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A Few Words


Gadgets + Fashion - Freedom + Religion = Godgets

An Odyssey Through Best Buy, or “AC/DC indeed, young man.”

Gadgets? How about God-gets?

That should be the word, because that's what they are. New-fangled electronic devices are new-fangled Gods - in agnostic hands. From the iPod to the Blackberry to the sleekest of the slickest cells, we no longer wear our faiths on our sleeves: we clip them to our belts in polytheistic, plastic holsters.

I don't want to sound down on advances. But I'm concerned about the buzz-humming, LCD-glowing, downloadable-ring-toning devices dangling off of every spare Lucky Brand Roxy thread hugging the hippest young hips all the way Westbound down the Sunset Strip. From toy dogs to tattoos, to the newly leaked nudes, we'll always have this season's Paris.

The geeks among us, in the past, looked with excluded disgust on the lifestyles of the Bitching Famous — or at least we watched with a healthy dose of dismay. Maybe I got it wrong: I thought that disposable dispositions and aloof strides past the little guys — I thought those were the sources of scorn.

Now in the MarketPlace, Little Guys and Geeks drive with the same dispositions, and we're sold. On a schedule, they declare: “discard your cell phones for the new-best technology - that you can't live without — now, if you'll just please sign along this dotted line.”

They stand beside life-size cardboard celebrities, whose permanently blown hair and unblinking stares repay your generous glances: Hello Moto Zeta-Jones, Kate Moss is on line one.

Kate: Virgin; Catherine: Get More? Sex sells, but stilts seduction.

Could I resist Hepburn's hands, black-gloved to the elbows, and all that they caressed? I'd smoke her cigarette and drink her martini - even eat her cruller on the sidewalk at Tiffany's.

But it's Kate: Virgin; Catherine: Get More.

For Bergman I'd learn piano: I'd kick Sam off the stool and play “As Time Goes By”. And then I'd play it again.

But it's Kate: Virgin; Catherine: Get More. The cardboard celebrities with slogans painted across their thighs – they distract and detract impulsive seduction.

“The Godget is my shepherd, I shall not want. Now I lay me down with Kate, I pray the Lord ...” for free weekend minutes and mp3 downloads! White Stripes are the new Pink! One Billion iTunes: “Buddy, where have you been?”


Just what kind of Apple was it in Eden?

A man praying to a video game demonstration fell into a deep trance, projected himself into his ritual, and spoke in silent tongues to the PlayStation Gods (yes, he slept soundly at the video game demo-display, dutifully sprawled across the supple leather gamer chair, vibrating controller dangling across his puffy lap.)

Freckle-faced, pimpled kids - greasy mops crowning their heads – they drool across corporate-blue, stain-proof carpet, and they stare through me at holy screens. They're deified by dollars passed from mom's pocket. A projector, mounted in rafters ironically painted antique-white, shines XBox images across the floor, lights up the walls, and flashes ads against the 'Tween Boys' faux-retro Fossil t-shirts. AC/DC indeed, young man.

Perhaps I'll escape to the appliances, check out the Kegerator. Well, so much for small pleasures. Ludicrously Gargantuan (LG) made life good for the television and the refrigerator who mated to deliver the Quasimodo, 25.2 cubic foot, all digital, entertainment and food storage monolith. As if food storage lacked built-in distraction.

I retreat to the jazz section, whittled down to nearly a single row of discs, drowned out by the Bose Eardrum-Hammer Micro-Speakers, I find equally little solace. Mingus would steal his own CDs and smash them in the aisle if he found them in the middle of this Apocalypse — Haitian Fight Song in action, bass blazing, screaming for Freedom, Freedom Now!

All the while, Gamers and Geeks define the new Gods. What was once a quirky cult of engineers and outcasts are strangled by their own freedom, and swallowed in and spit out by fashion-as-religion. If I lost my chance to get into the trends, then I've got nothing left to lose. Maybe that's my freedom. If this excommunicates me from the Godget church, then call me an Electronic Apostate. I'm content to keep my faith on my sleeve.

© 2006 Sorrell