iPhones are cool. I have one. Over the few years that I have had one, I have drifted away from interest in it. First, the games started to disappear. (Needed more room for music.) Then, Facebook and Twitter were removed. (Needed still more room for music, plus, I determined that my life is not nearly exciting enough for minute-by-minute updates to the world; also, I wanted to regain the valuable moments of boredom in which I once wallowed while waiting to pick up kids and going in dental waiting rooms.)
Now, my phone is, to me, a music player on which I get occasionally interrupted by a text or phone call. I admit that, for awhile, I was a bit seduced by the niftyness of the iPhone. And, yes, I have kept "Words With Friends." But, other than that...the romance is dead.
Whether the iPhone is cool or lame is irrelevant, I suppose. But one question remains: Why would anyone wait in line for one? For hours...or days? News reports this morning estimated a line two miles long at one store. I don't think so.
|Saint Francis at Prayer: Caravaggio|
It's not entirely new. Kids of my generation slept outside for sneakers, concerts, video games. While I want, desperately, to satirize the Apple fanatics (who might as well just proclaim an Apple Pope and develop a clergy), I need to be fair: this is not the first time in history for this kind of behavior. I just don't understand -- the same way I don't understand why anyone would go to a big movie on opening night. (I have loved Tolkien since my teenaged years, but I waited until a month after the first Peter Jackson release, when the crowds and loud popcorn chewers has died down.)
Is the motivation "a sense of community"? (Excuse me while I vomit into a trash can after typing that phrase.) Or, is it deeper? If it is sheer materialism, it is bad enough. If it is competition (I got mine before you did!), it's pathetic. But...what if it is a kind of worship?
Sacrifice has always been part of religion. Now, people are sacrificing their own comfort in a quest for the technological grail. I say this with only a half-smile: one side laughing, the other grinding its molars at the societal descent into gadget worship...