Those of you who believe that technology in its current state produces nothing but inanity and frivolity, prepare to see shaken the very foundation on which you stand. Get ready now:
Wheeeee! Ha ha ha! Boy, that was sure invigorating! I hope it was as good for you as it was for me. Anyway, Mr. or Ms. Negative Nancy or Nate as the case may be, a fat lot of good you know, because here, courtesy of the New York Times, is the ultimate beacon of technological Hope for Tomorrow:
She is the Barbie Video Girl Doll, of whom the Times' Warren Buckleitner writes: "[She] looks just like a regular Barbie, but a closer look reveals a camera in her pendant, and a postage-sized color screen on her back, peeking through her blouse." Which - and I do not claim to be any sort of tech expert here, but correct me if I'm wrong - essentially means you get to see the whole world from Barbie's cleavage.
I believe I may say without fear of exaggeration that this product is the key to the evolution of the human race not only technologically but also philosophically. For it provokes us to ask ourselves the seminal human question: What's it like to be Barbie's cleavage? This is a question we human types have been asking ourselves throughout the ages of civilisation. For example, leading archaeologists have found definitive fossil evidence of australopithecines playing with Australopithecine Camera Barbie, who took two AAA batteries and also made girlish grunting sounds.
But enough history for today. My point here, as I have discovered over the last two brain-racking seconds of realizing I need a point, is: you're not cool enough. Yeah. I'm really sorry* to break it to you this way, but ... well, I mean, think about it. Not only do you probably not have this Barbie; what's more, you probably don't even have the Box of Laughter, not that I am judging you, you worthless dweeb.
Perhaps I should back up here and explain a bit to those as yet unenlightened about the Box of Laughter (formally known, in verbatim capital letters, as the "EXCLUSIVE BOX OF APPLAUSE AND BOX OF LAUGHTER"). This honey is the product of (who else?) SkyMall, which I heartily believe - and you cannot convince me otherwise - to be the finest publication ever to routinely abut a barf bag. Here's how the Box is described in SkyMall Land:
"Craving a little recognition? Someone who gets your jokes? Open the Box of Applause and be greeted with the sounds of cheering and clapping from a very enthusiastic crowd. Or open the Box of Laughter to hear uproarious guffaws. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accepting that Oscar(R), Nobel, or Best Comedy Emmy(R)."
Rrrr ... gffff ... fuhhh ... okay, frankly, I don't even know how to be funny about this, so bear with me a second while I write the following business letter to the brains at SkyMall. What say, in true Hammurabian fashion, I even write it in BIG ANNOYING AND SOMETIMES EVEN ITALICIZED CAPITAL LETTERS, HUH?
DEAR SKYMALL PEOPLE,
RRRR ... GFFFF ... FUHHHH ...
THIS PRODUCT IS NOT COOL. OKAY? IN FACT, IT IS FRANKLY THE SADDEST AND MOST PATHETIC THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. BAR NONE. IT MAKES ME FEEL BAD JUST LOOKING AT IT. YOU FORCE ME TO RESTORE MY MOOD BY LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS OF VERY ATTRACTIVE MEN. I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY. I KNOW I AM.
So, what was I saying? Hmm. Whatever. Anyhoo, I'm feeling very positive about the Technology of Tomorrow, not to mention the Technology of Thursday and of Friday. No one can say exactly what kind of changes it will bring, but this I know for sure: it will give me something better to do than what I would have done otherwise, namely sit around and imagine winning the "Nobel" for "Best Comedy," which probably already went to somebody like Kathy Griffin anyway.
At any rate, like it or hate it, technology marches on, like the Energizer Bunny except not nearly as pink and furry. It's our responsibility to embrace it. We are, after all, the people of The Future, with the exception being surviving hosts of vintage game-shows, all of whom are unaware that they actually died in 1978. (Speaking of which, sorry to break it to you guys this way. Nothing personal, Monty Hall.) What's more, none of this is anything new. Technology has been going-and-going-and-going like this for ages! But you don't have to take my word for it**; consider this quote from the Barbie article:
"This is not the first time engineers have been given the challenge of packing Barbie's figure with technology. Michelle Chidoni, a spokeswoman for Mattel, said Barbie has been accessorized with speakers, motors, fiber optic clothing and an impeller-pump designed to push glitterized fluid through special wings."
Let this be a lesson to you, people: although at times you feel blue, disheartened, down in the dumps, and other synonyms, you must never, ever, in your moments of greatest darkness, choose to "end it all" and open the Box of Laughter. Instead, take pride in knowing that you live in a world so great, so fantastically advanced and forward-thinking, that some courageous science pioneer, somewhere,*** has already invented an impeller-pump designed to push glitterized fluid through special wings. I defy anyone to tell me, or Louis Armstrong, that this is not a wonderful world.
In the end, whatever your personal stance on technology's evolutionary path, the most important thing is simply to keep an open mind, to maintain your ability to see things - at any given moment - from another angle, from a different vantage point.
Namely, that of Barbie's cleavage.
*Okay, not really.
** And I speak for both myself and LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow when I say this.
*** Over there.
©2010 Nicola McEldowney