"Apparently This Matters" is CNN Tech's weekly, offbeat look at items trending online
This week, Jarrett Bellini cracks open the Lobster Mobile Telephone Case
The case is a statement about modern dependency on technology, Bellini says
It will also probably make hipsters very happy, he says
Editor’s Note: Each week in “Apparently This Matters,” CNN’s Jarrett Bellini applies his warped sensibilities to trending topics in social media and random items of interest on the interwebs.
This year, maybe you think you got everything you ever wanted for Christmas (so long as everything you ever wanted was socks and underwear).
But you’re wrong. You didn’t get everything you ever wanted. Because there’s one thing you probably didn’t even know existed until right now. Thus you didn’t get it.
Of course, I’m talking about a life-size lobster case for your iPhone.
The Lobster Mobile Telephone Case is another completely unnecessary electronics accessory that recently started trending online because, clearly, we love our technology, but, at the same time, simply can’t leave well enough alone. So we get freaky.
“Excuse me, sir, do you sell leather bondage cuffs for Kindles?”
OK, some of us get freakier than others. Don’t judge.
You see, these days it isn’t enough to just bask in the original design beauty of your device. Never mind that entire teams of smart, creative individuals got together and made a sleek, shiny phone into one of the sexiest things on the planet. Your job, as a consumer, is to cover it with something lumpy.
My friend Carini’s head, for example.
But you have to accessorize. For safety. It’s about protecting your investment, and, really, if you’re going to do that, you might as well give it some personality. Enter the lobster.
Or maybe not. You see, the lobster case wasn’t actually designed to be functional. Quite the opposite, in fact. This thing is art.
The creator of the lobster case is an Australian named Elliot Gorham who, with his design company Noddy Boffin, specializes in contemporary furniture and lighting. How this particular product fits into his business model I don’t know, but I think we’re all better people because of it. Then again, I say that about everything.
“Did you hear Jim has syphilis?”
“Well, we’re all better people because of it.”
Regardless, Gorham says of his art, “The phone case is a commentary on both the curious nature of the mobile phone case industry and of the modern dependency and/or addiction to mobile technology.”
To be fair, I liked it better when it was just a lobster case. But all right, I can accept that there’s more to it. I get art. I’m cultured. I’ve been known to wear pants occasionally.
But what Gorham wants us to take away is that we need to detach from our mobile technology. So the lobster is meant to be very user-unfriendly as a personal deterrent, resulting, as he says, in “minimal enjoyment of function, zero fashion credibility and lastly, reduced mobility to the user.”
Clearly, however, it seems Gorham is unfamiliar with the great American hipster, for it is those very reasons that make the lobster case desirable.
Though even if you aren’t of the hipster species, it’s still a pretty cool-looking phone accessory. For about an hour. That’s when you realize that you have a lobster in your pants.
But an hour is more than enough time to feel special. Which is sort of the point. To this, Gorham notes, “Like most mobile phone cases, it does offer the illusion of individualism.”
His creation was actually inspired by arguably one of the weirdest (and most brilliant) people ever, Salvador Dali, who, in 1936, designed a fully functioning Lobster Telephone. Not merely just an iPhone case. Though that would’ve been impressive.
“I promise in seventy years this will be relevant.”
At the time, Dali called his creation of a painted plaster lobster attached to the receiver the Aphrodisiac Telephone, presumably just to mess with people. Because, generally speaking, crustaceans don’t inspire lust. At least to most people. For me, it’s sort of “a thing.”
Anyway, whether or not you would walk around with Gorham’s modern version of Dali’s lobster phone is a moot point. According to Mashable, right now it’s only a design concept and not currently on the market.
So you’re stuck with whatever stupid, boring case you bought at the Apple store. And, really, we’re all better people because of it.
But not Jim. He still has syphilis.