The Apple Tablet Is The Second, Maybe Even The Third, Coming Of Christ
No, seriously. We may have skipped the Second Coming. It didn’t happen fast enough. It didn’t happen awesome enough. The Second Coming wasn’t portable — you couldn’t take it into the shitter with you — and so Steve Jobs punts us right into the Third Coming. He’s good like that. The guy is basically a resurrected deity. We all know he died from some kind of insidious pancreatic cancer, but lo, he was born again on a tide of 1s and 0s and is now here to deliver unto us the Mighty Revelation of the Tablet, the Apokálypsis of Apple. A starfish washed up on a beach and whispered to us, “The Resurrected Steve Shall Give Unto Us An Artifact Of The Future, And For Some Reason All My Words Are Capitalized,” and now we know that the big day is coming.
Today, I think, is that day.
Thing is, this magical tablet has to be pretty dang magical. It’s not like tablet computers don’t already exist. They do. And they’re not that exciting. Will I buy this messianic device, birthed from the heavens, ejaculated from the quivering loins of gender-neutral angels, held aloft by a brigade of chum-covered cherubim?
But first, I have some demands.
Priced In The Sweet Spot
Believe it or not, my demands here are pretty loose, like the blown-out elastic in a pair of old tighty-whities. If Apple charges under a $1000, I’m happy. I’ve seen some balk at that price, saying that it has to be below $800 or whatever to really sing, but c’mon. The tiniest Kindle is over $250, and the mamma-jamma Kindle is over $450. And the Kindle does, mmm, ohhh, one thing. It is the definition of “unitasker” in the electronic world, and to me, that makes it a bit of a boat anchor. So, you tell me I can pay twice as much and get… a billion times the functionality? (Shut up. Not an exaggeration. Don’t you condescend to me, man.) Hey, I’m in. A grand or under is a sexy price point. Almost any existent tablet PC will cost you $1200 and up (though, yes, you get a keyboard), and they ain’t that special.
A Weapon In The Transmedia Revolution
My writing partner is one of the foremost proselytizers of the future of storytelling — “transmedia” being the way we can tell stories across multiple platforms, across multiple screens. (I can get into my newfound love of transmedia in another post, if sufficient interest exists surrounding that topic.)
I think the iTablet (or iSlate or the iRoc Z or whatever the hell this thing is called) could be the goddamn Rosetta Stone of the transmedia revolution.
Here’s how –
I rent a movie on my television screen.
I stop the movie in the middle, because I have to go upstairs, or get on a train, or head down to the robot brothel to wrangle up some borg-bitches out of the cyber-stable (relax, I’m pimping robot ladies, not real ladies, don’t get your athletic protector in a twist). I can take the film I’m watching on my television, and jack it over to my Apple Tablet, and continue watching it from that point forward. Even cooler, I now have access to a world of ancillary story components attached to that film — probably in the form of apps, because “apps” sounds like “appetizers,” and who doesn’t love Cheese-Sodden Bacon-Ribbed Tater Canoes? I can pull up interviews with the creators, I can watch connected episodic content, I can pause the frame and dig up IMDB on that one actor who looks like Ed Harris but isn’t Ed Harris, I can connect to social media like a CNN stock ticker and tell people about the fucked-up movie I’m watching, I can further extend out and play a game surrounding the experience, I can read an interactive script, I can pause the scene when the protagonist goes through the door on the right and I can click on the door he didn’t choose and see what story lurks behind that door, and so on, and so forth. All on the Apple Tablet.
I want, I can take the Tablet to my PC, and with a masturbatory flick of the wrist transfer the experience to my desktop computer. Or I can flip it right into my iPhone because I don’t want to take the tablet on the train because I fear filthy hobos will steal it.
In the perfect future, I’ll even be able to wander by my fridge, and pull the inventory of my fridge onto or off of the Apple Tablet. In that future, I’ll be so married to the Apple Tablet, I won’t ever be able to leave it behind. If I ever lose it, I’ll be like a man spun in a circle and dropped in a desert with no food or water. I’ll just wander around, cotton-mouthed, wondering where my underpants are, and eventually, I’ll perish. That’s the future in which I hope to live. A future where I am super-dependent on technology.
I like to dream.
I Don’t Give A Fuck If It’s A Phone
Everything doesn’t have to be a phone. My microwave is not a phone, and making it one will not increase it’s value. A lot of things aren’t a lot of things, and that’s okay. A blender is not a hard drive. A ham sandwich is not a seagull. Maybe in an eventual future we’ll only have one object, one magical device that becomes everything else, but right now I’m okay if the tablet serves as, well, a really awesome computer.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who thinks the iPhone is a shitty phone. It’s the best phone I’ve ever had — er, except when I was in Park City, at which point no part of the device’s connectedness worked because I was one of the approximately seven billion people crammed in that town using the same service.
Still, the Apple Tablet? Phone service? I get it. I get that people will want to have 3G on it so they can watch old episodes of Hong Kong Phooey in the middle of the Ozark Mountains, but let’s be clear: the service won’t extend that far, and really, 3G isn’t a robust enough protocol to get you that kind of media in a reasonable way. At least, it hasn’t been for me. Hell, some of my apps demand I be attached to wi-fi — you think the Apple Tablet apps (the Tablet is purportedly based on the iPhone OS) won’t require a profound bandwidth? They’re not going to be lesser, weaker apps. They’ll be beefier. Hungrier.
Further, if the rumors are true, once more the device will be married to AT&T. Now, that gets a lot of bad press, but I don’t think AT&T is the problem: any single carrier picks up the God Device, and that single carrier is going to have a hard time meeting demand in big areas. The issue is that it’s married to a single carrier. I don’t want to buy the Tablet and then have to saddle it with phone service and pay out the sphincter month-in and month-out. I pay that already with the iPhone. I bend over there, and I take it, and I like it. But my submission to these devices only goes so far.
Finally, again, I don’t need another phone. I don’t want to jam the Apple Tablet to my head and talk on it like I’m a child speaking into a giant’s shoe. “Hello? I’m on my Apple Tablet! When I’m done speaking to you, it turns into a cold and merciless pillow. Can you hear me? Where’s the mouthpiece on this huge hunk of technology? I think I have to spin it around, give me a couple minutes.”
I Want It To Be Friends With My iPhone, Though
I know, now I’m into “blue sky thinking,” but seriously, I want my iPhone and my Apple Tablet to go on little adventures together. Like George and Lennie from Of Mice And Men. I want them to hold hands and play together. Whatever I do on my iPhone, I want to do on my Apple Tablet (er, except the phone), only bigger and better. And whatever I do on my Apple Tablet, I want to do on my iPhone, only smaller and weaker. That’d be great. Together, they could fight crime.
Actually, if I were really thinking big, I’d think small. I’d say that Apple should come up with a third device — a device smaller than the iPhone to complete the triumverate. It’d be like, I dunno, the iThumb or something, and it would be a thumbnail-sized screen that literally fits over my thumb, and I’d be watching an episode of Leverage on it or something, and I wouldn’t be able to make out a goddamn thing, but that’s okay, because it’s so cute! (Actually, out of all seriousness, it’d be interesting to have a small controller device like that, some tiny piece of tech that serves as a motion based remote. I might just be making that up, or high on ayahuasca tea.)
Hell, we could go bigger, too. The Tablet could be the middle child, and instead maybe we’ll get a giant Apple device whose screen unfurls like the wings of a hang-glider, and I rise on vectors of warm air coming up off of hot asphalt, and I drift high in the sky with the turkey buzzards, craning my neck to see read the New York Times on the wings above my skull.
Mmmm. What a beautiful future it will be.
Can I Stick My Dick In It? Is There An App For That?
You cannot masturbate with the iPhone. You can try. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
See? See what I mean?
Okay, yeah, you can kind of hold it with the one hand, but the screen bobs and weaves, and it’s very distracting. Alternately, you can try to physically use the device as the masturbatory tool, but that’s just painful. Thwacking your wacker with the iPhone just bruises your little man, and further, you really need to invest in a robust screen protector. The headphone jack on my iPhone is… well. I’m just saying, it’s a little gummed up.
So! The Apple Tablet represents a great possibility: the chance to stick my penis inside powerful technology.
Okay, fine, I understand if the device doesn’t come with a “penile port” built in. That’s not unreasonable. But it’d be great if there were some manner of after-market attachment, right? Or maybe an app that conjures a virtual “cock portal” that ionizes the air and creates an electromagnetic thrum that simulates having sex, if not with a human, than with a robot human, or at least a Roomba.
And what about the ladies? I dunno. That’s your bag of tricks, girlies. You tell me. I don’t have a vagina. Those things are a mystery. I feel like I’m trying to find a trapdoor under a rug, and next thing I know there’s a wizard, and he’s trying to trap me with his riddles, and then there’s a little man in a boat and — well. I leave the iVagina talk to you. You make your own dreams. I’ll handle mine.
Really, what I’m saying is, the Apple Tablet can revolutionize both pornography and sex toys. I know, more blue sky thinking, but there it is. I said it. Someone pay me.
The Apple Tablet could be, like Jesus, the alpha and the omega. It may be the end of things we’ve come to expect: a traditional keyboard, anchored media, the way we consume information, the way we connect with others, the way we masturbate. And it may be the beginning of new things: unfettered media, portable social connections, a world where the virtual and the physical are married, nü-porn.
Then again, it might just be a really nifty handheld computer.
Which is fine. I guess. I just hope Apple really takes the reins on this one and gives us a transcendent device, a device that enslaves us all, a device that demands its own religion.
(Actually, in all seriousness, as a creator and storyteller, I wasn’t being facetious when I said that it could help usher in a new way to consume both entertainment and knowledge. The iPhone may have been the missing link, the bridge between old and new — then again, the Apple Tablet might instead be that bridge, and this iteration might not get us there yet, wherever and whatever “there” happens to be. I joke, but if the device is as interesting as promised, I might seriously consider getting one eventually. Maybe not in this generation, but then again, if I really want to tell stories in a new way, maybe it’s not the worst idea to grab hold of the future while the gettin’ is good.)