New iPhone 5 ad celebrates Generation Me-Me-Me, La-La-La

Having shown in a previous ad how everyone wants to photograph everything with their iPhone, a new Apple ad shows everyone navigating the world, while listening to their own soundtrack.

Love is in the air? No, it's in the ears. Apple/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

If you don't have (white) headphones in your ears, what kind of human being are you?

How can you possibly even classify yourself as human if you don't have a thousand playlists and ensure that every step you take, someone is playing to you?

The modern world is about creating your own soundtrack, in order to navigate its troubling paths and irritate fellow travelers.

Yes, you might be hugging your lover, but you have to be wearing your headphones and so does he. Otherwise, this isn't love. It's just a passing fling, free of melody.

This is the spirit of the latest iPhone 5 ad, which is designed to make you feel aberrant if you don't wear the phones and let Dylan (or, perhaps, Rufus Wainwright) drone.

Should you have avoided recent incarceration for one of your many habits, you'll know that -- not too long ago -- Apple released an ad that showed the whole world simply wanted to photograph the whole world on its iPhone 5.

So here is its sorority sister -- the ad the insists that the whole world wants to shut out the world by listening to Al Green. Or something.

You are what you listen to. And how.

Here we see so many frisky, vibrant people wedded to their earphones as happily as Brad to Angelina.

Yes, some of them look like utterly self-absorbed zombies. But if you're not self-absorbed, you're not you, right?

If you don't have your own music in the shower, at Starbucks, or coming out of your bottom, you are merely allowing the world to dictate its tune to you.

Generation Me-Me-Me will not be dictated to. It will tap, hum, skip and pas-de-deux to its own tune.

It will drum on your cafe table and hum on your bus.

There is a woman who sometimes sits on the next bike to me in the gym. She puts on her white headphones and sings. If by "singing," you mean the noise of a sheep being electrocuted while walking across hot coals.

But no, we must encourage this.

Just to appease you, Apple does offer some elements of shared music -- shared without the white headphones, that is.

It's all very lovely, of course. The piano strums, the people rock their heads and everyone is happy -- or at least contemplative. The music adds an extra dimension to their lives.

This is the personalized world that Apple has very cleverly helped to create.

Yet then there comes the all-encompassing promise: "Every day, more people enjoy their music on the iPhone than any other phone."

Please, I don't even want to know what fine statistic makes this allegedly true. I merely want to know why it seems that if you don't have your headphones offering a soundtrack at every moment of the day, you're somehow regarded as odd.

 

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