Joshua Cohen


26 January 2010

Roth, P.

The days of the phone book – along with print media, phone booths and landline telephones – are numbered. Leland Yee, one of San Francisco’s state senators, is responsible for much worthwhile immigration and domestic violence legislation, as well as mandatory ski helmets for children. This month he’s planning to introduce a bill prohibiting telephone companies from sending customers unsolicited white pages. White pages are residential listings, yellow pages commercial: neither name is protected by copyright so anyone can publish them. When I was a child, James Earl Jones did the TV spots for Bell Atlantic’s yellow pages: ‘No other book can match it,’ announced the voice I recognised as Darth Vader’s. No other book except the California State Law Code.