Apple has spent the last few months making people feel deeply insecure.
All through its latest advertising, it's made you understand that if you don't have a verse, a purpose in life, you're very little.
Worse, if you don't get rid of your chicken fat, you're nothing but a retrograde slob, for whom an early grave is a just reward.
Now, in a new iPhone 5S ad, it's turning its attention to inadequate parents. Well, less inadequate and more eternally harassed, tired, distraught, sleep-deprived, screaming mad parents.
Some people glory in how difficult parenting is.
I know a couple of parents, however, who would dearly love to enjoy a day, a week, several lifetimes away from their brats.
Still, you broke it, you have to pay for it. Oh, you know what I mean. So Apple would like you to know that you have a lot of technology at your disposal to lighten your parental load.
There are apps like My Teeth, which will encourage your kids to brush beautifully. There's the WeMo app that gives you control of all the switches in your house, so that you can turn off the lights without disturbing baby.
There's even the Withings Smart Baby Monitor, which allows you to check on baby from your iPhone.
The joys, trials, and errors of being a parent are all set to the usual alternative ditty -- in this case, "Life Of Dreams" by Julie Doiran.
It's all lovingly put together and unutterably charming. Parents will adore it.
However, I'm haunted by one image from the ad: the poor mom who's desperately pushing a stroller (containing twins) uphill, attempting to simultaneously exercise.
She surely wants to stop. Perhaps she just wants to collapse in a heap and vomit. But keeping her going is the Nike + Running app, which "helps you reach your goals."
You see, even when you've just had twins, you must have goals. Chicken fat-shedding goals, presumably. Otherwise, you're not a true American. (Or human being, or something.)
So mom has to push. push, push uphill, with her little robot iPhone app nagging in her eyes.