Or: The luddite with an iphone
Or: In which an anarchist falls for a trendy consumer item and doesn’t even feel all that guilty.
So, although I have gigantic problems with the way we use technology and try to use it wisely, I cannot be said in any way to be a luddite. But (dearest blog reader: have you noticed that all the cool people start all their sentences with prepositions?) it is true that I do not own a TV. And (see?), shamefully, the other part of that sentence (fragment) is true, too.
The story of the iphone and me, a long and sordid story, starts with me losing my cell phone. The same ratty old cell phone I’ve had since 2002. Which (see??) is not long compared with, say, the relationship I’ve had with certain dental cavities, but is pretty long in the world of cell phones – admit it. My cell phone was half dead all the time, but I prided myself on its age and shitiness, especially in comparison with my sweetheart, who is the kind of person who actually watches online videos about cell phones for literally months before he decides which one to buy. On (!!) the other hand, he uses his phone about 1,000 times a day and I use mine .5 times a day, not being a fan of the telephone in general and cell phones in particular, especially since our house gets no reception whatsoever.
But (I’m going to stop pointing it out now) whatever, so I lost my phone. And (last one) did I mention that 2007 has been self-designated the Year of Dental Work? After 5 years of inattention, I finally decided to take control of my mouth. My dentist suggested that the mind-blowing pain I am about to embark upon (eight times this year, nonetheless) might be alleviated by listening to music, which got me thinking about buying an ipod.
And you see where that line of reasoning ended up: standing in line for 3 hours at my local AT&T store last Friday. I really enjoyed waiting in line. Living in a completely self-contained/created bubble, I never have access to the unwashed masses (overwashed, really – mainstream people are smelly like that aisle in the supermarket with the laundry detergent that I can’t go down without my throat closing up), so it’s always a minor thrill to move about in the American strip mall landscape in the company of the Average Consumer. They unapologetically drink Starbucks iced mochas, out in the American average-Joe world, did you know that? No one on line mentioned any guilt about the non-fair trade coffee at Starbucks, or gave the old “usually I bring my own mug…” line. So easy and free, those line-waiters were! There was even a big “you’re cutting!” fight to watch that got so hilariously entertaining that the police were called. Really!
I wasn’t even going to mention the damn iphone on the damn blog, but it feels like a big lie to write about how I agonize over sweatshop clothespins while I am simultaneously euphorically trading most of a months’ mortgage for a (made in China) cell phone. But have you seen how the pictures flip around when you tilt the phone? So fucking cute!
But I do feel horrible about having to drop Working Assets as my cell phone carrier (so horrible that I haven’t broken the news to them yet, I’m just hoping that AT&T will magically notify them or something). I really adore Working Assets, and I know, I know: AT&T was totally in the pocket of the Bush administration after 9/11 and probably continues to be so today.
I’m not going to put some leftist spin or justification on owning an iphone. It’s really unconscionable, considering all the other places I could have spent my money, and the AT&T thing, and the made in China thing, and the consumerist thing, and the fact that its way more phone than I need. But I did it, and I really love it, and there is something to be said for good design and all that.
OK, I’ve come clean. Now at least I’ve balanced out this “I’m so perfect” entry!