iPhone Fever: The Forbidden Love Between Man and Machine

21 Jan

Welcome back to the fuzzy warmth of my blog-blanket! Grab your hot chocolate and snuggle in.

Over the Christmas break, my personal coffers swelled with the presence of two new time-diverting, life-consuming toys: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and an iPhone. If anyone wants to know where I’ve been since November, well…yeah.

This post is devoted to my beautiful new phone, and will be quickly followed by some select adventures I’ve had while leaping gaily through the virtual tundra of Skyrim. Enjoy both, or I shan’t be held responsible for your pathetic mental health and general malaise.

*

Let me begin by stating, for the record, that I have wanted an iPhone for years. It was a habit of mine, in the mid-aughts, to frequent apple.com – mostly for their downloads section and movie trailers, but the sleek web design and product launch info didn’t hurt. When the iPhone was announced in January 2007 I was the first of my friends to wail about how awesome it was. Let me be clear: I have wanted an iPhone since they announced it. I have wanted an iPhone for longer than you have. I wanted an iPhone before wanting an iPhone was cool. I AM THE ORIGINAL iPHONE HIPSTER.

The title has since been passed to worthier mortals.

Anyway, as unnecessarily frothing as my claim to iPhone ownership was, it was irrefutably high time that I snagged one. The actual Boxing Day purchase experience – which should have been treated with the same breathless eroticism as one of those unboxing videos on Youtube – passed so quickly in a red haze of excitement that I didn’t notice or care that I had been freshly ankle-chained to the same goddamn evil corporation for another three years. I could have been signing away my own father, standing right next to him. I didn’t care; I only had eyes for that shiny, sexy little piece of hardware being manhandled by the greasy clerk behind the counter. The thing had been mine for all of forty seconds and I was already protecting it like an overzealous papa penguin.

My first challenge was naming it. To extend the penguin thing, this phone was like my newly-hatched progeny, and thus deserved a fitting title before I jammed it into my crotch to guard it against the fierce Arctic winds. I toyed with the still-hilarious internet classic “Titanic” (so that every time I plugged it in, my computer would ask me if I wanted to “sync” “The Titanic” HOOOOO) or “Dat Ass” (for which I’d receive the admittedly less-common prompt to “back up” “Dat Ass”), and many unsuccessful candidates like “Justin’s Amazing iPhone Deluxe”, “iPwn”, “The New Hotness”, “Steve Vaiphone”, “iPhone 4: This Time It’s Personal”, “High Prince Vorpal The Munificent”, and “Gary”. Finally, mercifully, my sister brought resolution to the issue:

She felt that the phone’s sleek, angular contours and black shiny aesthetic evoked a German sensibility. I added a touch of kaffehaus beat-poetry flair to suggest the iPhone’s limitless creative capacity, and Fritz was brought sulkily to life, turtlenecked and wreathed in cigarette smoke and elitism.

So far, one of my favourite things Fritz can do is call upon Siri, his muse. She’s wonderful. Never more useful than in the viciously frigid January wind, when I can’t be fucked to take off a glove and reply to a text, she’s there to transcribe my inane babble, accurate and precise as a stenographer with Asperger’s.

The most incredible thing Siri will do, however, is address you by whatever completely inappropriate moniker you select. She’ll even say it out loud every time she does something for you. I have almost never had as much fun with a handheld device than I have telling Siri to call me “Agent Dick Thrust” or “Captain Fluffypants”.

You're goddamn right I am, Siri.

I feel like I’m Spock every time I pull this thing out of my pocket, even though I still have no idea how it performs the incredible magic it does on a daily basis. Part of feeling like you own really cool technology, feeling like HOLY SHIT I’M LIVING IN THE FUTURE all the time, is not understanding anything about it. I’m talking about the kind of device that makes pressing a button feel like defusing a bomb. Shit, I knocked the amp with my elbow. “Downmix”? What does that me- hey wait, why’s the center speaker out? What? Damn it!

It’s the same thing that makes driving a car so polarizing. I love learning about cars, but they still scare the shit out of me. The more I understand about limited slip diffs and BHPs, the farther away I get from the more prehistoric part of me that’s screaming HOLY BALLS WE ARE BEING EXPLODED FORWARD INSIDE A METAL BOX ON WHEELS.

But I digress. Was it worth the wait? Is the iPhone everything I’d built it up to be, after five years of creepy Gollum-stares at the hipster in front of me in the HMV line?

Fritz is a continual source of childlike joy for me, and as I part the curtain to the dimly-lit back room of the App Store to find more and more advanced ways to access and interact with the world around me, I become ever more thankful to have this tricorder omnidevice at my disposal. Any question I have can be instantaneously answered. Any situation worth recording can be captured, in still or motion, and edited to my liking. When I get bored, I can fling birds at pigs, perform my own personally-mixed Daft Punk concert, or go brutal head-to-head with my mother in a savage Scrabble round. I have a library of books, PDFs, and my own music – which, thanks to Fritz’s limited capacity, must be selected carefully to reflect best what needs to be listened to at any given moment – enough to make an Alexandrian wet with jealousy. I am now officially a member of The Future, and it feels fantastic.

Oh yeah, I guess it’s a phone too.

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One Response to “iPhone Fever: The Forbidden Love Between Man and Machine”

  1. George Young January 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    iSync the Titanic is priceless although the result is rather deep. Pocket Temptation, Finger Trouble, HaiFonichiwa and HALhellHoleHello also come to mind.

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