Ryan Chartrand

Now that the buzz of Apple’s latest “revolutionary” product, the Apple iPhone, has died down, I’d like to take a moment to bring you back to reality (a cruel, yet slightly more logical world). What always amazes me about Apple gadgets, since they are no more than that, is that not only will the diehard Apple fans always look past the steep prices, but the outsiders, those who wish they were “cool,” follow suit. It’s like in the ’90s when everyone had to have the thickest Pogs or the most flamboyant yo-yo. Money simply doesn’t matter in an “iLife.” If only for a moment, stop acting like your shiny iPod ear buds fit snugly in your futile attempt to “fit in” and listen.

In five months, Apple will force you to donate $600 to their cause (aka ruling the world). In return, you will own a 4 1/2 inch long James Bond video phone that stores four gigabytes of space and doubles as an ancient “cell phone,” which is apparently used for communication between two human beings. Unfortunately, this will be the most insane donation you will ever see magically vanish from your pocket. While I would love to leave you with a list of charities that would use your donation to further the development of humanity rather than the speed at which you conduct your life like Apple prefers, I decided to give you a more American solution.

Below you will find nine items that, when combined, could very well allow you to take over the world before Steve Jobs steals your money. Trust me, having a phone with a copy of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which you are apparently supposed to watch while driving home after work, and a mere four gigabytes of space for useless storage will not bring the greatest good for the greatest number. Listen to John Stuart Mill and go shopping.

1. 250 gigabyte hard drive: $70 – First, let’s prove the fact that Apple has lost their mind in thinking they can charge you over $100 for a piece of hardware with only four gigabytes of space. Sure, a hard drive isn’t in pocket form, but isn’t having 246 extra gigabytes of space better than watching three minutes of “Law and Order” while waiting in line for a Big Mac?

2. 4.8 ounces of Arbonne Ginger Citrus Body Butter: $5 – The iPhone is approximately 4.8 ounces of pure bliss. If you absolutely must carry something around with the same weight, it might as well be some delicious body butter. You might even end up looking as smooth and silky as the back of an iPod Video.

3. Seven inch portable DVD player: $80 – First, let me apologize if this feels like a MasterCard commercial. Second, if you so desperately need to watch movies while driving home from work or hand-gliding over the Eiffel Tower, why not buy a portable DVD player for about one-seventh the price? Even a lowly blank DVD holds four gigabytes more than the iPhone.

4. Font Creator : $10 – Since you were a poor child growing up in Russia, you’ve always dreamed of having your own font to use in Microsoft Word (which you have on your iMac to prove you are a walking contradiction). Forget your fancy phones and start making dreams come true through your very own Make a Wish Foundation.

5. Lost: Season One and Two: $90 – These are almost as essential as food. Without these, you might die of a starving mind by June.

6. Shure E4c-n sound isolating earphones: $212 – If you’re going to be out wasting money, you might as well waste a good amount of it on some worthy headphones for that iPod of yours. After all, what good is life if you can’t block out everyone surrounding you?

7. 100 DVD-Rs: $25 – Look at this way: This is like having 100 iPhones. Yes, a far stretch, but how many times must I stress the point that four gigabytes of space, whether on a phone or a DVD, is nothing to dance in the streets about.

8. One-year membership to the President Baker Fan Club: $25 – Need I say more?

9. iPod Shuffle: $80 – Living without Apple entirely might not be safe your pure, Steve Jobs ideals-cultivated life, so we might as well toss in another iPod to add to your collection (most likely a pile of broken iPods).

I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Ryan, you fool, the reason the phone costs $600 is because it combines so many marvelous gadgets into one beautiful array of brilliance!” Perhaps, but how often is it that you find yourself completely disconnected from your computer and all forms of entertainment? The only time of day that you are detached from modern technology is when you’re at class, and even there you’re most likely listening to your iPod. You then go straight home and watch movies on your computer, listen to music on iTunes and call people on your pathetic $300 phone.

Why is it so necessary to combine your entire multimedia life into one piece of hardware, poorly categorized as a “phone,” when you are only cut off from computers and entertainment for a few hours a day? Because Apple owns you, of course.

I am also well aware that the iPhone is considered cheap compared to some phones on the market. That, however, is far from the point. This is about the Apple lifestyle that has infested American culture and sent one too many college students into unnecessary debt.

Please, step out of your iLife and use the greatest gadget ever invented: your mind. Apple will easily get away with creating yet another trend if you are convinced that you are still in high school and not having Uggs means not existing. Think, if only for a moment, why an iPhone is somehow better than you.

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