The recent death of Steve Jobs has generated an unprecedented outpouring of grief from the faithful across the world; night-time processions, candlelight vigils, iMac produced visual tributes and no small amount of tearing up from people whose sole connection to Mr. Jobs was that they owned every single solitary product ever sold by Apple, thus making Steve well-to-do to the tenth power. My own mildly cynical concern was that on the third day following his death that Jobs would roll back some Pixar-created boulder, emerge from a cave and announce the impending introduction of the latest Apple innovation, the iSoul. As a world-class marketer, that would have been Steve’s crowning achievement.
This addition to the Apple product line (and I really hate to trot out this hackneyed phrase) “would be the ultimate game changer”. The iSoul would combine the features of a 16G network phone, 27,000 pixel camera, advanced text-messaging capability, featuring an expandable, then collapsible, full-sized keyboard, automatic spell check that never once replaced “prosecute” with “prostitute” or changed “circumscribe” to “circumcise”. In addition to the full range of “apps” currently available on Apple’s product line, the iSoul would have an “app” that evaluated all the other “apps” and then, in a Simon Cowell fashion, rudely criticize the really crappy ones until they cried and slunk off chastened, stage right.
However, the real strength of the iSoul would have been its ability to provide the owner with a flawless spiritual compass, which is often found wanting in any number of human beings (several of whom are acquaintances of mine). Thus, when the iSoul sensed an owner’s inclination toward self-interest, greed, gluttony, coveting a neighbor’s ass, smiting a tailgater, killing the slow-witted postal clerk, toiling on the Sabbath, crafting a golden calf idol in the garage workshop or uttering “Jesus-H-Christ” in other than a pious and sacred way, the iSoul would emit the signal of the owner’s selection (and these signals can be chosen in the “Settings” icon of the iSoul menu). Then, the iSoul would provide its owner with both a text and audible reminder to “Be sweet”.
Obviously, the iSoul would provide God with a significant and well-deserved break from the constant need to dash around the universe heaving lightening bolts at miscreants. Naturally, not all iSoul owners would heed the technology’s warnings. However, a built-in GPS feature, plus the Google data base (connected in a profit-sharing agreement with Apple), would certainly be a boon to law enforcement and secret police throughout the civilized and not-so-civilized world. It would also allow God to eventually track down those who clearly deserve a lightening bolt or two in their general direction.
While routine police work managed to snare Jack Abramoff and Bernie Madoff, I suspect that there are several dozens of lobbiests, hedge fund managers and investment bankers with weekend “7000 square-foot cottages” in the Hamptons who could use a high voltage reminder of the meaning of spiritual purity. Were I God, which I’m not, although some have intimated that I might think so, I would aim the lightening bolts for anatomical regions just south of their tan lines. The iSoul would make a great holiday gift for the man who has everything, including most of everyone else’s money.
Finally, I want to address the issue of iPhone, iPad and (potentially) iSoul texting shorthand. Personally, I choose not to use it, although I understand its genesis. I happen to feel that it is corrupting the beauty of the world’s most complicated, counter-intuitive and maddeningly confusing language, English. I fear that soon, civilization as we know it will be reduced to some dystopian hell scape where people communicate through a series of abbreviated grunts (grts), glottal clicks (gltlcks) and emoticons (;>/). In point of fact, this language is already the preferred dialect at our county water department, although I suspect it has nothing to do with recent technology. In any case, here are some of my favorite texting abbreviations. They illustrate creativity, craft and sado-masochism.
LOL: laughing out loud
ROFLOL: rolling on floor laughing out loud
ROFLOLUIPMPAHTCIFJSBFOTLBGMAIW: rolling on floor laughing out loud until I peed my pants and had to change into fresh Jockey shorts because Fruit of the Loom boxers gives me an involuntary wedgie.
IYD: in your dreams
IYPD: in your perverted dreams
IYPDWYDULTLRAITIATWAVSSCOAWGSUITMWTSBAM: in your perverted dreams where you dress up like the Lone Ranger and imagine that I am Tonto with a very successful sex-change operation and we go shack up in the mine where the silver bullets are made.
ASLMH: age,sex, location, music, hobbies
ASLMHPVBSBMIOREAPA2:ABODTOSTCDFPACH: age, sex, location, music, hobbies, portfolio value, bra size, body mass index, owned real estate, any professed aversions to: acne, body odor, discolored teeth, obesity, Star Trek conventions, dysfunctional families, priors and cat hoarding.
It’s clear that texting shorthand certainly cuts down on thumb fatigue and I suppose that is a good thing. IMYCA: I may yet come around.
Observoid of the Day: IYFTOOYAOSMF ;>)