by Jim Harris
Ok, after waiting in line for
3 days, I finally got my new Apple iPhone. I have no idea what
it does or why I need it but I wanted to make sure I got one before
they sold out. I have a sneaking suspicion it may be merely another
fashion accouterment, but I can't take a chance on being without
at least one. You never know in today's world what you might need
in order to survive.
A possible scenario might go
like this; "Hello, 911 - Help! A strange animal has got me
trapped in a cave. I'm calling on my iPhone. See? Can you tell
me what it is? A wolverine? Ok, let me Google that and see if
they eat people." That alone would be worth the six hundred
dollar price tag.
Remember when Apple made computers
rather than talking jewelry? Originally, you actually had to write
your own programs in BASIC. It was challenging but a great learning
experience in logical thinking. Now everything is prepackaged,
wireless, plug-free, button-free, no-thinking required. Some corporate
braintrust's idea of the perfect can't-do-without gizmo. The keepers
of these high-tech designer pets are a new breed of kids who learn
early to multitask and think quickly, though not necessarily creatively
or out of the box, so to speak.
I feel I have a unique view of
this so-called communications revolution because my generation
straddles the great divide between pre- and post revolution.
Our parents never really learned
all of the new necessary idiosyncrasies. I fondly remember my
dear Mom trying to change the TV channel with the cordless phone,
and then there was the time aunt Ethel was being awakened during
the night by her TV mysteriously turning on. It turned out she
had lost the remote in her bed and was rolling over on it in her
These were people who liked to
sit around in the back yard and talk face to face, with the sounds
of birds singing and wind rustling thought the trees. Their world
eventually turned very complicated and impersonal. I think it's
up to us to remember them and to try to pass on some of their
Our kids use the new technology
to keep each other constantly informed of who's dating whom, and
to listen to four million different songs through earphones while
on vacation to avoid having to communicate with their parents
or in any way interact with their environment.
We boomers use Blackberries in
order to continue working on our ulcers even when we are away
from our desks. And, since our music is practically sacred to
us, we have had to transfer our beloved song collection from vinyl
to cassette to eight-track to CD to mini-disc to iPod to God knows
what next. I have bought the same Beatle's album seventeen times.
I am firmly in the pocket of the man.
Remember the controversy in the
late 60's when Tony the Tiger said "Right On!" in a
cereal commercial? That was just the beginning of capitalism's
brilliant strategy of co-opting the symbolism of revolutionary
movements, thus at once defusing them and turning them into salable
items. Wow - I think I might have just said something heavy there,
but I'm too mentally spoiled and lazy to figure out what it was
without a computer. Oh well, Right On, Baby!