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Phones

Oscar winner Gary Oldman wants kids to get off their phones

Commentary: The actor says kids only care about the present, not history. History says Oldman once fronted a campaign for HTC phones.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Actor Gary Oldman

Oldman: Worried about the kids.

Daniel Leal-olivas / AFP/Getty Images

Who can dispute that technology has, um, disrupted our lives?

Taken them over, even.

We're buried in our gadgets to an extreme level.

Actor Gary Oldman believes this a threat to our future civilization.

As the Daily Mail reported on Saturday, Oldman, then still a mere Oscar nominee, was asked to react to a survey that showed half of under-18s believe, incorrectly, that Winston Churchill -- whom Oldman plays in "Darkest Hour" -- was British prime minister during World War I. On Sunday, Oldman won the Oscar for best actor for that portrayal.

"We're in an age where it's the here and now and kids are consumed with their phones. They don't teach history any more," Oldman said.

Many will be sympathetic to his views. As one grows up, it's hard to believe the things that young people don't know, as well as what they do know.

Moreover, this is, as Oldman suggests, an era of I want it now, I fear missing out on what's happening now and my phone is a vital limb.

Only the churlish, therefore, will bring up that Oldman once peddled phones on behalf of HTC. (Video below.)

In the eccentric ad, Oldman said "blah" over and over again, before observing: "It doesn't matter what I say. Because the all-new HTC One is designed for people who form their own opinions."

The phone received exceptional reviews, but somehow didn't enter the collective consciousness as a must-have.

Attempts to contact Oldman were unsuccessful.

Could it be, though, that the phones that are constantly popular -- your iPhones and Galaxies -- are specifically created for the sheep-like who don't form their own opinions, but just want the instant gratification of a new phone?

I wonder what Churchill would think.

Originally published March 4 at 2:00 p.m. PT.
Updated March 5 at 5:48 a.m. PT: Added that Oldman won the Oscar for best actor.

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