Monday, August 27, 2007

(Mostly) Off Topic: Attention: Sprint:

I'm going to be calm, and try to phrase this as gently as I possibly can: You can stop that goddamn commercial thirteen seconds in, because I did dream about space travel as a kid. I dreamed of rockets to Mars, seeing the outer edge of the solar system, and leaving this world far behind. I dreamed of exploration, of adventure, of wonder and possibility and hope.

I sure as goddamn hell didn't dream about a "magic box."

I don't care if it makes calls, plays music, holds pictures, performs laser eye surgery or microwaves food. Unless it's an old-school Star Trek communicator direct to the ship, or a Mother Box with access to a Boom Tube; in my eyes you have failed. (Strictly speaking, I don't think I knew about the Mother Box as a kid, but this is my tirade and doesn't have to make sense.)

I know huge advances have been made in my lifetime alone in the fields of communication, computing, and electronics; just like I know space exploration is hard, not very profitable, and far more dangerous. Sure, but I don't care. I want space, not a shinier, more expensive phone with a service I have to subscribe to forever.

Of course, the Doktor's argument for this being a science-fiction future, is from a character in a science-fiction future, so it might not hold a lot of water either.
The counter to my (extremely poorly reasoned) argument would be Warren Ellis, who capital-L loves his cellphone and information sharing doohickeys. Some critized his Iron Man run as being a paean to his phone, and for giving Tony Stark that 'futurist' tag: every jerkass thing Tony does from now on, is justified in that he's doing it in service of his vision of a science utopian future.

I tease a little, but I'm a fan of Ellis. Near the end of the first issue of Doktor Sleepless, the possibly-not-so-good Doktor makes a radio proclamation about how while this might not be the imagined future of moonbases and jetpacks; there are still huge innovations that everyone uses every day but were impossible to even conceive of before. I'm curious to see where he goes with this; and if you've liked Ellis before, give this one a try.

I'm still resentful of this ad, though. Imagine expecting an Xbox 360 for Christmas, waiting all year to get it, then opening up the package and getting a wooden duck on wheels. Then imagine being told how great it was, and all the incredible things you could do with a duck. Even if they were right, it would still be a disappointment. And I have possibly the oldest, cheapest, crappiest cell phone still active today. I use it about once a month, probably to ask my wife if she wanted a Life & Style or an InTouch magazine from the store. Don't try to sell me a new one, by implying it's better than being in space.

Panels from Doktor Sleepless #1, written by Warren Ellis, art by Ivan Rodriguez.

6 comments:

SallyP said...

Hah! Nice to know that I'm not the only one who had that same reaction to that bloody commercial! I don't fantasize about phones! I don't even OWN a cellphone, nor do I want one.

What I REALLY want is a Green Lantern Ring.

CalvinPitt said...

I think my cell phone company is trying to make me buy a new phone. I can't receive calls these days (though i can still make them, oddly enough).

And I want web-shooters. Not organic ones, though that would save me from having to know enough chemistry to make webbing.

Bret said...

I, too, want web shootersboom tubes, and such like.

But mainly dinosaurs with guns.
That'd be rad.

Siskoid said...

Space travel? Of course!

Time travel? You bet!

If they'd added superpowers, they'd have hit my Holy Trinity.

"Magic Screen"... yeah, no, that makes no sense. The more they go into this dream I "maybe" had, the less it sounds like anything a kid might ever imagine.

I'm guessing it was the adult dream of whoever invented it, but not mine. No sir.

Stupid ad.

Heinrich7 said...

Europe is devoid of such ads, for better or for worse.

Instead we get body-painted chicks diving into a swimming pool.

...Well, it made *my* dream come true.

Jason said...

Did you write this before or after you shook your cane at those "dag-gum kids" and told them to get off your lawn?

Just kidding, I too am disappointed with the fact that once humanity discovered we could, in fact, go to the moon, we decided we were too damn lazy to continue to go, much less go further.

I like my cell phone, yet I constantly crave a new one.