At Euston railway station – and presumably it’s the same at every major concourse – there is a cinema-sized digital screen set high on a wall which shows an unmoving image of a mobile telephone with the words iPhone6 displayed above it. Nothing more: no list of features, no specifications, nothing but a solitary image of the sleek tablet, eerily reminiscent of the marble monoliths of 2001 A Space Odyssey. Kneel and worship before the altar of Capitalism.
Around the world, people now queue up or camp out – actually sleep rough – just to be the first to purchase the latest editions of these revered electronic trinkets. This is the kind of adulation that was once the preserve of film stars, rock idols or prophets – actual people who were revered for their minds, their talents or their sheer shaggability – not mere vibrating electronic gizmos.
A film has been made of the life of Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple, as though he were the second-coming of the Messiah or something. There’s also a book – the book of Jobs, I kid you not – which details his life; how, from humble beginnings, he came to save the world from mundane electronics by founding a company which grew to employ virtual slave labour, under the regime of a brutal dictatorship with an appalling record of human rights abuses, and then utilised byzantine tax-avoidance techniques to ensure that the profits could be hoarded. Truly, blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the Earth.
Sure, religion was a nonsense spouted by sinister people who just wanted to take all your money and screw your kids, but at least there was the vague promise of eternal life at the end of it – all the new age of enlightenment has to offer you is unlimited downloads.
And so the truth is revealed: this is how cheap the human soul has become. We took the Apple, all that now remains beyond life is to meet its maker…