“4 gig?” she asked. The people around me in that moment might have thought the blinding light coming out of her mouth was the glint of sunshine against her braces. They were wrong. That eye piercing glint was the sweet word of the Lord Jesus announcing that He had returned, and the righteous name of the Christ was iPhone.
“My grandfather always used to wake me up in the morning by saying, ‘Joy in a bottle beats anything in a box,’” I told her.
She replied as she handed over the sweet Son of Mary in its immaculately conceived packaging, “Oh yeah.”
“Yeah. That motherfucker didn’t know shit.”
I got an iPhone on opening weekend. After suffering the endless derision of every geek I know at my spectacular failure of acquiring a Wii, I was certain that the cell phone of the Messiah would be an impossibility. We had stopped into the hippie store just to look at the interface, having already been introduced by my associate Danimal.
“Dude, I didn’t have to wait in line at all,” he told me. “I was just standing by the phone and then set down a big box of them.”
No way in Hell would it be that easy for me, I thought. Units of measurement borrowed from astronomy are required to describe the difference of my karma substracted from his. I had the luck of the Irish on my side true, which isn’t all that fucking lucky when you’re looking for a potato on an island that says its not growing any more potatoes. However, when I sheepishly asked the hippie woman being the hippie counter in this haven of all that which is unjust and wrong, her words the writ of Scripture. And lo, the hour of my iPhoning was nigh, and I rejoiced all over myself.
The next few hours were a whirlwind. So quickly I activated, like a methadone addict in the front row of St. Cecilia’s sucking down the word of God after an eighty hour bender. The righteousness of its interface filled me with a joy I would not have ever known where it merely electronics. This slim, this sexy, this *glorious* device was not merely fine engineering. It was the Eschaton on printed circuit board. You walk to places like the Grand Canyon or the Swiss Alps or Galway Bay and feel that despite all that the work of Man can do, there is a beauty only the finger of the Lord can create. His face we can now multitouch, for it shines at us from behind optical quality glass.
It was not merely the gorgeous integration of disparate – even competitive – software like Google Maps and YouTube with Yahoo Stocks and Weather. It was not only the multi-tab, full featuring browsing of Safari and nearly universally compatible email client. It was not the slim form factor, the ninety million mega pixel camera, or even the Bell Tower ringtone. It was the fact that it made even ordinary software – like that controlling the iPod that we’ve all used for seven years now – assume Heaven’s own glory.
The features of the iPod functionality in the iPhone aren’t remotely new. The album view, playlist view, and management interface are entirely the same one we’ve been using. And until the iPhone we didn’t know how inadequate that was. Much like the ancient Roman introduced to the letters of St. Paul, we’ve gone from obliquely interfacing with God’s Creation through some poorly constructed adapter to swimming neck deep in His pure Elysian lovejam.
There have been phone with colors. There have been phones with music. There have been phones with email and cameras and photos and directions and wifi and web browsers and butchers and bakers and candlestick makers. What seperates those phones and the iPhone is the same thing that seperates Moses and Pat Robertson. The latter claims to know God. The former wonders why you don’t already.