than an annoyance.
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