Dramatically Speaking

So I’m writing this blog update on my iPhone 4S. I’m doing it while I’m driving, but it’s not nearly as dangerous as that sounds. The voice recognition software for this iPhone is truly remarkable, and it’s really the best feature of all of the upgraded stuff from the previous version.

Of course, I wouldn’t really know anything about that, because my last phone was an iPhone 3G, which has been obsolete for about a year and a half. I shouldn’t complain, because it’s a real “First World” problem, as they say, but I’ve been wanting a new phone for ages, and when I became eligible for my latest upgrade, I waited for the iPhone 5 before I took action.

Of course, the iPhone 5 never came, but the iPhone 4S is the next best thing. I’m not sure what people expect the iPhone 5 to be, because there was a wave of disappointment when the four ass [Editor’s note: this is the first speech recognition error thus far, and it’s a doozy] didn’t include that magic five number. I was one of those who was disappointed, but now that I have the four ass [i.e. 4s], I’m so thrilled with how much faster the thing is that I have no complaints.

The newest feature that gets the most attention is Siri, a voice activated personal assistant. I found Siri to be remarkable, but for reasons that have nothing to do with voice recognition. On my iPhone 3G, it took about five minutes for the map application to work. Now, all I have to do was ask Siri to find something for me, and presto, they’re idiots. [I actually said “presto, there it is,” but I like the mistaken version better.]

That isn’t the reason my children you Siri, however. They ask any question they can think of, hoping that the folks in Cupertino to come up with some clever answer. We found some fun ones, including the meaning of life and Klaatu barada nikto. It’s clear that the people who who program this thing or science-fiction geeks. You could ask it to being [beam] you up and it’ll stay “energizing.” You say Klaatu barada nikto and it promises to pass the information on to Gort. Ask for the meaning of life, and you’ll get “42.” If you don’t understand any of those answers, you’re not a science fiction geek. I personally enjoy the answer to the question “how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.” Apparently, it depends on if you’re talking about an African or European woodchuck. Some Monty Python fans among the science-fiction geeks, it seems.

Speaking of bizarre comedy mixing with science-fiction, the same day I got my iPhone, I also picked up a copy of William Shatner’s latest magnum opus, Seeking Major Tom. I really have no excuse for that, except that I watch every episode of S%#^ My Dad Says, which means that I am as devoted to William Shatner fan is you could possibly be. There is no other reason to subject yourself to this kind of nonsense other than your shot Mary and worship. [I tried to say “pure Shatnerian worship,” but the speech recognition software doesn’t let you make up words.]

On this latest CD, satin or [Shatner] does his same old stick [shtick] with a whole bunch of classic rock tunes. Instead of singing, Shatner’s makes [Shatner speaks] his way through all of the songs, which gets especially strange with local masterpieces like “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The conceit is not a new one, and it’s not nearly as fun now that Shatner himself seems to get the joke. The surgeons [versions] are beautifully orchestrated, but then when you hear Shatner coming in and plowing his way through with his overblown dramatic nonsense, you end up doing wishing you were listening to the original versions instead. There’re some exceptions, of course, especially his bizarre take on “She Blinded Me With Science,” which seems to have been designed to be mutilated by William Shatner. Other musicians lend a hand, too, most notably Cheryl Frelon this is Maj. Tom. [Sheryl Crow on “Mrs. Major Tom.] Still, its all kind of pointless – everybody recognizes that Shatner has stopped taking himself seriously and has become a caricature of the caricature of himself.

Very little of this album is worth listening to twice, with the exception of the Thomas Dolby number and wonderful version of Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” which Shatner actually sings alongside an Aussie [Ozzy] sound alike. “Bohemian Rhapsody” is just embarrassing, and when Shatner’s tries to sing the song “Struggle,”he tries to find dozens of ways to say the word “struggle” in a very strongly [struggly] sort of way. Songs with very few lyrics just don’t work when all you’re doing is speaking them.

Perhaps the weirdest irony about this album is that Shatner’s recorded version of Elton John’s “Rocketman” is strangely muted. Everyone with a YouTube account has seen Shatner barrel his way through this number to 1970s award show clip, so perhaps Shatner felt his latest version needed to be different enough from that one before to be worth recording. Or perhaps this last histrionic version is his way of saying sorry for the previous one.

Bottom line: skip this album and watch Shatner’s old Priceline commercials on YouTube instead.

And thus concludes my first dictated blog entry. When I stop driving, I plan to go through it and edit it so if there’re [it bears] some resemblance to written English, but I will probably leave some of the more Regis [egregious] and funny errors as they are.

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