Before I went to bed this past Tuesday night, I did what any good Apple consumer does before the annual Apple conference in January: I said a prayer.
Dear Lord. Give me strength to hate the new Apple product that Steve Jobs unveils tomorrow. No matter what he shows, I am pre-programmed to love it, as I am easily swayed by Apple’s chic marketing campaigns and Justin Long’s cutesy portrayal of the Mac. But just this one time, please: let me be dissatisfied.
Also, thank you for not letting Jeff Dunham* have anything to do with the Yale Winter Show.
God is a good God, I have no doubt, but it seems he has chosen yet again not to answer my prayers. (Well, he answered some of them. I think even God is embarrassed by Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Also, go see Aziz Ansari on Saturday, HE IS VERY FUNNY.)
I mean, who doesn’t want to hate Apple’s new iPad, even just a little bit? It’s pretty much just an oversized iPhone, falling awkwardly into the self-created category “between a laptop and iPod.” Who needs that category? What does that even mean?
“Hey honey. No, I don’t want to bring my laptop because it’s too big. And the picture quality on Pixar’s ‘Up’ seems too small on my lousy iPod. I don’t feel satisfied.”
Couldn’t you just hold the iPhone closer to your face and it’d be like looking at an iPad three feet away? Is the iPod just the iPad nano? Dear God, it’s only one letter away from being an iPod altogether. What do you really do with the iPad?
But DAMNIT IT ALL. I’m in love with the thing. I’ve never touched one, never talked to someone that has, never seen one in real life. But look at it on the Web! It’s just … gorgeous.
I dare you to watch the video on the Mac Web site and not like it. Try it. Hoards of middle-aged white men sit complacently in front of white splotches of pale blandness, praising the iPad. There are arrays of accents and smiles, nods and laughs.
“I don’t have to change myself to fit the product,” one Australian Apple Vice President proclaims. “It fits me.”
Let me barf at that line! Don’t let me get sucked in!
Cue a Ben Folds song with just instrumentals. It’s one from an EP he released only on iTunes, because for Ben, iTunes was a revolutionary way to spread music! Look at those e-mails … How easy it is to send them on the iPad. You can read books on that thing? And the display makes them appear as if they are on bookshelves? To turn the page, you swipe your finger horizontally and the page flips by itself? Why, this machine makes the Kindle look like an Etch-a-Sketch.
And the movies! The man in the Mac iPad video is watching Star Trek. It’s the perfect movie to show, a high-tech sci-fi reboot of an old classic, just like this iPad is to the iPod!
I know these are all techniques to win me over. I can see that. But I am falling into the Apple trap, like Eve did so many years ago. Steve Jobs is my snake. PC users are my Adam to be converted to my dangerous realm of knowledge and beauty.
But here is the hardest reality: I can’t get one for many years. Not because it’s too expensive, although, at this point in my life, I am roughly worth negative $200,000. Rather, if I bought the damn thing now, I’d look like a tool whenever I used it. It’s like the people who flaunt their MacBook Airs but a thousand times worse. It’s involuntary flaunting. I know people with MacBook Airs don’t mean to wave their fancy skinny jean computers in our faces, but it is so damn impressive-looking that you can’t help but notice! It’s the inverse of Shaq walking into Munchkinland.
I mean, imagine going to Bass with your iPad in your backpack, looking at students toil over their huge, clunky laptop computers, needing “desks” to set their gargantuan portable waste machines atop. Then you pull out your iPad. Chic elegance trapped behind an LCD window, rounded corners of glory reflecting fluorescent rays. Your Bass laptop cohorts are stuck in “Law and Order” while you get to study in the realm of “Minority Report” — touching things, sliding things, predicting the future.
I want an iPad, I do, any other answer would be lying. But I can’t use it anywhere at my age without looking like a huge dick. Even in public places, like airplanes! My elders would look at me, some snotty little kid from Yale, plucking away on his iPad, looking through photos of that one time he got drunk at that one place, then watching Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog for the 17th time, mouthing the words, then opening the bookstore, skipping over the $1.99 Complete Works of Leo Tolstory to read the latest Dan Brown novel, then falling asleep to something by Lady Gaga, wash, wish, repeat.
I hate myself just thinking about it.
So all I can do now is wait for the world to hop on the iPad bus first. Then I can casually slip in among the crowd, showing how cool and hip I am with the latest, greatest revolutionary product. I’ll bide my time, don’t worry. Then I’ll strike.
Just like with the Segway.
*Jeff Dunham the puppeteer. Who also does comedy shows? Not the Yale student — sorry, Geoff. Tell Shay I say hi if you see her first.