For those of you unfamiliar with my newly discovered giftiness, learned at the feet of the master of shameless self-promotion, the great Stephen Colbert, you might want to quickly peruse two articles trumpeting my success in getting the good folks at Jameson Irish Whiskey to reward me for my long-term support via my tag line, In Jameson Veritas. First. Second. (Latest news: I’ve received Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve, an extraordinary whiskey that rivals the finest cognacs, and I have been assured other premium Jameson products are on the way.)
I have spent the last few months pondering my next move. I considered Ferrari, but even if I were able to convince them to send me one, I probably couldn’t afford the upkeep. How about a nice 42” HDTV with a Bose surround sound system? Good choice. Likelihood of success, minimal. A Wii would be great, but I discovered years ago that those games had advanced far beyond my aging abilities.
Last Thanksgiving, at a friend’s house, I discovered that she owned a Kindle. I scoffed and sneered in my best condescending fashion. Books are books, not electronic bits and bytes held in a small device. Books are to be cherished. One stands before a well-stocked book shelf and is at peace with the world. Running fingers over the bindings in search of something to read or simply remembering fondly the joy of reading a certain work would be lost if the book shelves were bare and all one had was a 8" x 5.3" x 0.36"…gizmo. While I do have CD players, I also still have my turntable and vinyl albums, most older than Amazon itself (although, if I must be honest, playing records is a pain in the ass).
Amazon claims that Kindle 2 holds 1500 books, but of what good are those books if you can’t see them, pick them up, and feel their life flow? Kindle for me? Never. Alas, even as I pontificated about how Kindle was the harbinger of the end of modern society as we know it, there was another part of me greedily eyeing that little toy, wanting to play with it, discover its secrets, get lost in its hypnotic embrace.
Ok, I love gadgets. I’ve paralyzed my computer more times than I can count downloading programs and gadgets and gizmos and whatever, most of which I discovered were of minimal interest…and many of which turned my hard drive into mush. But I still love them, reading any story about the latest cool Google tool, the newest ad-ins for Outlook or Internet Explorer, the dizzying capabilities of new cell phones, the continual, brilliant innovations at Amazon.com. (See…plug.)
Last week, on “The Colbert Report,” Mr. Colbert made an offhanded comment about the new Kindle, saying that he’ll be waiting. I’m sure the people at Amazon learned of that and, even as we speak—or I write, are in heated discussions about whether and when to send their newest product to the Master.
I, sadly, have no award-winning TV show from which to launch my “Send Me A Kindle 2” campaign and must rely on blogging to convince the Amazonians that winning over a hardcore book lover would be an incredible coup, one that they could use in advertising and promotions to infiltrate the secret cabal of book lovers who’ve sworn blood oaths to never step onto that slippery slope into technoland.
There’s another issue to overcome. The Jameson generosity came after I’d already demonstrated my slavish devotion to their product, and In Kindle Veritas doesn’t quite have the same je ne sais quois as In Jameson Veritas, does it? Plus, my loyalty and appreciation to the Jameson gods shall never be compromised. Finally, even if I could find a good tag line, such as Gimme A Kindle or Vita Brevis, Kindle 2 Longa (very loosely, Life is Short, Kindle Lives Forever), how would it look to have two tag lines for every article and comment?
That actually is not a rhetorical question. Are two taglines gauche? Would I become an object of ridicule and contempt? Would I no longer be taken seriously as a serious observer of serious political and social issues? Your thoughts about this vexing problem are welcome.
At the least, I shall state plainly for all (at Amazon) to see: I will give your Kindle 2 a fair test, despite my bias for real books, and, if converted, will accept the baptismal Kindle rites and become not just a true believer but a shameless promoter of the product and how it will heal all the ills of modern society. Books? Pshaw! Who needs them? They take up room, they get dusty, most fall apart if you read them more than five or six times. And you can never find the one you want, especially if your bride wants to display them based on size, color, and hard vs. soft cover.
So, how about it, Amazon? Given my sad economic straits, I cannot afford to buy one. Just putting food on the table for my bride, myself, and our 21-year-old Siamese is difficult enough—particularly because this seven-pound monster eats more than the two of us combined. I have confidence that our President will turn the economy around no later than 2018, but that’s a little long to wait. I’m a boomer. I need instant gratification.
Take a risk, Jeffrey P. Bezos, Amazon’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, and direct your minions to send me a Kindle 2 post haste. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. (That sounds familiarly like some stupid TV advertisement, but I can’t remember which one.) And if you hesitate, consider that heart-warming old standard made famous by Jimmy Durante, “Make Someone Happy.” It ends with “…and you will be happy too.” You deserve happiness, and, Lord knows, money—even billions and billions and billions of money—won’t make you happy.
With deep humility, I am willing to be the agent of your improved sense of well being.
Thank you for your consideration.
In Jameson Veritas
Vita Brevis, Kindle2 Longa