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Knock on wood, count your blessings: iLife, iThis, meThat.

My cell phone sucks. It doesn't take photographs, it doesn't make movies, it doesn't store or play music, it doesn't receive or send email and it doesn't store my address book. It doesn't even have games; no solitaire, no shoot-em-ups, no smash-em-ups, no Tetris, no chess. It does have Internet capacity but I don't know how to access it. And it does not play television shows. It does receive and send phone calls and the range is pretty good. But, really, it's just a phone and who needs that from a phone?

My personal digital assistant sucks. It's not in colour, it doesn't have Bluetooth, it doesn't receive or send phone calls, it doesn't have email capacity, it doesn't take, store or play movies, it doesn't take, store and slideshow photographs, it doesn't carry Word or Excel or Powerpoint documents, it can't be connected to a television or a projector and it doesn't have push technology. It does store my address book and memos. But, really, who can live with just that from a PDA?

My iPod is all right but three months after I bought it Apple introduced the video version. My iPod stores only music--a lot of it, of course--but that's it. It doesn't slideshow my photographs or play movies. I can't connect it to my television and use it as a movie player.

At home we have four computers and they're all right, I suppose. But not one of them is the new iMac with a "20-inch widescreen LCD with 1680x1050 resolution, 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo with 2MB shared L2 cache, 512MB (single SODIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 250GB Serial ATA hard drive, slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive, ATI Radeon XI600 graphics with 128MB GDDR3 My iPod is all right but three months after I bought it Apple introduced the video version memory, built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth 2.0." I mean, our computers do not have iSight, iLife, iThis, meThat!

Of course, we have Ethernet and WiFi at home, but not one of the computers is connected to our television or our music delivery systems. If we want music in our living room, for example, we have to actually play it from there. We don't have a one-button, one-source home entertainment network. We don't have the "HP Digital Media Receiver [which] gives you access to digital content stored on your PC over your home network." So desperate is our situation we sometimes have to play CDs; though we have been spared the indignity of pulling out our albums and tapes.

If we want to watch a movie, furthermore, we actually have to get up, place a DVD in the player and press the buttons with a remote controller. Sometimes when we have the hunger for a particular movie--perhaps something strange and wonderful by Tati or something silly and mindless by Fellini--then, well. I shudder to think about it. If we don't own a copy of it in our collection, then--get this--we actually have to leave the house and go the six blocks to the great neighbourhood video store, check their aisles, select it, pay the rental fee, come home and place the disc in the DVD player. I mean, how '90s is that? One time the video store didn't have a copy of the movie we sought and we had to wait. A week, or more. How '80s is that?

Our fridge doesn't have a built-in computer tracking our rotting vegetables. Our car doesn't have GPS. Our toilet rolls don't play Beethoven.

Of course--knock on wood, count our blessings--we haven't had to deal with VHS tapes for a few years. Though we do keep the VCR connected, sort of as a retro-chic thing.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I mean, you know, life is good. It's all right. A little grit makes the pearl, I suppose. It can't hurt to suffer, a little, and all that. I mean, it would be nice if there were some government program that guaranteed us all our "own personal Jesus, someone to hear your prayers; someone who cares. To help you reach out and touch faith."

And if there were, I'd like to ask him about that camel and eye-of-the-needle comment he made. I mean, exactly how does he define rich?

Andrew Faiz is a writer, producer and filmmaker. He is also managing editor of the Record.You can reach him at
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Title Annotation:pop christianity
Author:Faiz, Andrew
Publication:Presbyterian Record
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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