Because my Blackberry can’t take pix to save itself,
here’s what The Age saw…

In the last century, it used to be said that television was the new fire – in that we all crowd around it to stare into its depths, mesmerised by the flickering light. Let me suggest that for this century, the new fire is the mobile phone.

I came to this realisation via two separate events – the first was while sludging through the mire of technicality associated with downloading tv programs onto your mobile, a genius invention that lets you further screw your eyesight on the tram to work, watching Two and a Half Men, because you haven’t got enough of Charlie Sheen, even though, anywhere in the world, at any given moment, some lazy network is playing a three-hour back-to-back marathon of hackneyed repeats.

The second time I realised that mobiles are the new fire is at a U2 concert last week. Bono and the boys were in fine form – before the concert, Amnesty was taking petitions through the crowd, collecting signatures for more public toilets in Nairobi (althoug I suggest such unmonitored spaces are ripe picking grounds for Nairobi’s thriving mugging scene, but then I stayed in hotels there, with toilets aplenty). Then, during the concert, Bono made a reference to the newly released Burmese leader, Aung Sang Suu Ky and the world AIDS epidemic.

To capture the moment and our hearts, he asked the 60,000-strong crowd for a minute’s silence and to raise our mobiles on high. I’m tellin’ ya: once, at concerts, it used to be candles, then cigarette lighters. Now phones.