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Matt Zalaznick: Americans sure need a lot of stuff

Matt Zalaznick
Vail, CO Colorado

Do you know the new Apple iPhone doesn’t make phone calls?

But it can identify music-” no kidding. With a downloadable application, you can hold the iPhone up to a radio and it should tell you the name and performer of the song.

Really.



You can also hold it up to any species of tree and it will tell you the name, age and severity of the pine beetle infestation within.

You can pretend to play the sitar on it. Really, thanks to another application, sitar strings will appear on the display and make sitar sounds when you touch them. Imagine, all those years without a pocket sitar ” I mean, who among hasn’t had one of those moments where you’re walking through the supermarket and are suddenly inspired to a write a symphony for sitar and acorn squash. Sure, you could get you hands on the squash, but the sitar?



OK, so the iPhone does actually make phone calls. But no sooner did we American consumers need to be able to make a phone call from any spot on Earth, but we needed our phones to do all sorts of things aside from getting in touch with our old college roommates while we’re waiting in line for a movie.

Because everyone else in line also needs to hear about the time you and he drank a fifth of discount vodka, went to a Red Sox games at effin’ Fenway, took all your clothes off in the upper deck and wore your BU boxer shorts on your heads.

Remember, it was like 20-effin’-degrees?



Remember, you threw a basket of nachos at Toronto’s leftfielder?

Remember, you passed out on the T on the way home and woke up in Rhode Island?

Apparently, we also need to send e-mail over the phone. We need to shoot pool ” albeit very tiny pool ” on our phones. We need to have old Ramones songs play as our ring. We need to surf the Internet while we’re at some boring fundraiser so we can check on the latest survey that says 45 percent of Americans believe Barack Obama is either a Buddhist or an herbal shampoo supplement.

But it’s not just phones that have to be as versatile as high-tech weaponry. Once you get TiVo and digital cable and blue-ray disc players, you either need 11 remote controls or a single device that can control them all while also disrupting the navigation systems of stealth bombers.

I bought one of the latter devices, and now I am being sued by a nearby subdivision because all of their dogs suddenly went deaf “-at the same time I tried to record that smash hit documentary, ” Barack Obama: Archaic Punctuation Mark or Discoverer of Ecuador?” in high def.

And I just got a new car stereo because I needed 700 radio channels. Really, what I needed was to have at least a few of my 14,246 digital cable channels broadcast in my car. I need to know exactly when more people think Barack Obama is Osama bin Laden’s cousin than think he’s an island nation off the coast of Florida.

I can listen to Premier League football from England while driving down Highway 6 ” I didn’t even do that when I lived in England. I can listen to professional scrabble matches and re-runs of “The Jeffersons” and talk shows about effective shaving. This radio plays live broadcasts from the parliament of Madagascar ” and Madagascar doesn’t even have a parliament.

I worry about global warming, sure, who doesn’t? But don’t I need a bigger house and a bigger car? And a bigger yard? As surely as Barack Obama is the name of a Japanese restaurant chain where they cook your dinner right at your table, I do.

Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com or (970) 748-2926. Zalaznick’s column runs every other Friday, alternating with a column written by Editor Alex Miller.


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