Advertising, scepticism and zombies

Friday, 4 September 2009

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by size, do you?”

It surprises me how few people find Yoda annoying. Maybe it’s because he was trumped by that monstrosity Jar Jar Binks. I couldn’t stand the little green gnome because he was such an obvious vehicle for nerd wisdom. I realise now that, if there were a measurable scale for such a thing, I was as annoyed at Yoda fans 20 years ago as I am about iPhone owners today. As comedian Marcus Brigstocke said "To the people who've got iPhones: you just bought one, you didn't invent it!".
Bloody hell, that was a tenuous link, but in a way, Yoda was a bit like the iPhone (this is turning into one of those Anglican sermons “and seeing those boys on their skateboards reminded me of Jesus”). Small. Annoying. Loaded with apps. Telekenisis app. Spiral-like-a-dervish app. Make funny noises app. And my favourite – disappear-before-your-eyes-and-die app. He even upgraded between films, but backwards.
They were just magic powers, that’s all. Without them, the Jedi would have been killed within a week and Hogwarts pupils would have achieved decent exam results rather than gain house points for fucking around with cauldrons.
Face it, what new technology would have thrived without apps? Apps are the annoying ginger stepchild who was being ignored or beaten up and yet grew up to save the village and become a great wizard king.
Teenagers took up texting and the mass market mobile was born. Twitter’s just an app. Facebook? Don’t talk to me about Facebook. Other people’s requests for me to connect with their dinosaur hunting app or which mongoose do you most resemble app is driving me mad (there’s an app for that too).
With half a million views, you’ve probably already seen this spoof ad for ex-girlfriend-stalking iPhone apps but it does touch on a simple truth: it’s the seemingly pointless things made for instant gratification that drives the app market, even if you buy into the technology for more meaningful reasons.

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