I think of the iPhone as if it is a Greek legend or myth. The stories told about the iPhone are anything but mundane.
In the beginning there was just man, cold and alone in the empty world devoid of happiness and cheer. No communication, no interactivity. Or worse, sub-par communication and interactivity. Man suffered through the illusions of early electronic mobile devices. The world was a harsh place, and the gods did not care for man’s scrapings and yearnings for truth, love, beauty, and a portable means of communing with his fellow man over long distances. Such were the days of early cell phones. And the land groaned for something better.
Then Prometheus, with poorly-made cell phones with ill-lit LCD panels, came and illuminated Man’s awful, mundane existence. As poor as the lighting and coverage was, Mankind saw the truth of life, how to better existence through industry and technology. Though Prometheus’ gifts were bulky objects better suited for killing large predators or causing tumors, men rejoiced, for now they were no longer chained to a cord or limited by the distance their RF signal could reach. The gods were angry, however, with Prometheus, and his gift. Naturally, the gods came down and judged Prometheus to be in contempt of their will, and ordered him to be chained to the boulder that was called e-books. There, he spent eternity, whilst crows gouged out his eyes and pecked upon his genitals (seriously, it’s in the legends).
Man, who now had the gift of illumination via LCD, grew wondrously inventive. He learned he no longer had to use cigarette lighters at concerts to show respect or awe at the power of a rock ballad. He could travel several miles, or even hundreds of miles, before the service coverage became negligible. Soon, strange trees graced the remotest roads and lanes. Man learned that launching a twisted, highly engineered patch of metal and plastic into the heavens could enable them to have global communication via cellular frequencies. The stuff of dreams.
And Apollo, one of the gods and chief in wisdom (next to Athena, who was prone to apathy regarding technology), said, “I will give them something they have never seen before. It will appear to be a blessing, a shining jewel in the cosmos of communications, but it will lure them to their peril and demise.”
“How will thou go about such a thing?” asked Zeus. “What manner of a thing could have such paradoxical nature, such that men would be tricked so?”
“Ah, you have hit upon it, my wonderful Father,” said Apollo, who was always a bit of a bootlick. He removed from his Olympic toga a thin, rectangular device. He held it up for all the gods and a few of the geek goddesses. It was unremarkable in its form.
“Merely a bath tile,” murmured one scoundrel.
“‘Tis a tablet upon which one may write of deeds and heroic feats,” said another.
“It might be a shiny anvil upon which I could pound my hammer,” growled Hephaestus. “Though in truth it does not appear to be strong at all.”
“No, it is the Pandora’s box,” said Apollo imperiously. He began pacing, holding the device in his hands, caressing its curved edges carefully. “This device holds within it the power to consume and destroy, yet it appears as harmless as a can of sardines.” He pressed the device and suddenly the flash of brilliance enveloped the stage. His audience gasped, for they were stricken with lust for it.
“See it now,” proclaimed Apollo. “See and crave. Even the gods and goddesses cannot withstand its lure. What is it that so entraps your eyes and your hearts? Is it the widescreen display? Is it the buttonless interface? The touchscreen, the high resolution LCD?” The crowd had grown, and Apollo continued to taunt them, holding them hostage with his words.
“You see its devilish charm! You want it for its voicemail features, the web-enabled connectivity. You love its camera. And oh! The iPod! The glorious iPod.”
Apollo had reached a crescendo and the gods and goddesses were chanting, moaning incoherently. He held the device aloft, its brilliance illuminating all of Mount Olympus, even causing the sun to appear dim (this was probably a publicity stunt, since Apollo was the god of both the sun and the device). Suddenly, he threw the device down, hurtling it with all force through the clouds that hid the mountaintop from earth’s view. The crowd that had gathered suddenly ceased chanting, and clamored for Apollo to explain his actions.
He calmly stepped down, held out his hands peaceably. He showed the gods what he had hidden from them. A tiny card, embossed in gold, lettered and gilded in the finest Greek symbols, spelled out Man’s doom. Apollo read the card, his voice barely perceptible over the din of lusty cries coming from earth below.
“All calling plans are exclusively through AT&T. And it cost more than your first car. Except for you, Diana.” (Zeus had bought Diana a Mustang GT for her sweet sixteen). As the cries of lust and happiness turned to sorrow, Apollo smiled grimly, and the sun darkened even more. “That’ll teach the buggers to use fire.”