October 4, 2006

Ahh, Morford on culture and technology

Zoom vending machineZoom vending machine

(Image borrowed from Techie Diva)

From Vending machines for tech sluts” by the ever-marvelous Mark Morford:

Have you seen? Do you already know? Have you already been, in equal turns, excited and horrified and nonplussed as you passed on by one of these Zoom Shops, these gorgeous, glorified, ultramodern vending machines, these sleek hunks of casual tech excess now being installed in various airports and department stores and hotels all over this fine country and luring unwary shoppers over to their gleaming orifices of effortless tech gluttony? …

And yes, it’s a genius idea. Evil, and genius, wonderful and weird, tremendously cool and bitterly isolating all at once. After all, what better way to appeal to a gadget-crazed nation than to sell cool gadgets from inside another cool giant gadget? It’s like watching a porn movie while you’re making a porn movie. It’s like a shot of Maker’s Mark with a Red Tail back. It’s like a free cup of coffee with your line of crystal meth. It’s so meta, it licks your brain.

I have a couple of problems with these. First of all, the prices on the goods put them out of impulse shopping range for the likes of me. I can’t just decide to drop $300 when I’m in the airport, ya know?

The second problem is one that Morford writes about. Part of the enjoyment of it all is the shopping, learning the pros and cons, anticipation, and the Sacred Ritual of Waiting for UPS/FedEx.

Interesting times.

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