Stop drinking the Kool-Aid

The iPad 3

The iPad 3
For those of you who are easily offended, or lined up today to buy that shiny, new iPad 3, you may want to skip reading this particular blog entry, because I’m feeling kind of grumpy.

The news has been filled today with references to the rush that was ignited with the sale of the new iPad 3. People started lining up last night to purchase the latest version, and even Apple’s stock hit a new high based on the release alone. The funny thing is too that the iPad 3 is barely an upgrade over the last version, but that doesn’t matter to the crowd that are drinking Apple’s Kool-Aid, as it were–they must. have. it.

Now and then I understand the whole excitement of new things. Last night I had to get home to see the first new episode of Community in weeks, and I’ve been known to swoon at the sight of a new Canon camera, but I draw the line at lining up for products, especially products that I could otherwise purchase in 1 to 2 weeks by just walking into a store.

If I’m being cruel, and it’s something I said on Facebook that prompted me to write this, I consider the rush for the iPad 3 proof that more people need to get a life, at least on some level. Apple makes amazing products, but a few fanatics maybe need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid for a few minutes. If I were being really cruel, not that most people care, I might point out the horrifying implications of how the damned things are made, using Chinese factory workers who desperately need better working conditions.

But, what really bugs me about the iPad and Apple fanaticism in general is that I consider it further proof that as a society we’re morally derailed in our priorities. Out of all the things that people could be expending their time and energy on, not to mention their money, buying the new hot item consumes an awful lot of each of those resources.

Personally, I need a break now and then, and I need to do things for me to maintain a level of sanity, and I could also offer a lot more of my own time to better causes, but wouldn’t it be nice to think that, instead of wasting time waiting in a lineup, all those people in those lines went and volunteered for a charity for the same amount of time? Or, what if they just took time to do something meaningful for friends or family.

I know I’m baiting myself for attacks from the types who will happily find fault with me for bad-mouthing anything Apple, but of course, I don’t really care. To an extent, I am blaming the people themselves for being this fixated on what is essentially meaningless stuff, but at the same time I fault Apple for creating this toxic environment, which will likely only do them good in terms of stock prices and sales.

(Considering I plan to get myself a MacBook Pro one day soon, it’s not like I’m anti-Apple, for the record, but I think sometimes it’s worth pointing out when something seems a little insane.)

All I’d ask some of you to consider is that maybe there are better ways to spend our time than lining up for a lump of plastic and metal that you will likely discard in 2-3 years, if not sooner.

W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.