Monday, July 26, 2010

AiAA: Four Short Stories About the Apple iPhone 4

Homer: "There can only be one truly great festival a lifetime and it's the 'Us Festival'."

Clerk: "The WHAT festival?"

Homer: "The 'Us Festival'! Geez! It was sponsored by the guy from Apple Computers."

Clerk: "WHAT computers?"

-- The Simpsons,
Homerpalooza (May 1996)

I graduated from San Diego State University with a marketing degree in 1997. As television and movies have taught us on countless occasions; the most unforgettable college professors are eccentric, unconventional loons whose enthusiasm is inversely proportional to their hygiene.

One of my favorite professors from SDSU was an excitable, unwashed woman who inexplicably -- albeit seamlessly -- blended oral case studies with outlandish conspiracy theories and urban legends.

She taught us, among other things, that: (1) The fast food industry was colluding to keep inner city residents economically repressed and in poor physical health. (2) Coca-Cola, undeterred from the infamous failure of "New Coke", was in the middle of a 20-year plan to gradually change its original formula to...New Coke. (3) Bill Gates would own Apple Computer, Inc. by the end of 1998.

That last one didn't seem entirely inconceivable at the time.

In the mid-90s, Apple was reeling from several failed product lines and turmoil within the upper echelons of management. Of course, the company completely recovered (introducing the iMac in...1998) and turned a profit of $3.3 billion in the first quarter of this year.

Apple has rolled out their latest television ad campaign for the iPhone 4. As these commercials indicate, a company can freely embrace clich├ęs and unintentional comedy when it's put towards a product that essentially sells itself.

Did you have to cast
Frederick Douglass as the grandfather, Apple? My grandfather is 84 years old, shaves every day and wears his hair as short as I do. Most black men don't want to look like Questlove's eventual corpse, y'know.

This couple is obviously not married. Mrs. Bootleg has mastered that marital mindf*ck in which she gets her hair done, doesn't mention it and expects me to notice. In baseball parlance, my .275 average would be perfectly respectable.

Pfft. Here's how I found out that Mrs. Bootleg was pregnant with Jalen: It was a Sunday morning and I was on the can, reading the sports section. Mrs. Bootleg broke down the door, shoved a plastic pee stick in my face and frantically translated the results. Our story's better, Apple.

Is there still a stigma attached to braces? I've heard more than a handful of older friends and co-workers tell me that their kids want braces to correct some imaginary crookedness or simply because one of their classmates has them. I'm eagerly waiting for the day when
asthma ascends to the same level of acceptance.


Other Joe said...

You should submit your notification of Mrs. Bootleg's pregnancy to EPT as their newest commercial.

Not sure about today's kids but when I got braces in 11th grade in 1997, nobody really cared.

Asthma won't rise to the popularity of braces. You can change the colors during different sports seasons.

Nobody has ever looked cool using an inhaler... not even Frodo back when he was a Goonie.

Game, braces.

Aaron C. said...

But, I use two different kinds of inhaler (one red, one blue). That's not enough color variety?

And, if someone sees my inhaler, I get *their* life story on how asthma has tangentially affected them.

That's not worth something?!

JPinAZ said...

re: #1 - Did she happen to make it onto the LA City Council a couple years back? Or perhaps a few of your classmates?

re: #2 - I thought the New Coke thing was to keep us from noticing the switch from cane sugar to HFCS.

Other Joe said...

Do you use the different colors based on what hood you're in? Don't want the guys in the red bandanas see you rockin' a blue inhaler.

Until you have an Oakland A's inhaler you don't have a customized one.

I feel for you on the life story thing... that's really gotta be grating after awhile.

Mr. Bren said...

I used to live in Korea and then Thailand and in both of those countries braces are "sexy". Girls will get vanity braces that don't actually do anything just for the fashion value of it.

Elena said...

Really? Braces = sexy? I can't imagine it. All I know is that I've never felt less sexy in my life than after I'd had mine tightened each time. Mind you, I was 14 so that's probably all for the best.

Aaron C. said...

My dentist keeps pushing those Invisalign products on me. I can never tell if it's just a hard sell or some sort of negative medical commentary on the state of my smile.

Whatever it is, it's a similarly un-sexy feeling :(

SHough610 said...

Kearney: Hey Dolph, take a memo on your Newton: beat up Martin.
[Dolph writes "Beat up Martin" which the Newton translates as
"Eat up Martha"]
Bah! [throws Newton]
Martin: [being bonked on the head] Ow!

Ah, Apple.

Also, don't blame the A's for losing last night. Cliff Lee is a nasty, nasty man.

Aaron C. said...

I have an iPod...I'm hoping the iPhone-to-Verizon rumors are true...but, I've never owned a Mac or any of the Apple line of computers.

I wonder if digs like the Newton one above or the "WHAT computers" line didn't put a latent disdain for Apple in my mind -- like one of those X-Men mutant genes that those freaks are born with.

(Also, Cliff Lee is a doubt. But, (1) home plate umpire Kerwin Danley's strike zone was right out of the "1995 Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine these guys don't NEED an extra six inches on the corners, but I'm giving it to them anyway" era. (2) When a pitcher has walked SEVEN batters all year, you have to swing the damn bats, Oakland A's.