Shallow Materialism Makes Me Sick

It's ridiculous. Are things the true source of happiness? We've always got to have the latest and greatest? It just sounds like trouble.

The Apple / AT&T birthing of the iPhone is only the latest "must have" for compulsive consumers. But it's no different than things were for Motorola's Razr. The original iPod. Sliced Bread. Everyone wanted to have it and be seen having it before they even knew exactly what it was for.

When Playstation3 came out, I hit the streets to document the madness. People setting up chairs and tents outside their local Best Buy and Target to secure their place in line. And to secure their fate of dying miserable and alone. But also dying with a swanky video game system that was all the rage for a few weeks.

And so the iPhone is just the latest. Think back 15 years. Nobody had cellphones. A few people had beepers but that just meant they were drug dealers. So if you tried to tell me then that the media, technophiles and even the common Jane Jones' would be foaming at the mouth over a phone - a $600 phone at that!!! - I would not have been able to contemplate it... $600. For a phone. Has the whole world gone mad?

And indeed it has. Despite the hefty price tag (~$600+) - or maybe even because of it - many are speculating that the iPhone will be gobbled up as the hottest accessory for the sexy-rich. Apparently, nothing the phone actually does seems to matter. Just how it looks. Or that other people want it. Or that some people can't have it. I don't even know.

It turns out that on the day of the launch, I found myself eating lunch at the mall. One could not fail to notice the serpentine queue at least 100 people deep, wrapping though the halls - all leading to the Apple store. Even with all the hype leading up, I felt like the predictions were way off. There wasn't a single attractive person in line. Every last one of them was ass ugly. Ass. Ugly. They must have had some decent cash but it was obvious they weren't spending it on clothes, unsightly hair removal and the reconstructive facial surgery they so clearly needed.

It's just more sad than anything. I mean people get shot over our obsessions with these toys. Seriously? I just think about people living decades or centuries ago. They worked hard on farms all day long, free of all our gadgetry. Can we actually call our current state "human progress? Can we really say we are living a more meaningful life than our ancestors? I just don't know...

PS. I got one. Jealous.


  1. Anonymous2.7.07

    Hysterical! What an unexpected ending! (No, not really since I know you.)