I’m in Union Square. I haven’t slept. Thanksgiving at Steve’s was lovely — he’s mellowed out about the stock options thing and replaced last year’s all-white table with a chrome-and-black theme to match the new iMacs. But it made me lonely for Dublin and Ali and the kids. Edge hates the new iMacs, you know, says they look like fooktard Dells. Anyway, while everyone dozed off after tofurkey and organic pumpkin pie (wheat-free, Steve said) I went for a walk. I left the MacBook and brought my red iPhone to take notes. I thought about Ali and family and Africa and started writing some new songs in my head and next thing I knew, I’d walked all the way from Woodside to Frisco and the sun was coming up.
I haven’t been to San Francisco in twenty years, ever since that whole episode with the spray paint. Look, I thought it was rubble from the old freeway, ok? By the time I realized I was tagging some sort of fountain in Justin Herman Plaza with ROCK AND ROLL STOPS THE TRAFFIC, we were halfway through “Pride” and I just had to go with it. You can’t just stop rock and roll. That was my whole point, wasn’t it? Anyway, the fountain looks really nice all repainted, courtesy of the letter U and the numeral 2, but I never got so much as a thank you. Jesus would understand. Or Lennon.
I kept on walking, thinking to hit North Beach and hang with the writers and artists, legacy of the great poet Allan Ginsberg, who left us too soon before we finished that song together. I never made it. Instead I walked into Union Square at 10 am on the day you Americans call Black Friday. The most perverted orgy of overconsumption on God’s green earth. Now there’s nothing wrong with commerce. I love making music and selling it. I had a big argument about that with a bunch of hippies outside Starbucks — outside one of the Starbucks. They were waving BUY NOTHING DAY signs. Look, I specifically designed the Product Red iPods to solve their problem. You get rock’n'roll red products, AIDS awareness gets 40 percent of the net margin. What’s not to love? Buy Nothing solves nothing. Buy Red, everybody wins.
But be totally honest, have you seen anyone with a Red iPod? We’ve sold about ten of ‘em. And the Red iPhones never got past this one they made for me. Which is vibrating in my hand right now and playing the Beatles’ “Revolution” in high-fidelity iTunes format (Shhh! You’ll get your chance to own it soon, don’t tell.) Steve has finally figured out I’ve taken over his blog. He’s a bit mad about it. Look, Steve, mate. I know you think you’re a rock star, but who’s a rock star? Right. And this fucking Irish rock star is fucking pissed, standing in front of your flagship fucking Apple Store on Stockton Street with a window full of fucking iPods. Black iPods. White iPods. Blue iPods. Green iPods. What’s missing? Could it be the color Red?
I told you, Steve. Red iPhone. $600. The fooktards have already proven they’ll pay that for the privilige of showing off. And what better way to show off than to send $200 to Africa? You weren’t listening, brother. Can ya hear me now? Because I’ve been up one side of Union Square and down the other, and where’s my Product Red? The brats at the Armani store didn’t even know about my Armani Bono Red sunglasses. They’re the same shades I wore on the Elevation tour, priced at a reasonable $145, and 40 percent of the take goes to help your brothers and sisters still suffering. Plus if you’re a blogger and getting kind of wrinkly around the eyes, they’re a lot cheaper than plastic surgery. My good friend Nick Denton in New York bought a pair for one of his gang who’s a bit over the hill. The man looks fantastic now. Fox TV called him on to talk about Google for 15 minutes. God’s truth. It was the shades.
There are plenty of other Red products. There’s a phone. It’s not an iPhone, but still. There’s a shirt, a watch, a pair of sneakers. The great humanitarian Julia Roberts designed a bracelet Ali never takes off. Prada was going to sell Prada Red shoes just like the Pope’s, but the Guineas can never get it together on time. There’s a Red book so you can teach yourself about something bigger than Union Square retail and your fountain that looks like a dismantled freeway. They don’t have this stuff in Union Square, but you can buy it all online. Look it up, because I don’t know how to paste the URLs in on this iPhone — where’s Edge when I need him? — plus Steve is messaging me nonstop now. He’s texting in uppercase Myriad Apple Sans Bold: WTF WITH THE BLOG. STOP IT. NOW. I’M SERIOUS. Christ,I’m tired. Steve, look. Go back to your wife and kids. Carve a pumpkin. Invent something new like maybe a red iPhone. I’ve hooked up with some kids from Google here on the stairs in the Apple Store. As soon as we’re done leading the store through a chorus of “Give Peace a Chance” we’re going to get the hell away from this fooktarded circus of non-Red yuppie shopping and go change the world.