Normally, the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show marks the season when I stop reading gadget blogs. It's when sites that do 12 interesting posts a day turn into a sites that publish 120 barely rewritten press releases a day as the writers struggle to "cover" a bunch of product announcements for stuff that mostly represents banal recombinations of earlier devices and "major releases" that are really minuscule, incremental changes to existing products.
But Gizmodo's Mat Honan has a stream-of-consciousness rant of the experience of being at CES really captures what it was like the years I attended — and makes me glad I'm not there now.
People keep coughing on me. I try to listen politely, all the while wondering if I have the flu. I got my flu shot on December 29. I can't help but wonder if it has activated yet. They tell you that it takes 14 days for antibodies to become effective, but that can vary from person to person. I take the press release and wander away past walls and walls of blinking, humming, electronics.
I try to remember all the products I've talked about that I won't even bother to cover—and that nobody's going to buy. There were some Bluetooth speakers. Or maybe they were WiFi. But there was definitely a helmet cam. And a waterproof phone. And a tablet and an ultrabook and an OLED TV. There was ennui upon ennui upon ennui set in this amazing temple to technology.
I imagine tuning all the television sets to hardcore gay porn, just to see the spectacle of it all. I fantasize that I am the only one here, in a post-apocalyptic trade show. Alone among these elaborate booths. Free to scamper up on top of them. Free to grab what I want, and actually play with it, like a child. I want to see it all catch fire. I want to pour gasoline in the ducts and light a long fuse, and watch from the street as it burns and burns and burns. My guess is that the flames would be quite beautiful, colored by chemical washes and treated glass. My hangover is killing me.
(via Andre Torrez)