Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Hooptedoodle #27 - the Zippo app
It must be me - I refuse to consider, even for an instant, that everyone else might be crazy. For some years I have been aware of moments during rock concerts when, for some reason, people are on their feet, waving lit cigarette lighters in the air. My instinct would be just to turn on the sprinklers, but apparently this bizarre ritual is supposed to bring an almost religious quality to the group experience.
I am forced to accept that this is just one of those bits of mass culture which not only passed me by while I wasn't paying attention, but which also make no sense now that I am. I mentioned the phenomenon to a teenage guitar student of mine this week, and he informed me that now you can download an app to your iPhone which displays a picture of a Zippo flame, so that people who attend rock concerts need not feel left out if they do not smoke. So that's all right then.
I am seldom speechless, but this brings me pretty close to that state. I can see that there are certain health & safety advantages, but the idea that someone should apply 21st Century technology to the solution of such a major problem is just mystifying. What are they going to do, then, so as not to exclude concert goers who are non-smokers and who, like me, refuse as a point of principle to own a bloody iPhone?
Personally, I would still turn on the sprinklers anyway.