Virtual Concert Lighter, Really?

I'm a man who tries to live an uncluttered life, and to that end, I don't own a lot of forms of portable technology, save my cell phone. No iPhone, no iPod, no Blackberry, no GPS, no laptop, etc. Still, I keep an eye on the growing number of "apps" which just seem like an excuse to try and dull the effect of objects that exist in real life, from compasses to pets.

To that end, the various "app stores" that have risen to prominence cause me some dismay. (The app in particular that bothers me is the one that gives you directions to where you parked your car. If you can't remember where you parked, you don't deserve to find your car. Period.)

But I co-existed well enough with the emerging immediacy of technology...until today. That's when I saw the picture at the top of this post. Yes, your suspicion is correct. That is a virtual concert lighter, and it makes me so mad I could plotz. And I barely know what "plotz" means.

It doesn't bother me that it's licensed by KISS. It could be anybody, they just happened to be first. What bothers me is the notion that concert goers would rather spend the money to have a virtual lighter to wave back and forth than to just have, you know, A REAL LIGHTER!

When cell phones began to replace lighters at concerts, I got it. More people have cell phones on them (including me, though I've never used it in such a fashion at a concert,) maybe less people are smoking now, and they convey the same kind of effect. It was a little silly, but I understood it. (For the record, I don't smoke, but have a concert lighter. It was a gift from a friend, it's a flip-top that says "My Other Ride is Your Mom," on it, and it's out of fluid and hasn't been used in ages. But I do have one.)

You can understand how I think it's somewhat backward for these iHoles to make a virtual version of something for a device that already supplanted the thing that being's virtualized (diagram that sentence, I dare you.) Worse yet, hipsters will probably buy it.

I can't quite explain why it offends me so much, but it does. It just seems like an affront to everything sacred about concert culture. Just don't come running to me when this happens, but with Steve Jobs' face on the monitor.

Live Loud, and Live Real.

M. Drew

Music Editor

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