Archive for 16/07/2010

A very, very common scene

It’s early in the morning and I’m in a service, on my way to yet another exhaustive day of classes. In the front seat, a young man is sitting, clutching his phone as though it was a lifeline. But he’s not waiting for that call to rescue him, he’s just waiting for his friend to reply to his Blackberry message (BBM).
I sit in class, trying to take down notes, but my stream of thoughts is interrupted by that loud *ding* that erupts from the other side of the classroom. The professor just looks, gives that usual “put away your phone” look, before continuing with the explanation.
I go to lunch with a bunch of friends but any form of social interaction is abolished when the “Blackberrys” in their wildly colored cases come out. Talk is restricted to just asking for the napkins or the ketchup to be passed around.
It’s everywhere you go and it just won’t do. The BBM fad has taken over Lebanon in a wave that’s origins are hard to detect. One moment, we were debating if the iPhone trumps the standard Nokia phones we all have, and the next, we began to throw around words like Curve, Mini-curve, and Bold. We also upgraded from exchanging phone numbers to emails, and now to the BB Pins (also now part of the BB owner’s identity).
The true irony, however, is that this tool, for lack of better word, was invented for businessmen, not mere college students. But just like everything else, we had to take a simple item and abuse it to the extremes.

Blackberry Bold: Be Annoying

On countless occasions, the people who have no interest whatsoever in this fad have had to tell their addicted friends to cool it down, resulting in several problems.
And let’s not begin to talk about the number of accidents that happen each year on the road because of texting or talking. Do we really need this one more thing to add to our already sky-high death rates?
I say no.
A phone, contrary to popular belief, is used to call people. That’s right, the good old fashioned talk. And it should fit in the pocket of your favorite pair of jeans so that it won’t get lost amongst the many, many items you have in your purse.
But then the text messaging came, and we integrated that into our daily lives. Then, in rapid succession, cameras, mp3 players, mobile internet, and other advanced technologies were added, and we just grinned and deemed them necessary.
But they’re not. Otherwise we wouldn’t have cameras, iPods, laptops, and hard drives.
Trying to improve on the functionality is only driving us to insane addictions to a piece of technology that could not be bigger than the palm of a hand.
It’s not like our phone rates are peanuts. Lebanon, as a matter of fact, is ranked as one of the most expensive countries in terms of phone services. That is not something to boast about.
I am the proud owner of a Motoralla Razr V3i, which used to be all the rage when it came out. It’s a hand-me-down, but I don’t really mind it. It has had more knocks and bumps than what a normal phone should be subjected to, but it continues to work perfectly. Plus, the options are simple and easy to deal with.

The most resistant phone yet

I doubt that the latest limited edition Blackberry will operate in the same way. It is a bureaucratic operation all in one single phone, with the interfaces and menus requiring hours of reading the manual.
The trend, unfortunately, is at its high time now, with more people than ever buying into it. And sadly, BBM is now a verb, along the likes of Google and Facebook. For the anti-BB people, there is nothing to be done but ride out the storm.
It will be all over in 6 months tops.

Maybe I’ve been watching too much Glee, but a lot of the songs that seem to stick to my head are either favorites that they show has covered or songs that I’ve discovered because of Rachel Berry and Co.
An example of the latter is Faithfully by Journey, which I seem to be singing to myself at every occasion. It’s one of the last songs performed in the first season, right at the Regionals competition, so it’s pretty symbolic. Plus, Glee seemingly have a strong relationship with Journey, choosing the show’s signature song to be Don’t Stop Believing, one of the band’s most popular tracks.

Frontiers: The album on which Faithfully was released

But the original song, is a timeless classic. Released in 1983, it’s a classic power ballad that’s had it’s fair share of abuse at weddings, but after hearing it, you’d understand why. Nevertheless, something about the song just keeps it fresh in your memory. I’m going to go ahead and pinpoint it to Steve Perry’s ability to carry the vocals to a place beyond reason. And it’s just beautiful.
But of course, a great voice needs great lyrics. While Faithfully doesn’t have the deepest of words, it’s sure enough to touch your heart. The general notion of the lyrics is a music-man singing to his beloved about being apart because he’s being forced to tour and how much he misses being with her, and of course being faithful, as the title suggests.
My favorite part of the song is right around the second verse, right before the chorus

And being apart ain’t easy
On this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy
Of rediscovering you
Oh girl, you stand by me
I’m forever yours…faithfully

I know several girls who would do anything to have these words dedicated to them, so this song will resonate more with the female crowd. Still, it’s a good listen for anyone whose looking for a romantic song.
I have included the videos to both versions so that you can choose what version is better. I’m personally inclined to the Journey one because of it being the original, however the Glee case sure does a great job at making it sound current.

Journey’s Version:
Glee Cast Version (Audio Only):