Kindle fires, doomed trees and a Steve Jobs sequel
Am I the only one who thinks Amazon’s forthcoming e-reader, the Kindle Fire, boasts a name that suggests bonfires and book burnings?
We’re not too far from a time when the adage went, “Where there’s smoke, there’s literature,” so methinks it odd that Amazon would name their device “Fire.” Since it obviates the printed book, perhaps their marketing peeps thought it apt, but it’s a dangerous metaphor in my opinion.
One shouldn’t burn books – unless they’re yearbooks. Especially those featuring the class of 1990 – my class – since all of us, everywhere, turned out evil. Well, they did – I dropped out with just enough of my soul intact that I can sell it here every week. Besides, who needs yearbooks when we have Facebook?
Facebook is like a yearbook that won’t die. When it comes to keeping up with one’s cohorts, it’s somewhere between a car wreck and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” You’ve just gotta look and when you do, everyone is hideous and old. And still kinda hot.
So, I guess we should burn Facebook too. Such an undertaking, however, would require us to print out the half-billion or so profiles, et al, and end up costing us a lot of trees. Like, all of them. Could you imagine being the new guy at the forestry department the day that goes down?
The boss would saunter over, push up the brim of his Ranger Rick hat and lay on, “Hey, Jim, you’re doing great. It’s been wonderful having you here. Just one thing – where the BLEEP are all the trees?” Your only recourse is to distract him with the profile of the cheerleader you slept with, you know, last century.
Ah, the 1900s, when adolescent boys would spend hours slaving over mix-tapes for the objects of their affections – an arcane courting ritual that has been supplanted by the iPod playlist.
We can thank Steve Jobs for that. And now he’s dead.
I know that’s not news but I suspect it’s only a matter of time before he’s back. I wouldn’t put it past a gazillionaire technologist to find a way to neural map his brain and upload it into the iCloud so he could be some sort of digital Zeus.
Of course, in the TV sitcom version of this tale, a snafu accidentally lands Jobs in some ’tween’s laptop instead, leading to all kinds of comic shenanigans.
Steve, naturally, is furious at first but comes around when he realizes the kid is being bullied and striking out with girls. So he warms up and starts dispatching advice: “Wear a mock turtle neck, don’t wear a belt with your jeans.” It’ll be like Cyrano De Bergerac meets “Knight Rider,” with maybe a little “2001: A Space Odyssey” so we can squeeze in the trailer-worthy line, “Open the iPod bay doors, Steve.”
I can see the comic scene when Steve, his image beaming from the laptop, has convinced the kid to steal his absentee dad’s midlife-crisis-mobile for a classic Disney misadventure. The kid, sitting in the driver’s seat can barely reach the pedals and says to laptop-Steve, “I don’t think I can do this,” to which Steve stoically replies, “Think different.”
Cut to: Wheels peeling out of the driveway over some jaunty rock soundtrack. This crap writes itself. And it’s “Coming to an iPad near you, this summer ...” replete with tear-jerker-ending when Steve realizes his work is done and powers down one last time, but not before he tells the kid his famous line, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Not a dry eye in the house. Credits roll. Then, as a tag just before the lights come up, Steve shows up in some 30-something former cheerleader’s iPhone right as she’s tearfully changing her relationship status on Facebook. Yep, there’s gonna be a sequel, based on the bestseller, smoldering in your Kindle.
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Daedalus Howell is neural-mapped at FMRL.com.